How to Change Career

 by Waller Jamison

Changing career, whether in your twenties or in midlife, is a major undertaking, but if you aren't happy in your present occupation, staying put is not an option. How can you ensure that you make the right decision this time round?

If you aren't sure what you want to do, it is not easy to figure out how to change career. The following tips will help you get started and if you'd like to go into more detail, sign up for our free career change course at the bottom of the page.

First of all, don't think in terms of right and wrong - you current job might have been right for you once and even if it never felt exactly right, you've gained some valuable skills and experience which you'll be able to transfer to your new career.

These days it isn't unusual for someone to change careers several times, hardly surprising with the speed of technology, which brings with it new jobs, some of which were unheard of a year ago.

The first step towards finding a new career is to take a close look at the old one. Ask yourself why you aren't happy in your present job and think about what type of activities you'd prefer to be doing.

Next make a list of things you've always wanted to do, prioritize them and find a way to start doing the most important one, either at work or in your spare time. If necessary, find a course to develop the skills you'll need.

Then list your transferable skills - all the skills you have gained in any aspect of your life and which would be useful in a job. Now it's time to start dreaming! Describe your ideal job in detail - everything that would be part of your dream career.

Take plenty of time over this step.Once you've finished, start doing some research to find out how you could create the career you want.

Does it exist as one job, or would you need to have a portfolio of part-time occupations? Would you be employed, self-employed or both? Do you know anyone doing what you'd like to do, or something similar?

Can you do some work experience or work shadowing? Once you've made your decision, you should try to find a mentor who can help you through all the stages of education, training and job-hunting.

 Make sure your CV or résumé is up to date, brush up your interview skills and start applying.