5 steps to a successful career change

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably considering a career change. Or you’ve already made the big decision to take your professional life in a new direction.

Revamping your career no longer carries a stigma; as a result of job losses during the recession many workers had no choice but to move on to new careers or return to education.

Regardless of your age, a career change requires careful planning to ensure your efforts lead to the outcome you so desire. Here’s some of the advice we often give to candidates who are looking to revive a stagnant working life.

women discussing career change advice

What do you dislike about your current career?

If you’re unhappy or ‘stuck’, look closely at what it is about your job that’s causing this feeling. Is it the physical working environment? Your industry’s culture? Is the career not what you’d hoped it’d be? This is an important process that’ll help redirect your career along a path that’ll be much more rewarding, and one which is likely to bring you more success.

What’s your passion?

Get to know yourself better by reflecting on what you truly care about. It’s all too easy to lose ourselves in our busy lives, forgetting what we originally wanted from our careers. Not only that, but our values tend to change as we go through life, so checking in with yourself in an honest way is a positive move towards improving your situation. Ask close friends and family for their input too – you might be surprised at the outcome!

Can you afford to make a change?

It’s important to be realistic about your finances. If you want to re-train, can you afford the fees? You may need to study in your spare time rather than resign right now. Or, if you’re happy to wait a while, save up so you’re in a stronger position should you need to take a pay cut when making the career transition.

If your finances are restricting your aspirations, yet you’re determines to make a change, look into funding options: Professional and Career Development Loans, support from family, government bursaries or further education funding, for instance.

Can you find a mentor?

There’s no better way of getting to know a new career by trying it out. By shadowing a professional in your desired field, you’ll get to know the environment, challenges and opportunities before taking the leap. Furthermore, it’s a wonderful opportunity to ask your mentor about their story and for insider tips. You’ll also be building an invaluable network, helping to open doors into your new industry.

Have you considered hiring a career coach?

If you have the budget, work with a career coach. They’ll provide support and guidance as you make your career change. They’ll hold you accountable, so you’re more likely to address any concerns in a positive way, and commit to and successfully complete the process.

Many work online, so without the barrier of geography, you have access to numerous coaches, including industry-specialists.

This article is just a starting point, and there’s a lot more advice available online. Our consultants are experienced in guiding candidates in their careers – why not contact one of our team who represent your favoured sector for a chat?


Whichever strategy you adopt, we wish you the best of luck with the interview! Before the event, however, remember to contact your polkadotfrog consultant for more advice on job interview etiquette and skills.