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Plan your career

Are you ready to change career?

Maybe you have reached a point in your working life when you need a new challenge. You might even be thinking about a completely new career direction.

We all have times when we get frustrated with our jobs. But stop and think first - will things get better or has the job run its course and it's time to take action? If you decide it's time for action, the next decision is whether it's a fresh job role, a different organisation or a completely new direction you need. Read on for help with deciding if your career needs a little tweak or a full overhaul....

How satisfied are you with your career?

Thinking about what you've achieved in your career so far can be a good place to start. Success means different things to different people, but you may want to consider whether you’ve:

  • enjoyed the challenges you've met in your work
  • been promoted in line with your talents
  • achieved a salary that lets you live the way you want
  • built up expertise in your line of work
  • made an impact - within your organisation, or more widely
  • earned the respect of clients, customers and colleagues

Is it time for a career change?

Working out whether your current job has let you achieve the level of success you want should give you an idea of whether it's time for a change.

If you think a career change could benefit you, you’ll need to decide whether you want:

  • a new role in your current organisation
  • a change of employer
  • a completely different career

Asking yourself some of the following questions may help you to work this out.

Are you enjoying your job?

If you no longer enjoy the day-to-day activities in your job, it might be that you've been in this type of role too long and you need a new challenge. Moving to a different department within your organisation, or to a different employer might solve the problem.

If you actively dislike parts of your day-to-day job - or you don't get the chance to use all of your talents - ask yourself whether what you do is typical for someone in your line of work. If you're dissatisfied with the job itself, changing department or employer may not improve things. You may want to consider a bigger change.

If you decide you do want to re-train, you'll have to decide how to go about it. If you've got financial commitments you may prefer to stay in your current job and do a part-time or flexible course.

Do you feel motivated by the people you work with?

How do you get on with colleagues, managers, clients and others in your workplace? Consider whether any problems are due to personality clashes with particular individuals, the culture of the workplace, or because of the nature of the job itself.

If you like the people you work with but are frustrated by the actual work, you may want to look at changing your role within the organisation, or looking for a different role with a similar employer.

Are you satisfied with your work-life balance?

If you're looking for a better fit with your family life, a change of job isn't always necessary.

Technology is making it possible for more people to spend time working from home. Bear in mind that you may have the right to ask your employer to make arrangements for flexible working (though they can refuse if there's a good business reason to do so).


Talk to an adviser

I just wish I'd heard about the National Careers Service sooner!

How can I find out more?

If you'd like more advice about a career change, contact one of our National Careers Service advisers.

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