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How to change your career

Updated: Sep 30, 2022

"Almost a quarter (24%) of employees in the UK say they plan to move jobs within the next three to six months." (Randstad UK)

Are you one of them? Find out how to make the career change you dream of.

Everyone I work with wants to make a change in their career.

It’s driven by a range of reasons but the most common, in my experience, is a desire to find something better aligned with what matters to each person.

Maybe it’s about a better work:life balance, so they can spend more time with their family or friends, or on their hobbies and interests. Maybe it’s about finding work that gives them a sense of purpose and meaning. Maybe it’s about following a long-held (and long-stifled) passion. Maybe it’s about achieving the next step towards their career ambition.

What it’s rarely about is simply earning more money. (Even when this is a factor, for the people I work with it’s generally down the list.)

Joblist carried out some research (in the US) last year and found while the overall top reason given for making a career change was for a better salary (at 47%) this was driven by Millennials who are 20% more likely to change their job for more money. Other top reasons given included:

  • Too stressful: 39%

  • Better work/life balance: 37%

  • Wanted a new challenge: 25%

  • Boredom: 22%

  • Chasing a dream: 16%

And looking at the data in the 3 years following a career change, it looks like it was a good move for most people:

Other interesting points include:

  • Money didn’t have that significant an impact on emotional improvement. In fact, workers who earned less at their new job were more likely to have less stress compared to people who earned more.

  • Over 80% of survey participants said they wish they had made the change sooner – two years sooner, in fact.

  • 75% said they’d make the change again.

  • 50% said it had a positive impact on their relationship.

So, if you’re here because you’re now seriously thinking about your own career change you can be sure you’re not alone and hopefully you have some comfort that it’s likely to be a good decision.

But HOW do I make a change in my career?

Where do I start? Is the most common question I hear.

Some people are really clear on what that change will be and just need help with things like a new CV, updating their LinkedIn profile and preparing / practicing for interviews. (If that’s you, take a look at my Career Change Success services.)

Most people are less clear. They know they want to make a change – and often they need to as their career is impacting their mental and physical health – BUT they don’t know how.

So here are 7 steps to take you from getting started, through to career change success:

1. Audit your current job / career. Understand why you aren't happy and what needs to change. (My Career Audit download can help you pinpoint the specific areas.)

2. Audit your strengths, skills and achievements. Understand what really helps you enjoy work.

3. Be clear on what matters to you. What are your 'essential criteria'? Your non-negotiables?

4. Do your research. What does your ideal employer and role, look like?

5. Identify your skills and knowledge gaps and how to fill them. What do you need to learn or do?

6. Prepare to present your best self for your ideal role. Are you able to articulate your USP?

7. Be a great success in your new role! Be confident from day 1, add value in your first 90 days.

Download my free workbook: How to make a change in your career. It contains prompts that will help you prepare for and achieve, the career move you’re dreaming of.

If you’d like help to make the change in your career you're dreaming of, and / or a professional career mentor to support you in your development, get in touch to talk through how I can help you.

If you’ve found this blog helpful, it’ll be fabulous if you let others know so it can help them to! Here’s how:

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About Karen Felton

Karen Felton Leadership Career Change Success coach and mentor

Karen is a career development mentor and coach, enabling people to understand their strengths and values so they can make the change they dream of in their career.

She has over 25 years’ experience leading teams, coaching and mentoring people, developing leaders and enabling people to achieve their career goals. She is passionate about enabling people to be their best selves so they can perform at their best in work and in life.

Read more about Karen here.

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