How to change career

In the UK’s education system we have to make choices that can determine our future career very early in life. Choice of A-levels or college courses at 16 can funnel us into a particular job path before we know what we want to do, what we’ll be good at or what we’ll enjoy. Many of us end up following a path to work and then finding we’re not happy in our jobs. So what should you do if you want a change?

When you have been in a job for a long time, have spent years training, gained skills and perhaps risen to a senior position it is hard to think about starting again. But it’s never too late! Here’s Adrienne’s advice on what to do if you want to change career.

Stop and think

Before making any final decisions you should give yourself plenty of time to think about what it is you really want. Think about what you want out of life, about why your job isn’t working for you and what changes you want to make.

Is it your job that you want to change or might you enjoy the same job in a different company, or a different sector? Can you change anything about your current role so that you enjoy it more? If you decide you definitely need to switch career can you use your existing skills or will you need to retrain? How much money will you need to make? Can you afford to take an unpaid internship?


Once you’ve decided to take the plunge spend plenty of time researching the options. Think about the environment you would like to work in and what jobs will match your values. Find out what companies you would like to work for and what skills and experience you will need. If you need to retrain look into the best way to do that. Make sure you’re armed with all the information you need before you start.


Talk to a many people as possible about your career change – you might have people among your friends and family who could help – or who might know someone else who can help. Find out if there are any networking events or conferences you can go to – often these types of event offer free tickets.

If you like the company you work for you could even think about talking to your boss. There might be courses you could go on, or extra responsibilities you could take on – or you may be able to make a sideways move into another area of the business.

Stay confident and resilient

Finding a new job is always hard and changing career can be particularly challenging. If you’re committed to making a change there will be bumps along the way. Stay positive, believe in yourself and keep your chin up. We wrote about how to stay positive during a job hunt recently – see here for some more advice.

Speak to a recruitment agent

If you’re thinking about changing career a reputable recruitment agent should be able to give you some good advice. At RecruitAbility we have a lot of experience helping people who are starting out again. Call us on 01279 758855 to see how we could help.

Posted on Monday Nov 4