Traditionally, the majority of people went to school, gained qualifications, found a job, and stuck with it. Workers in previous generations choose a career path and spent their working life moving up that particular ladder. They might have moved between companies or to new locations, but generally, they stayed on their path. Career changes happened, but with the expense of education, limited options to learn in later life, and the pressure of having to provide financially, they were rare.
Nowadays things are different. There are more opportunities available to us. We can return to school, study online, start our own businesses, gain experience as a freelancer, and try new things. More people than ever are switching careers, sometimes after long and successful periods or even following retirement from something that they’ve always done.
If you are looking to change career in Oxford, there’s plenty to think about. But there are also lots of opportunities available. Here are some tips to help you plan your career change.
Access Your Current Career
The first thing that you need to do if you are looking to try a new career, is looking at your current one, as well as any jobs that you have had previously.
Why Do You Want a New Career?
Ask yourself why you want a new career? There are many benefits to a career change, these include:
- Better pay
- Better work-life balance
- Reduced stress levels
- Fewer hours
- An easier or shorter commute
- An exciting new challenge
- To find passion at work
- Greater enjoyment
- A chance to progress that was previously unavailable
Typically, we look for a new career because our current position isn’t ticking enough of those boxes, but it’s important that you know exactly what you are looking for, or you risk finding another job with the same limitations as the last.
What Do You Like About Your Current, and Previous Jobs?
Take a look at every job you’ve ever had and ask yourself what you liked about them. Write a list of everything that you enjoyed, including things like salary and responsibilities, but also day-to-day things like interaction with customers, uniform, and location.
What Do You Dislike?
Then, write a list of the things that you’ve disliked about your jobs. Include everything, however trivial. These lists are important because they help you to avoid your dislikes and find more of the likes. They could also help you to figure out what you want to do if you want a career change but are struggling to know what direction to take.
Write a List of Your Transferable Skills
Writing a list of your transferable skills can help you to identify possible careers, or if you already know what you want to do, it can show you where you need to improve or highlight qualifications or training that you might need.
When you are writing this list, don’t just think about the skills that you’ve gained in the workplace or education. Think also of the skills that you’ve gained in your personal life, from hobbies, your home life, and experiences that you’ve gained out of work.
Take Your Personality into Consideration
Your personality also plays a part in finding the right career. Think about your personality traits and characteristics and try to match them to a career that you’d enjoy.
Perhaps the best way to find the right new career for you is to brainstorm. If you’ve worked in the same job for a while, you might not even be sure what is out there. So, start brainstorming. Add jobs that your friends and family do, careers that you wanted when you were a kid, and browse available jobs online for more ideas. Write down anything that you have any interest in at all.
Look At Available Positions in Detail
When you look at available jobs, don’t just look at the titles. Read through the job descriptions, qualifications needed, and also things like salary. You might find that some careers that you’d never considered actually appeal to you more than you might think.
Consider Training and Qualifications
Your current skills and experience might mean that you can gain some jobs very easily. There might be careers that you can walk into without having to gain further qualifications.
But for the most part, unless you want to start at the bottom with an entry-level position, you might need to take a course, commit to training, or at least brush up on your existing skills.
Nursing is a popular choice for people looking for a new challenge, and with online programs, you can fast track your progress. Online accelerated BSN online programs courses from Baylor University give you a chance to study while you work, or while you explore other interests.
Try it Out
If you aren’t sure what you want to do, volunteering can give you a fantastic way to get some helpful experience but also a chance to test it out, to find out if it’s really what you want to do, before you leave your current job or sing up for a costly training program.
When it comes to a career change who you know can be as important as what you know. If you know anyone that works in the profession you are interested in joining, get in touch. Arrange a lunch, have a chat, and mention your goals. You can also use LinkedIn to find connections that you might not be aware of.
Update Your CV
If you’ve already written a list of transferable skills, now you need to add them to your CV. If you are considering applying for jobs in different areas, make sure you tailor your CV to each application, including any relevant skills and experience.
Consider a Sideways Move
If you like the company that you work for, but feel like you need a new challenge, consider moving to a new role in the same company. This can be easier than leaving and starting again and is worth considering before you make any big changes.
Changing careers is a big deal, but with the range of training and education available, there’s no reason to stick with a job that doesn’t make you happy.