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Five steps to making a career change

Employees can go through many different job titles in their lives and a career change isn’t out of the ordinary either. And it seems that’s even truer if you’re returning to work after a break or can’t see yourself in your current position for the next ten years.

Here are our top points to consider when it comes to career changes:

1. Ask yourself, is a career change what you want?

If you’ve just been on extended parental leave, you’ll have had plenty of time to assess what it is you want to do with your life. But don’t give up on your career if you’re mainly worried that your profession can’t support greater work- balance. The chances are that your company or companies will have a flexible working policy or will be in the process of implementing changes outlined by the government in April 2016.

All companies have to take flexible working requests seriously. If you’ve worked hard to get where you once were, there’s no reason why you can’t get back there again, even on a part-time basis. So if you’ve spent many years establishing a professional career, why not talk to your current employer about flexible working or give our flexible recruitment agency a call? The chances are, there are more opportunities than you think.

2. Decide what it is you want to do

If you know you want a change but not sure what that looks like, consider attending a course or signing up with a Career Coach who can help you identify your key motivations, drivers, skills and competencies to set you off in the right direction.  It’s much easier to make a change if you know the direction you want to pursue.

3. Network, network, network

The best and easiest way to move your career in a fresh direction is the network like crazy. Often, success comes around by simply making your intentions known. For example, if working with children has always motivated you, tell everyone you know who has contact with a local school. Speak to the school directly about offering your services on a voluntary basis. That way, if a new opportunity comes up, you’ll be high on the list of people to contact. Building a network in the area that interests you is highly important. It will also help you to make sure that this new direction is definitely for you.

4. Sort out a solid financial plan

If your career change involves starting a new business, you’ll ideally still be in employment so you can squirrel away some funds to set it up with. Finance will be key if a new business venture is calling – the sooner you start planning, the better. If there’s no money available straight away, wait until you can get some – by saving, earning more, borrowing or using a bonus. There are also adult training grants available if you’re considering re-training to gain new professional skills in another area. If you’re seeking greater work-life balance, your career change may result in a pay cut, so deciding where your priorities lie is a must-ask question – and ultimately, whether you can afford it.

5. Rework your CV

Selling yourself on paper is crucial when applying for a new role. Bring out any transferable skills you have from previous roles and make sure they leap off the page of your new CV. Recruiters use a CV to make a match between the candidate (or Member as we like to say) and the employer, so it’s important that you re-work your CV to be more relevant to any role you go for. If you haven’t got the right skills yet, try to get on a course or complete some voluntary work in a relevant area so you can talk about this on your CV.

A career change or just greater flexibility?

Part-time and flexible working roles are more prevalent than they used to be, but they can still be difficult to come by. In the last ten years, we have seen gains for flexible workers, but job adverts still fail to mention flexible working options routinely. If this changes drastically in the near future – and hopefully it will – career changes may not be as necessary as they once were.

All in all, a career change can be just the ticket to reinvigorate a flagging desire to get up in the morning but it isn’t an easy option. You can’t expect a quick fix either – it can take time and dedication before you truly see the benefits of going in a new direction. But when it does work out, it’s can be a life changing moment, with many people saying they’ve never looked back. We’ll be sharing some of the success stories here as part of our ten years of Ten2Two blog series.

If you’d like to discuss your career options in more detail, please get in touch. Register as a Ten2Two member via our website today – we’d love to hear from you.

4 min read