Career change – making it work for you

Career change – making it work for you

More people change jobs at the start of a new year than at any other time. But what if you want a whole new career too? If you’re not loving what you do, how do you take your working life in a whole new direction? We spoke to some people who did just that and have never looked back.

Find your passion 

Sometimes uncovering what really drives you takes time. Janine 41, worked as a bookstore assistant and librarian. “I realised books were my hobby but that my real passion was helping children with educational difficulties. I decided to spend some of my savings and become an Occupational Therapist. It took four years but now I want to go to work every day – that’s something I hadn't experienced before.”

Step sideways 

Your perfect move might be within your current company. John, 34 felt making a complete career switch was too big a change, so he made his move closer to home. Sitting at his sales desk, he watched the management team and thought, “I could do that”. John breathed new life into his career by asking HR about retraining. “I used to come to work and just get through the day, now I love my job and the salary too!”

Do the pros and cons 

According to Career Coach, Colin Drake, you should, “re-evaluate your job every three years to see if you are on track”. “Do the hours, commute and re-numeration still work for you? Most importantly, do you have job satisfaction? If you need to make a change – do it. Change can feel daunting, so don't do it alone. Ask family and friends - what do they see you doing? List your interests, values, skills and volunteer work. If you are still drawing blanks consult a career counselor. Look for internships or volunteer opportunities that would first allow you to get a real taste of the job. Talk to your bank about personal loans and financial planning during your transition to make sure you have a manageable financial plan. The most important thing is to do what you love, everything else will fall into place if you do.”

Make a plan 

Following this advice worked for Clare, 47. After a long corporate career, she returned from maternity leave to find she was no longer happy with the daily grind and it certainly didn't give her the flexibility parenting can require. She followed her passion to reduce, reuse, recycle. With a smart business plan, a small business loan from her bank and some determination, she is now working from home for her reusable lunch products company. Something she would never have envisioned just five short years ago. “Doing what is important to me feels so good and I am more financially successful that I could have ever dreamed.”