Last updated 2 March, 2022

Taking the Leap: How to Change Your Career Path

Have you ever wanted to change your job or career? Are you thinking about this now?

Perhaps you’ve decided it’s time to pursue your passion, or you’ve seen or been offered a dream role. Or is the drive to change your career because you’re unhappy with your existing job? In any case, you may be feeling a bit unsure of what to do next.

Identify what you’re missing.

When you start to feel frustration in your career, it can be the right time to ask yourself some questions and explore what’s really driving these feelings. Frustration could be a signal that it’s time for new challenges, and you’ve outgrown your current role. 

Think about times when you felt stressed or unsupported at work. When you felt this way, did you feel like you had few opportunities for growth or variety at work? Did you feel isolated? Were you faced with a large workload and not much life outside work? 

We all have a choice to create a career life that inspires us and often it’s just planning the steps that we need to make the leap to a new career.

What needs to change? 

It might be that you’re ready to take the leap into a new job or career that challenges and inspires you. Or, maybe you’d just like to resolve your issues without moving. 

Take a moment to reflect: what might be causing you to want to change your career? Is the work itself unsatisfying? Is it the people you work with? Is there no prospect for promotion or learning or growth?

Once you understand what’s driving your decision, you might find that your issues can be resolved without moving. 

Perhaps you could ask your manager for more (or less) responsibility? Would it help to change roles to learn new skills or work with different people? Would simply taking a holiday give you the break you need?

If you can’t improve your situation within the company, consider whether you’d like a new position in the same industry; or whether you’d like to work with a variety of clients on a temporary basis and trial new roles?

Change is hard, and it can be scary to step out of your comfort zone. But finding out what opportunities are out there and seeing how your skills can transfer into a new career makes the change easier. Planning your move increases the likelihood of a smooth transition.

Before you leap

If you prepare for the change and make the decision for the right reasons, you can move forward with confidence. Here are four strategies that can help:

1. Be clear on your outcome. 

Ask yourself what you want from your career change and where you’d like to be. Is it more responsibility and opportunity at a bigger company? Is it working with better people? Is it working less with more time for family and loved ones? Be clear on what you want and write it down.

2. Write an action plan of next steps. 

This will help you focus and know what you need to do, and in what order. Some actions you might consider include talking to people in roles that interest you, researching new jobs and companies, updating your resume, or even taking a course to gain new skills. Transitioning out of your current role doesn’t have to happen overnight. 

3. Have an open mind. 

Don’t limit yourself to more of the same. Consider other careers you might not have thought about, and what you’d need to learn to pursue them. Many careers of today didn’t even exist 20 years ago. You may find that there are many fascinating opportunities available to you that weren’t there when you first started in your current role. 

4. Plan a move that is comfortable for you. 

You may feel ready to quit your job next week, or maybe it’s more of a 5-year plan. Maybe you want to see if changes can take place in your current workplace before you pursue jobs elsewhere. You don’t have to make the change now, but by preparing now you’ll have everything lined up to transition when you are ready.

Today’s action steps

1. Write down what is causing you to consider a change. Decide if the issue can be resolved without changing careers.

2. If a career change is needed, schedule a day to:

  • Research jobs that interest you and see how your skills may transfer.

  • Research pathways for acquiring additional skills.

  • Write down your action plan for next steps.

3. If a career change is not needed, schedule a day to:

  • Brainstorm ways your current role could be improved.

  • Write down the ways these changes benefit yourself AND your company/ organisation.

  • Get in contact with the decision-makers at your workplace to propose these changes.

Our world-class coaches on Hello Coach can help you analyse your career situation and take smart steps toward the career of your dreams.

Book a session now to start mapping the path to your dream job.

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