Career Change Advice and Ideas

Where Do You Begin?

OK - so you are here for some career change advice. You have decided that this time you are really going to go for it. This time you won’t just moan to your partner about how awful your job is or drown your sorrows over another cappuccino or a beer / glass of wine with your friends. This time you are going to take a deep breath and seriously explore how you can get to do something different with your life.

But that can feel pretty scary. It’s such a big move. How will you know if you are going to like your new career? Well, there is no simple answer to that, but there is no doubt that the more care and attention you devote to your career change, the more likely you are to succeed.

First of all

jogging track in the park

So what career change advice can I offer? How do you start the ball rolling?

Is it really a complete career change that you need?

Career frustration can sometimes make you grab at the idea of a new career, a new life, without thinking it through first. You may find that an adjustment of your current job can make all the difference. Read more...

Career or life change?

Your job may be driving you nuts, but a useful career change advice is to stop and take stock of the whole of your life. You may find that an adjustment elsewhere could make all the difference. Read more...

Check your attitude to your career change

Understanding your attitude to change can make a big difference to your chances of success. We all have different approaches to change and some people will tackle changing careers more positively and confidently than others. Click here to read more about defining your attitude to change.

Another  useful career change advice is to consider just how important it is to you to make this career change happen. Try asking yourself a simple question...

'How will I feel in 12 months time if I do nothing?'

A project not a problem

Make the decision to treat your career change as an exciting new project you are embarking on rather than as a problem you have to overcome.

If you are unhappy with your job it can be easy to feel defeated before you have even begun. The minute you label the issue of career change as a problem you will set up a whole host of expectations in your mind that this is going to be difficult.

Projects, on the other hand are journeys of adventure where you set off, knowing you don’t yet have all the answers, but ready to research and explore until you find suitable ideas. A project mindset will help you keep positive.

think outside the box...go for creativity, set your imagination free.

Open your mind

If you start any project with too narrow a focus on how you think it should be approached, you will probably miss some great ideas and possibilities.

It’s the same with career exploration.

Tell yourself that, for the time being, you are going to be open minded about the options you will consider. There will be plenty of time later on for a reality check. For now, determine to listen out for that little voice that says 'yes, but…' and to ignore it. Throw the net widely at this stage – you will be amazed at the ideas that can come bubbling up when you keep your mind open.

Take it slowly

Career change is potentially a major life decision, so don’t expect to sort it all out in a couple of evenings. It is a big and exciting project! Enjoy the journey, enjoy what you will find out about yourself along the way and take the time to do the thinking and reflection and to explore your options fully.

Break it down into small manageable steps

Career changers sometime stumble by trying to jump too far in one fell swoop. Sometimes that can work. But more sensible changing career advice would suggest that it is that often better to take it in small steps. This means so you experience a sense of progress and achievement on a regular basis rather than having to wait for the grand finale!

Make a commitment

Make a clear and firm decision that your Career Change Project starts today. Write it down. Put it on a post-it note on your bathroom mirror. Tell a few key friends. Be committed.

So what do I do now?

The next bit of career change advice has got to be to start taking action. Thinking is not enough, you need to be doing too!

If you do nothing, nothing will change

Create a Career Change Project File

When I give clients a career change advice, I always encourage them to be organised about the process. So buy or create a folder, box file, ring binder – anything that will do to hold your ideas.

You will be doing a lot of thinking about yourself, your life and your work as you go along. You will need to capture that all in a safe place where you can refer to it. Read more...

Start your Career Ideas Log

From day one of your Career Change Project, you need to on the look out for any ideas you have about your future work options.

This does not necessarily mean specific job titles (accountant, image consultant, wildlife photographer). It can just be ideas or words that capture your imagination, such as travel, lively, challenge. Or it could just be themes like ‘I want to help people’, or ‘I want to be creative in my work’.

Keep a notepad, scrapbook or folder to contain all the ideas that appeal to you - however crazy they may seem at this point.

You'll find more ideas about how to fill your Career Ideas Log here.

Find support

Don’t go it alone. Find a Career Change Buddy, or if you want to have a more formal support relationship with someone, you could try co-coaching.

Ideally seek out someone who you can share your plans with. Choose someone who you trust and who you know will be supportive and encouraging. Tell them about the career change process you are going through, brainstorm ideas with them, meet with them regularly to report back so that they help to keep you on target. When you are changing career, advice and support from others is essential.

So the best career change advice I can give you here at the beginning of the process is to...

  • take your time
  • be ready to open your mind to explore new possibilities
  • and then just do it!

Want to get started right now? Why not take a look at...

Reviewing your current situation and finding out what you can learn from it. Read more…

Working out what you have to offer – your skills, values and interests. Read more…

Exploring you career personality. Find out how your personal preferences affect your career choices. Read more…

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