Looking for New Career Ideas?

These suggestions will give you lots of food for thought!

New career ideas are often the one thing you are short of when you start thinking about a career change. You may be quite clear about what you don’t want to do, but be really struggling when it comes to thinking of alternatives that appeal.

 career ideas As a long time career coach, I know that clients often want to get into the business of identifying their new career as soon as possible.But that does not mean that I can recommend simply opening a careers encyclopaedia and picking a job title.

You may have a particular career idea in mind already, something you think you will enjoy – social work, for example. But you can’t always

just get straight into a social work job, you will need to train first by attending a suitable course.

The same applies to other careers such as teaching and law and there are many others where a qualification will certainly help.

As you will have already gathered from the rest of this website, making a career change is not an overnight exercise.

However, if you are looking for new career ideas, it can sometimes help to get your thinking started if you just explore what is out there. If you approach this exercise in an open minded way, it can open up your mind to a range of possibilities you might not have considered otherwise.

Career themes

You may think that you have no ideas, but in fact most people can define some broad themes for what they want from a new career, so on this page I have listed a range of jobs according to some typical categories that career changers identify. I have selected 20 in each category, but of course there are many, many more.

Take a look at these themes and see if there are any that attract you, for whatever reason, and if so, pop them into your Career Ideas Log.

It may be that you will not find your perfect new career on the lists below, but I hope they will, at very least, get you thinking. You can then go on and use the rest of the ideas and exercises on this site to make sure you make the career change decision that is uniquely right for you.

New career ideas if you want to…
Work with people

This depends, of course, on how you want to interact with people. Do you want to advise them, sell to them, teach them, cure them or manage them? As you can imagine, the jobs will be very different according to your priorities.

You could consider…

  • Teacher
  • Nursery nurse
  • Social worker
  • Physiotherapist
  • Air cabin crew
  • Education welfare officer
  • Manager
  • Paramedic
  • Welfare rights adviser
  • Health visitor
  • Store demonstrator
  • Personal fitness trainer
  • Police officer
  • Community worker
  • Receptionist
  • Public relations
  • Tourist information centre assistant
  • Museum education officer
  • Volunteer organiser
  • Solicitor

New career ideas if you want to…
Work with your hands

This depends on the way you want to use your hands. Do you want to be making something new, or are you happy just to be working with or fixing something?

You could consider…

  • Building trades eg plumber, painter & decorator
  • Theatre props maker
  • Jewellery designer & maker
  • Market gardener
  • Boat builder
  • Landscape gardener
  • Graphic designer
  • Chef
  • Model maker
  • Dressmaker
  • Conservator
  • Furniture restorer
  • Florist
  • Make up artist
  • Hairdresser
  • Massage therapist
  • Mechanic
  • Audio-visual technician
  • Computer engineer / technician
  • Forensic scientist
  • Massage therapist
  • Dog groomer

New career ideas if you want to…
Work outdoors

This one depends on whether you mean outdoors all the time and in all weathers or just not stuck in an office. Are you really a fresh air fiend or do you just want some variety?

You could consider…

  • Farmer
  • Garden centre worker
  • Animal welfare officer
  • Animal care assistant
  • Quantity surveyor
  • Roofer
  • Civil engineer
  • Window fitter
  • Sales representative
  • Ecologist
  • Park ranger
  • Zookeeper
  • Work with animals
  • Cruise ship steward
  • Road/rail maintenance worker
  • Traffic warden
  • Police officer
  • Firefighter
  • Armed forces
  • Tourist guide
  • Sports coach

New career ideas if you want to…
Earn lots of money

This one depends on what you mean by lots of money? How much is lots? How much are you prepared to commit to training and what kind of hours are you ready to work to get this? In many cases, the money comes with seniority so you have to work up to it – unless you are lucky and get an early break on a TV talent show!

You could consider…

  • Entrepreneur
  • Investment Banker (hmmm, maybe not just at the moment!)
  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Lawyer
  • Politician
  • Company director
  • Accountant
  • Judge
  • Senior police officer
  • Company secretary
  • Stockbroker
  • Chief executive
  • Professional sportsperson*
  • Model*
  • Actor*
  • Musician*
  • TV Personality*
  • Rock star*
  • Artist*

* All of these clearly depend on rather a lot of luck too!

New career ideas if you want to…
Travel as part of your job

This one depends on how much you want to travel and where to. Do you want to be permanently based abroad for weeks or months, or do you just want occasional trips abroad? Or does travel just mean being in different places on a daily or occasional basis from your main place of work?

You could consider…

  • Air cabin crew
  • Travel representative
  • Foreign correspondent
  • Diplomat
  • Armed forces
  • Merchant navy
  • Hotel manager
  • Oceanographer
  • Interpreter
  • Event planner
  • Conservation officer
  • Town planner
  • Pilot
  • Driver / chauffeur
  • Actor / Musician
  • Roadie
  • Insurance risk assessor
  • Nursery nurse
  • Location manager
  • Geophysicist

New career ideas if you want to…
Do something creative

This depends on what you mean by creative? Is there a particular form of creativity you are longing to express? Or do you just mean you want to have the chance to think up new ideas as part of your job? Or maybe just being amongst creative people would be enough?

You could consider…

  • Artist
  • Actor/Singer/Dancer
  • Novelist/Poet
  • Screenwriter
  • Sound designer
  • Online Writer/Blogger
  • Sculptor
  • Special needs teacher
  • Computer games developer
  • Inventor
  • Photographic stylist
  • Theatre director
  • Fashion designer
  • Graphic designer
  • Interior designer
  • Art gallery curator
  • Animator
  • Advertising art director
  • Events organiser
  • Press officer
  • Journalist

New career ideas if you want to…
Make a difference

This one depends on what you mean by making a difference? Who or what do you want to influence? What kind of difference do you want to make? Will it be directly with individuals or on a wider scale?

You could consider…

  • Charity worker
  • Politician
  • Nurse
  • Doctor
  • Psychologist
  • Animal behaviourist
  • Senior civil servant
  • Social worker
  • Journalist
  • Writer
  • Fitness instructor
  • Life coach
  • Youth worker
  • Drugs/addiction counsellor
  • Occupational therapist
  • Lobbyist
  • Research scientist
  • Veterinary surgeon
  • Paramedic
  • Inventor

New career ideas if you want to…
Work for yourself

This one depends on what skills and temperament you have. Some of these ideas may require specialist knowledge. Do you have a skill you can sell? Are you willing to invest in some training first before you set up your business? Have you got the drive and commitment to go it alone?

You could consider…

  • Driving instructor
  • Franchise owner
  • Child care
  • Dog walking /sitting
  • Affiliate marketer
  • Desktop publishing
  • Proofreading & editing
  • House minding
  • Gardening
  • Image consultant
  • DIY & repairs
  • Selling e-goods
  • Minicab driver
  • Party planning & selling
  • Greeting cards & gift cards
  • Indexing
  • Leaflet/brochure distribution
  • Complementary therapies
  • Life coach
  • Window cleaning
  • Word processing
  • Volunteer organiser
  • Home tuition
  • Organic veg box delivery
  • Window box/hanging basket maintenance
  • Translation work
  • Pet food home delivery
  • Telesales
  • Specialist catering
  • Generate income from your hobby or interest
  • Personal trainer
  • Web site designer
  • Interior designer
  • Writing
  • Market research
  • Yoga/pilates teacher
  • Picture framing
  • Property finding service
  • Work freelance

What next?

Have you found any inspiration here? If yes, then start doing some more research into the new career ideas that have caught your eye. You will find tips on how to do this research here.

If you are still feeling unsure, then why not have a look at the exercises elsewhere on this site. You can explore…

Your personality
Your skills
Your interests
Your values
Your achievements

Reflecting on these aspects of what makes you who you are will help you to to approach your career change planning from a number of different perspectives.

About the author

Amy Thomas

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