According to data by Quadmark, an international provider of creative training and learning, 70% of UK employees considered a career change.
Understanding and navigating both personal and professional change can indeed be daunting. Examining your professional life could reveal areas that could benefit from transformation, and even help you determine whether a complete change in job aligns with your goals.
Firstly, we want to help you understand which parts of your current role has brought about these feelings of needing change. Once you’ve isolated this aspect, you can then determine the appropriate next steps.
Identify which job aspect requires a change
Most jobs have four essential aspects which, if negatively impacted, can motivate us to seek a different career path or job:
- People. Whom you’re working with can significantly impact the quality of your work, how your skills are nurtured, and your feelings surrounding your work-life balance. Having people that you learn from or connect with is important for your mental health. If that’s not the case, you might feel lonely and alienated, potentially leading to stress and unhappiness.
- Purpose. Why am I doing this? What’s the point of this task? Why should I do this for you? Are my values at odds with my current role? If you feel yourself asking these questions frequently, your work may no longer align well with your motivations. Our motivations and interests evolve as we get older, so it’s possible to feel yourself no longer enjoying one of more aspects of your job. It’s important to remember that you should not let this demotivate you but instead let it promote personal growth and upskilling for another path.
- Industry or role. If you don’t enjoy the core aspect of your job, for example, the service you’re offering, this can lead to a lack of confidence and understanding, as well as a heightened sense of imposter syndrome. This doesn’t reflect your perseverance; it just means you’ve explored something and realised it’s not the right fit for you.
- Progression. If you feel stuck or can’t see further growth in your current job because it isn’t serving your professional goals or exposing you to new experiences, this could be a sign that you’re ready for a new role or career.
If you’ve identified with some of these tell-tale signs, it might well be time to start thinking about your next move and what is best for your mental, physical, or financial health.
If a career change is what you need, but you’re unsure of what comes next, our expert at caba has shared expert advice that will help you make a smooth transition:
Need a career change but unsure what’s next?
1. Update your CV
Whilst this will come in handy when applying to other roles, updating your CV is a great way to start the process of reflecting on your career and goals, including:
- Personal strengths/weaknesses
- Interpersonal skills
- Hobbies and interests
- A long-term career goal
- Personal achievements and future aspirations
This is the first step to understanding what motivates you and how you can be happy in your career.
2. Map out potential careers
At this point, it’s a good idea to explore and reflect on what would be the perfect workday for you. Do you prefer remote, hybrid, or office working? Is there an ideal location to be based? Would you like to start your day off with creative work or client relations? Questions like these will help you imagine your ideal career.
Once you’ve done this, you can then begin researching careers and industries that might fit well with your values and skills. Throughout this process, always keep in mind the aspects of your current role that you aren’t enjoying. If you find this challenging, it can help to seek guidance from recruiters, your professional network, or your loved ones.
3. Research potential job matches
Now that you’ve narrowed down your desired career fields, you can begin to explore a career in this area. A good way to learn more is to read job descriptions and research other professionals in a similar role.
This will also give you an idea of the qualifications needed and what a typical day might look like in this role.
With your deep-dive knowledge of potential paths, the next step is to create an action plan to help you get there.
It’s never too late to change your job or career if any aspect of it is causing issues or affecting your personal life, and we have more advice available online for handing in your resignation. Taking it one step at a time should help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed, but we’re here to help if you need any advice or support with your career.
Suzie Dawes, head of people and culture of the occupational charity caba.
The articles we publish on Psychreg are here to educate and inform. They’re not meant to take the place of expert advice. So if you’re looking for professional help, don’t delay or ignore it because of what you’ve read here. Check our full disclaimer.