5 Tips For A Successful Career Change

Published: 13 December 2023
5 Tips For A Successful Career Change

It’s no secret that making the switch is a huge life decision. As this can have a huge impact on your life, you want to make sure you take the right steps.

People change careers for many reasons, with some in need of a new challenge, others looking for increased pay, or perhaps turning a passion into a full-time job. If you’re browsing career change ideas, we’re here to help you get on the right path.

In this blog, we've put together our top five tips for ensuring your career change is a successful one - take a look below.

1. Why are you looking for a career change?

Before you take any initial steps, it's important to think about why you want to change your career. What are your motives for switching things up?

If you’ve lost passion for your job, lost focus or are no longer challenged, there’s a chance you no longer feel fulfilled by your career. This can create a feeling of struggle and have a knock-on effect on other aspects of your life. 

However, a career change isn’t always what you’re in need of. If any of the points below apply to you, it could just be a new job or job role that benefits you instead of a completely different career. 

  • You don't connect with your colleagues
  • The environment at your current workplace makes you feel unhappy or uncomfortable
  • You feel dissatisfied and/or unchallenged by the tasks your current role requires
  • There are no opportunities for you to progress in your current workplace
Senior male artist with white hair and beard painiting in a studioSenior male artist with white hair and beard painiting in a studio
Some people switch careers to pursue their passion

2. Evaluate your current skills

If you're thinking about switching to a new job that's very different from what you do now, consider the skills you already have. Even if they're not exactly the same, some skills can still be useful in your new job.

If you're not sure what job you want yet, make a list of all your skills, including the ones you don't get to use much in your current job. Look for transferable skills like communication and teamwork that will be useful in any job. Also, think about what makes you special or different from others.

When you start a new career, you might begin at a lower position than before, but that's okay. Your experience in a different job can still be a good thing. For example, being able to handle stress and lead teams can make you stand out in interviews. You never fully know what the interviewer is looking for, so it's good to highlight your unique skills.

3. Enrich your skillset

After you've identified your skills and chosen the job you want, create a new list of the skills needed for the job. Compare the lists to identify any gaps or weaknesses in your skillset. This will help you identify what skills you need to learn quickly before starting your new career.

Make a list of skills which are high priority and outline a plan of action. There are a variety of methods which can help you learn new skills quickly, whether it’s an adult course or self-teaching.

Quick Learning with City Lit

You'll find online courses on everything from art, history, and science - to digital skills, languages and other subjects at City Lit. Explore our courses designed to help you acquire workplace skills that are highly sought after by employers.

There are plenty of other resources to complement your classes too. Watch videos by experts online, download relevant educational apps or pick up a few textbooks and spend your time reading information from the experts and thought leaders in your new sector.

4. Gain some real-world work experience

Real-world experience is invaluable, but securing the first opportunity can be the hardest. If you're looking for employment but are struggling to get your foot on the ladder, there are a couple of things you can do to help your CV stand out.

Consider looking for part-time work, internships, volunteering, or even joining educational courses that offer experience in the workplace. These are all brilliant ways to get started. Not only will you have something unique to talk about in an interview, but it's sure to build your confidence in your own abilities too.

Going freelance can be a brilliant way to show off what you can do and get paid for it. It's perfect for bulking out a portfolio. Many people even do this on top of a full-time job to test the waters before changing careers. As long as there's no conflict with existing contracts, you should definitely explore your chosen field before switching careers.

If you need help with getting set up as a freelancer, you may find City Lit’s short course on freelancing interesting.

5. Make connections through networking

As you start your new career, it’s important that you don't forget about the people you meet along the way. Whether you've joined an online course with others, or you're volunteering somewhere, don't lose contact once it’s over. Stay connected and interact with others regularly - it can open many doors in the future.

Keep an eye out for networking events in your local area - they're a fantastic way to meet new people. Don't be afraid to reach out to like-minded people through a polite introduction on networks such as LinkedIn.

Are you ready to make you successful career move?

Changing careers can help you redefine your path in life and is a brilliant way of reinvigorating your passion for work. With the right motivation, you can transfer your skills and experience into a new career.

You should look into gaining new qualifications and brushing up on your workplace skills. This will help you jumpstart your new career. Don’t forget to build a professional network too as this will open new doors for you. Networking could lead to gaining work experience or even discovering a hidden role that's not advertised on the internet.

Whether you’re looking for a career change in London, where our classroom courses are based, or if you’re in another part of the UK taking one of our online courses, education is a great way to enrich your skills.

1 to 2 Year Courses at City Lit

Jumpstart your new career with an accredited qualification. Discover our 1-to-2-year courses along with many other short courses designed to fast track your career move. Join a City Lit course today and boost your CV with an industry-recognised qualification that will prepare you for the real world of work in your new career.

For more tips on how to build your skills and pursue your passion, visit our Career & Skills Hub.

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5 Tips For A Successful Career Change