Exploring Career Change Options

7 Ways To Rethink Your Next Career Move

Lost And Confused SignpostAre you desperate to change careers and trying to explore new career change options?

Here is a great tip to help you free up your thinking.

It is all about taking a sideways step and considering your career change options from a new angle.

So stop desperately trying to think of the job titles of some new career ideas that might inspire you and switch to considering new ways of working.

New ways of working

Especially with the current economic climate, employers and employees are looking for more flexible ways of working.

The challenge for you is to break out of that mindset that says you have to be in a full-time job that broadly operates Monday – Friday from 9.00am – 5.00pm (or longer in may cases).

Why does this have to be so? Who says that this is the way work has to be constructed? Are you just
assuming that this is the only way? What if you were to make a different assumption?

So what are the alternatives?


Employed – but part time

This does not necessarily mean dropping your hours. You could be in 2 or more part time jobs that add up to the equivalent of full time work.

And they do not need to be all the same kind of job. One could be related to your current role and another could be you dipping your toe into a new area of work.

Freelance / consultancy

You could explore the possibility of offering your services on a fee basis to a range of different employers. The work will be on a contract basis, but as you build up your reputation, you will find that contracts are often renewed and recommendations for your services are passed on.

Self employed

Yes, you could set up your own business. Don’t be put off by the thought that you have to have a plan to build a massive business empire. Many successful businesses start on a very small scale and just build gradually.

Why not explore creating a small business alongside some of your employed work?


If you are well established with your company, you may want to discuss the possibility of taking a sabbatical – a period of weeks or months away from your job on full/half/no pay. This frees you up to explore some new ideas or take a course of further study but gives you the security of being able to return to your job refreshed and renewed.

Think they wouldn’t consider it? You’ll never know if you don’t ask!

Voluntary work

This is a great career change option that will allow you to test the water with any new career ideas you may have. As it is voluntary, you can commit as much or as little time as you feel able. It could be simply a matter of shadowing someone in a field that interests you for a single day. Or it could be an evening a week for a longer period.

You could even take a few days annual leave to go and test drive a new career idea somewhere else.


I know this is not often seen as work – but maybe we should acknowledge its place in the grand scheme of our working lives. Further study can be a stepping stone to a new career, whether it is a short evening class or a three year degree course. How could taking a class open up new career change options for you?

A combination of these

This is the really exciting bit. You can combine many of the above ideas in lots of interesting and creative ways. You could be self employed, part time employed and freelance, while doing an evening class and a bit of voluntary work.

And do you know what? You will probably find that this makes for a much more interesting working life than being stuck in one job day in day out.

So I challenge you to free up your thinking and consider how structuring your working life differently could give you the breakthrough you need with the career change options you are exploring.

Your first step is just to start investigating the possibilities…so when will you begin?

About the author

Amy Thomas

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