What to do when you realise you need a career change.
I was recently interviewed by Kassia Byrnes from the Pedestrian TV website for an article about how to make a career change at any age – particularly the older you are.
Most of us aren’t lucky enough to choose the right career path as soon as we leave school that will give us job satisfaction for the rest of our lives. Sometimes we get lucky and we land the perfect career. More often, however, after real-world experience in the job you always wanted, you may start doubting whether it’s what you want to do for the rest of your working life.
For many the thought of having to say goodbye to a steady income to start from scratch is scary. But then again, is it scarier than spending the next 50-odd years not loving your work? Below are my top tips for making a career change with confidence.
When should you consider a career change?
Let’s be honest, every job has its ups and downs. As long as you enjoy your job for the majority of the time then a career change may not be necessary. But, if you can’t shake that feeling of just not fitting in to your current role, there are a few questions you need to be asking yourself, as follows:
- Do you dread going to work in the morning?
- What about when you actually make it out of bed and into work, do you continue to dislike what you’re doing?
- Are you just going through the motions without your heart being in it?
- Does your work feel so routine you could do it in your sleep?
- When was the last time you felt like you had the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
If you’re honest with yourself when answering these questions, you’ll be able to better recognise if you’re in a slump or need to make a career change.
Are you too old to switch careers?
I believe, for most careers, there is no age limit. We live in an aging workforce that is starting to value age more than ever before. We feel ageism will become a thing of the past for most people and organisations. Older employees are starting to be recognised for their wisdom and reliability. These are attractive qualities to a potential employer.
But what about the economics?
It is important to look at the economics of a career change, as you may need to start at the bottom of the ladder and take an initial pay cut. Can you afford the necessary education or training to get you to your ultimate goal? Are you supported by those closest to you to make the change?
It is a good idea to conduct a thorough transferable skills audit before considering a career change as there may be a shift that you can make with little or no further study or training.
Talk to people already in the career that you want to get into and pick their brains about the role and the requirements. Most importantly, ask them how they got into the career as this could well inform your next steps.
We call this ‘informational interviewing’ and it is a crucial first step before making any career changes.
Making a smooth career transition
I always advise my clients to have a little patience before quitting their job.
Hating where you work and what you do is an intolerable permanent situation. However, it is a tolerable temporary one. Having additional income coming in from your current job while preparing for a new career prevents stress.
Plus, you’ll be able to handle a job you don’t like better with the new hope and optimism that acquiring new skills and preparing for a new career often provides. Knowing that there is an end to an unfulfilling job is a fabulous coping tool.
Beyond that, it’s all about staying open-minded and being able to roll with the changes as they come. It’s called a transition period for a reason. It won’t last forever.
A career transition rarely goes to plan. Keeping an open mind about where your new skills can take you helps to increase possibilities and secure an excellent new career. For example, taking marketing classes may make it possible to get an excellent job in sales. This may not be the career transition you were expecting, but it might end up being the career you love.
Learning new skills and making a career transition is stressful and difficult for most adults. Make sure you surround yourself with an optimistic, upbeat network of people who are supportive of your career transition. Embrace the learning process and look at this time as an investment in your future.
The key is to find something that you truly love to do. This is what most people, of any age, find the hardest part. Find your passion and follow it and once you know the ‘what’, the ‘how’ of getting into your dream career becomes a lot easier.
Our Career Change Program
This program is suitable for anyone who is uncertain of which career direction to take, whatever stage you are in your career and whatever age you are.
Step 1 – Online Career Assessment
To help you find the right career direction, we will assess your strengths, career values, interests, skills and career personality and the kind of work environments in which you will flourish. This provides an understanding of the types of careers, industries and work environments that suit you and bring out your best and make you happy.
Your career assessment include these two profiles:
CAREER INTEREST PROFILER : The Career Interests Profiler assesses your level of interest in a variety of activities, industries and occupations to determine the careers and areas of study you are most likely to enjoy and find satisfying. This career profiler is based on five years of research and contains an extensive database of more than 500 careers and courses.
Duration: Approximately 20 minutes.
CAREER PERSONALITY PROFILER : The Career Personality Profiler is based on the psychological theory of personality types described by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung in association with Isobel Myers. It assesses four aspects of personality based on the following scales: Informer – Reflector; Producer – Creator; Analyser – Helper and Planner – Adapter.
Duration: Approximately 10 minutes.
* With this program, we also provide a Skills Assessment or Aptitude Test.
Step 2 – Career Consultation (Face to Face or by Phone or Skype)
When you have completed the two online assessments and a skills assessment, your career consultant will set a time with you to go through your reports and you will:
- Discover the careers that best suit your strengths, interests, values, skills and personality
- Explore your career options and get help identifying a career that best suits you
- Learn how to conduct deeper research into areas of career interest
- Develop an action plan to help you on your path to a rewarding career.
You will receive a copy of both of your assessment reports and your action plan to keep.
Your career consultant is with you after this initial session to support you through the next phase by being available for free brief phone calls or emails. You are not left to do it alone.
You may also like to book in for further sessions for career decision-making, change management and assistance with job seeking, including resumes, tapping the hidden job market, networking, interview skills and LinkedIn profiles.
Our Career Counselling Services
Are you unhappy with your job? Would you like to switch to a truly satisfying career?
Career counselling is for you, at any stage of your career, if you are unhappy in your current job and would like to discover your personal style, strengths, skills and interests and match them to the market place so that you end up with a truly satisfying role.
Career counselling is also for you if you are a school or university leaver and don’t know which career direction to take. You may be deciding between courses or careers and aren’t sure which path will suit you best.
Your perfect career
We will work with you to help you find your unique personal style, the best work environment, your interests, skills and strengths for that perfect career.
As trained and professional career consultants, we will help you with short and long term career planning whether you want to start a career, improve a current one or make a complete career change.
Who can benefit from our coaching services?
You will benefit from our services if you are:
- A school or university student or leaver who isn’t sure which course or career to pursue
- Someone who is unhappy in your current career and know you are capable of more
- Curious about other career options you may never have considered
- Facing redundancy and looking at new career or self-employment options
- Considering a career change but have no idea about the what or how
- Wanting to improve your job search skills, including tapping the hidden job market, networking, your resume, interview skills and LinkedIn profile
We provide career counselling and guidance throughout Australia via Skype and telephone and in person at Neutral Bay on Sydney’s North Shore.
More information about our career counselling services
Our career counsellors, executive coaches and life coaches will work with you so you can find your perfect job. We’ll ascertain your unique personal style, the best work environment, your interests, skills and strengths to achieve career satisfaction. As trained and professional career consultants, we will help you with short and long term career planning whether you want to start a career, improve a current one or make a complete career change.
Our life coaches can help people of all ages and stages of life who yearn for more but are struggling to do it alone. Personal life coaching is for those who would benefit from a trusted life coach, confidante and mentor who will encourage and coach them and help them achieve sought after goals.
Take advantage of our complimentary career development and life coaching session to determine whether coaching is for you.
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