The Ultimate Guide to Changing Careers
So, it’s happening. You’re getting that feeling. The feeling that something with your career is not right. Each morning you get up, go through your morning routine, get to work … and you just don’t feel it. It’s a feeling that means you’re thinking about changing careers.
In this guide, we talk about what’s involved and what you should consider when it comes to changing careers.
It’s not just about getting a new job. It’s about fulfilling your goals, aligning your values and passions with what you do for a living – and ultimately making your dream job a reality.
What’s Holding You Back?
Fears are dastardly things – and when it comes to a career change, they can spring up out of nowhere and stand in your way, no matter how passionate you are.
The important thing to remember is that with a little bit of practicality and planning, these fears can be overcome with real-world solutions (even if you can’t immediately see how). It’s never too late! You’re never too old, young, inexperienced or unqualified. there’s also lots of options you can follow, including a mature age apprenticeship that can help you determine the right career path to follow.
Remember, changing what you do is about bringing your career dream to life – don’t let it become about the fears that try to stand in your way! Is it worth giving in to your fears and continuing with your current career if you’re not truly happy? No!
Bonus Tip: Write down your 3 top fears when it comes to your career change. Then, write down at least 3 solutions or workarounds that could help you alleviate or manage each fear.
Decide What You Want to Do
The first step in any career change is to decide what you want to do – and what kind of job you want to aim for.
You might be lucky enough to already know. Or you could have an idea of the industry or field you want to work in (e.g. Beauty, Counselling, Hospitality) but you might not yet know what kind of job you want.
Put aside 30 minutes of your time to conduct some research on your desired industry. Take notes! Aim to find out:
Some of the most common areas that tend to attract career changers include childcare, fitness, administration and beauty. Have a think abut whether these areas are a good for you!
Child care is a truly rewarding area to work in, with plenty of job opportunities and a never-ending supply of enjoyment. If you’re great around children, than a career in child care might just be for you.
Have you ever wanted a career as a receptionist, office administrator or executive assistant? If you’re in an area that you can’t see yourself moving much further with, administration might be the answer. With strong job prospects, plenty of career moves available and an exciting ability to shift into different industries such as entertainment, education and business; there’s plenty of advantages for pursuing administration as a career.
For those that are sick and tired of working behind a desk and are after a fun, exiting and rewarding career, fitness may just be the answer. Fitness is one of the most popular industries to pursue following a career change, especially for those wanting to pass up the corporate world for something more challenging.
The beauty industry never cease to provide fun, excitement and a challenge to all those that pursue it as a career. If you love everything beauty and the idea of pampering and exploring your creativity; this is a great industry to consider. Not only is it perfect if you want to work from home, or even be your own boss; but it’s also an area where you can watch your talents progress and see how your skills improve with every make up application or client appointment.
How To Start a Career Change
If the ‘career’ answer is not right in front of you, even after a bit of research, don’t panic. It’s normal to be dissatisfied with your current job or career but still not know what you want to do instead. In Australia, career change is a natural part of the work lifecycle, with most changing careers at least three times. A recent study by SEEK found that:
Grab a pen and paper and answer the following questions. Take as long as you like!
Create your Career Change Goals
Once you’ve homed in a little on your career desires, have a think about what types of jobs you could be happy doing. Just brainstorm a list of anything that comes to mind.
Bonus Tip: If you’re still unsure, there are a few things you could also do to shed more light on what you could be good at or where you’d be happy working in future. You could try talking to friends and family, research industries based on what you’re interested in; such as salary, work from home options or industries in demand. If you know someone in a similar career you’re thinking of getting into; ask them how they find it.
So, your overall goal is to change careers and find a new job. But how do you get there? The next step is to figure out where your gaps are and what you need to do to fill them.
Start by making a list of all the skills, qualifications, experience and anything else that is required to start working in your dream job. Next, place a ‘tick’ next to the ones you have achieved. Don’t worry if you only tick one or two, or none at all – that’s normal when changing careers!
Now, take a look at anything in your list that’s unticked – you should be able to easily recognise where your gaps are. These gaps will now become your stepping-stones – or your plan/goals for making your dream job happen!
Before you go ahead and dive into your plans for the future, it’s a good idea to discuss your decision with the people in your life and get their support. they can also help you shape the goals you’re after, reminding you of what you find most important. For instance, are you a mother who’s considering the challenges of returning to work? Do you need more work-life balance to have quality family time?
Bonus Tip: Try a Career Coach if you’re unsure whether this is the decision for you. They can be instrumental in their help with guiding you to a career that suits your needs and goals. They are also a great way to settle any doubt for worries you might still have.
Find the Right Course to Kickstart Your Career Change
Educational courses are one of the most valuable things you can take on when changing careers. Courses are also a great place to start if you are unsure how to achieve your stepping-stone goals and fill the skills and experience gaps you listed above.
Completing a course to up skill, fill in missing knowledge gaps or to improve your expertise in a given area can be an essential part of making the move to another industry. Remember, if you’re looking to enter a completely new field; it’s never impossible, or too late! Courses are always available online and through blended delivery to give you the flexibility to start shaping your skills even while you’re still employed in your current position.
This is a great alternative than resigning completely and then having to work your way up to applying for jobs in your desired industry.
Completing a course in your field will:
Research courses in your field that will bring you the knowledge, skills and qualifications you need to make your career change happen. Make a list of what’s available, as well as any pros/cons.
You should also decide whether you want to study full time or part-time as well as the duration of the course, which you’ll often find in the course guide. One of the biggest decisions is if the course is to be done online, or in-class. This all depends on your flexibility, travel time and how close the campus is to you and how easy it is to get there.
Fee help is another important factor, so keep in mind the government funding options and if it’s available for you course. Other considerations when deciding which course is right for you include when you’re likely to begin, as well as the level of course you’re looking to complete.
Bonus Tip: If you are unsure or don’t have any previous education or experience, starting with a Certificate (II, III or IV) course is often your best bet. Most of the time, certificate courses don’t require any prerequisites, meaning you can enroll in them straight out of school or even if you are working but have no previous experience or qualifications.
You can search Training.com.au’s courses here.
Going back to study doesn’t have to be scary! With online learning and flexible course options, you can fit your course around your work and personal commitments.
Keep Improving Your Knowledge and Skills
In addition to enrolling in a course, there are many ways in which you can build the skills and talents needed for your dream job. Remember this isn’t always something that happens over night, so if you’re really determined to make a career change, the best thing to do is to commit. It might take time and effort; but wouldn’t you rather be in a position that you’re passionate about and that makes you happy?
Some great ways to continue to improve your skills and expertise while you’re job hunting include:
Don’t forget to Network!
Networking with the right people can make a huge difference to your career – and your career change. Why?
Networking can provide you with lots of info and insight into what it’s like to work in your desired field. Contacts you make via networking can introduce you to employers and even provide job leads and opportunities that you might not otherwise know about – and all of this can lead to your perfect dream job!
Contacts can also give you advice, guidance and second opinions if you’re unsure about any decisions regarding your new career.
Bonus Tip: Have a think about a few ways in which you can build your professional network and start by making around 3-5 new contacts. Don’t forget, you can network through family and friends, too!
You’re Ready To Make the Career Change Leap!
Chances are, when you make that career change leap, you’ll finally feel like your career, and your life, is starting a new journey on the right track. So, don’t let your fears or other obstacles hold you back! Decide what you want to to, make a plan, enroll in a course and work towards your dream.
Ready? Find a course now at training.com.au and get your new career started!
You’ll gain the skills and qualifications you need to work in your chosen industry and best of all, you’ll be one step close to your dream job.
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