Want to change career? 5 things you need to bear in mind

Office workers
(Image credit: Image Credit: Cadeau Maestro / Pexels)

So you’ve decided to change your career. Or at least you’re thinking about it. Either way, doing so could have a major impact on your life, however bearing these 5 things in mind will make sure you have the smoothest transition between roles. On the other side of the story, if you’re an employer, checking whether a new candidate from a different industry has followed some of these steps will prove their determination, loyalty, and values. All important things when it comes to interviewing applicants.

There are many reasons that somebody may want to change career, with one of the most notable drivers being stress. Very often, intolerable pressure can push workers away from a company, or worse, away from an entire industry. Other roles, like working for the police, may naturally progress into an early retirement and leave workers wanting a change.

Less drastic moves that typically involve working in a similar capacity can often be driven by office culture, managerial appreciation and acknowledgment, opportunities for progression, and salary.

While we couldn’t attempt to cover every reason here, there’s one more key driver that has gained traction in recent years that we think is worthy of a mention. Companies are under increasing pressure to adopt hybrid working routines, allowing employees to work from home some or all of the time, and companies unwilling to negotiate are beginning to face the reality of this next generation of digital workers. 

Whether you’re looking for the best work from home jobs or just fancy a refreshed working life, these are five key things you should bear in mind during your career change.

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1. Get to know yourself

Before you even think about getting the ball rolling, you should understand a little more about yourself: your goals, your reasons, your aspirations. Key to this is understanding what’s making you unhappy in your current career. Start a journal and log these events, noting how they make you feel, and how (or if) a new career could solve them.

Get to know what you want from a career change: is something pushing you from your current role, or is something pulling you towards a new one? What is it that you want from a new job? For many, it could be as simple as finding a job that pays the bills that they don’t hate. For others, it could be following a passion, seeking development, or for the new company to align with their values and desires. This is a great opportunity to take note of how you like to work, for example some industries are physically demanding while others involve a more sedentary life.

Finally, understand what you have to offer. This doesn’t just have to mean the skills that you bring to the table, or the qualifications that you have under your belt. It could be your drive or curiosity that will find you learning more about a particular subject and wanting to be the master of it!

2. Pick the right path

Career change is a broad term that can cover a lot of different scenarios, so decide how you want to interpret it. Once you’ve understood your reasons why, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision whether the problem is the specific job you’re in now, or the industry more generally.

Either way, you can dip your toes in before committing to the career change. There are thousands of videos online detailing different roles and companies, and that’s before you consider speaking to people about your future career. While it may not be applicable to all roles, getting some relevant experience in beforehand can prove extremely valuable not just towards your case in an application, but to your decision moving forward.

3. Get on the hunt

Now that you’ve established what makes you you, and where you see yourself in a new career, it’s time to begin your searches. For most, this will typically involve using one of the best job sites, but picking one of the seemingly tens of options can prove a challenge in itself. Our guide to the best job search engine features should help you pick one - or a handful - of the most suitable. 

These tools provide a great opportunity to do some brainstorming. There may be various similar roles that you hadn’t realised existed, or new companies close to home that you’d never heard of.

4. Create a plan of action

At this stage, you will have answered every question there could be about yourself and your prospective career change. It’s time to put some definition in place, and the best way to do this is to create a plan. This can be in the shape of whatever works well for you.

It should include SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based) goals that you can monitor their progress, because not every career change will happen overnight.

More often than not a change in jobs will require you to learn, or perfect, a certain set of skills. You may want to consider formal education for this, which could mean turning to one of the best online course sites to get the work done.

5. Tap into your network

You will have undoubtedly heard about the importance of networking, and the chances that you’ve been to a networking event are far from zero. We cannot stress enough the importance of having a diverse and trusted network of people you can call upon for a whole variety of needs.

Your contacts could help motivate you along the way, they could provide you with the resources you need to progress your application, or they could even be the ones to get you the job. In some cases, making yourself known in the industry can give you a leg to stand on. Building a strong social profile is key to this.


For most people, opting for a career change is not to be taken lightly, and it can have some serious implications along the way. For the ultimate success, follow our steps to understand yourself, explore your options, and put the right measures in place. Oh, and one more thing: good luck!

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!