Changing your career – Part 1 – Deciding what avenue to take next

In our blog post Is it time for a career change? we talked a bit about the signs that maybe are making you feel it’s time to do something different in your career. In this post, we’ll talk about how the first step on that journey – how to decide what avenue to take next.

It can be overwhelming thinking about what do do next because, ultimately, there are just so many different types of jobs and industries out there. Changing careers isn’t easy and it’s important to take a really considered approach before you make any quick decisions – we all have bad days at work and there can be a great temptation sometimes to make a knee-jerk decision to quit and do something different. However, a good thing to do as a first step is to think about the below questions to identify what is really important to you and jot down your answers:

  • What are your key strengths and what really gets you motivated to get up in the morning?
    • Think about your current job – what it is you enjoy about it?
    • What do people praise you most for at work?
    • Do you like dealing with people or numbers/analysis?
    • Do you like doing research?
    • Do you like being creative?
  • Think about your hobbies and interests outside of work, e.g.
    • Do you thrive off fitness?
    • Do you enjoy cooking?
    • Do you like volunteering?
    • Do you have pets and love animals?
    • Do you like being outside?
  • What is important to you in your lifestyle?
    • If you earn a good salary at the moment you need to be realistic about your next career choice from a monetary perspective and what it could mean to your lifestyle (you may not be able to take holidays etc for a while) – if you are changing careers then you are going to be starting at the bottom of the chain in your next role – are you ok with that?
    • Are you ok with earning less money at least for a while and working hard to prove yourself again in a new field?
    • Are you ok with people who are younger than you being more senior than you in your new role?
  • Are you prepared to do more studying? There are a lot of roles out there which require specific qualifications/education:
    • Do you enjoy studying/learning?
    • Are you ready and able to commit the time and energy to doing that?

Once you have answered these questions, you will be ready to take the next steps in the journey – identifying the role/field you want to move into…