Opinion

Changing careers? Here’s how to achieve one of life’s big challenges.

The silver lining to the redundancy cloud is the golden opportunity it presents people who want to reassess their career choices and change profession. It’s undoubtedly one of life’s biggest challenges but with courage and willpower, what may seem impossible at first can be achieved.Before the financial crisis employers frowned upon career changers, but after a few years of job market instability they are no longer so quick to judge. This is bolstering people’s confidence and enabling them to move in a different direction to find something they really want to do.

Be warned: career changing is not the easy option!It demands your undivided attention but if you’re dead-set on being happier in your work, and, therefore, your daily life, all of the hard work will be worth it.

Whether you’re an astrophysicist with a yearning to be a ceramicist, or a teacher with a passion for plumbing, you can be one of the few who actually realises their desires. Here’s how to get started…

Research, research, research

What looks like a wonderful career from the outside could soon lose its shine if you don’t enjoy (or at least tolerate) the more monotonous duties of a dream job! So, talk to experienced professionals in your desired field of work to get a realistic insight into what is involved.

Read books, check out industry websites and sign up to free e-newsletters. Digest as much information as your brain can handle before making a decision.

Back to school!

If your dream job requires new skills then re-training is an option. Explore adult education and holiday courses at local schools, colleges or universities. If you want to continue working while changing career take a look at distance learning or online courses, which you can complete at your own pace. This is ideal if you also have a busy family life.

Network your way to a new career

Get out and network with professionals in the area you want to move into. This way, you’ll hear about opportunities first, get invaluable advice and secure meetings. Your local Chamber of Commerce may also hold regular events that are free to attend and sign up to Meetup.com to find other nearby activity.

Find a good recruitment agency

Looking for a recruitment agency in Chelmsford, Norwich, Ipswich or Cambridge? Give Pure a call to talk about opportunities in your area. Recruitment consultants can give you a lot of ‘inside’ industry information and provide you with an idea of the kind of salary you may start on.

Get coaching

A career coach can guide, mentor and motivate you. If you only have a vague idea of the area you want to move into a coach can also help you pin down a specific job. This is very useful if you’re feeling doubtful or you need a boost now and again to get you through the transition.

Follow your heart (but be realistic)

Many people make a career change based on the kind of life they want to live – not how much they want to earn. They may want more flexibility, so they go freelance, or perhaps they want to be more creative, so they move into an exciting marketing job.

But be totally honest with yourself; be prepared to delay your dream or make a compromise. If you can’t afford to give it all up and become a boat builder then you could transfer to a job similar to your current one in the marine industry until you’re in a position to really go for it.

If funding is an obstacle but you really don’t want to wait a Professional and Career Development Loan may be an option.

Good Luck!