New year, new career? Our top tips for a successful career change

Ah, January. The month of motivation, resolutions and starting afresh. With the Christmas chaos over and the holiday hangover gone, it’s not surprising that many of us take this time to reflect on our current situation and assess what needs changing, including our jobs. After all, over a third of us in the UK are dissatisfied with our current role.

There are many contributing factors towards job dissatisfaction. Whether you’re continually stressed, bored, or unsupported, there’s little progression or it’s diminishing your self-esteem, if you’re experiencing tell-tale signs of discontent, then it may be time for you to start a new chapter in the tale of your career journey.

But how do we know if it’s really time to move on? And how do you go about transitioning into a whole new career? We’ve put together our top tips that will guide you towards your successful career change when you realise that it’s time to start afresh elsewhere.

Time to self-reflect 

We spend around 70% of our life at work – crazy, right? So you must take a step back and understand the impact that your current job actually has on you. When you reflect on your own attitudes towards your job; how does it make you feel? Do you feel dissatisfied, undervalued or stuck in a rut? How often is it that you feel this way? Here are a few indicators to watch out for:  

  • You’re bored
  • You no longer feel passionate or interested
  • You feel stressed
  • You’re losing sleep
  • You dread Monday morning
  • You have no drive to progress

If you’ve experienced any of the above consistently over the past few months, it is probably a good indication that what you’re doing is no longer right for you. So, why not do some research on other career paths that could be better suited?

Assessing the ‘sitch’

If you’ve recognised that you’re dissatisfied with your job role, the next step is to evaluate what it is that’s actually leaving you unfulfilled. What don’t you like about it? What would you rather be doing that would improve your overall job enjoyment? What job activities will help you achieve this?  

Take this time to uncover your interests, passions and skills. What are you actually good at? Are you creative? Do you have an analytical mindset? Do you enjoy being social and speaking to new people?

You may find that you enjoy the work you do currently, but it’s a wrong culture fit, or you’ve outgrown the business you’re currently in. In that case, a job in the same industry but in a different company may be best for you to explore. If you decide that you’d like a completely new career path, it may be useful to brainstorm your skills and what you enjoy doing, so you can gage a strong idea of what career paths would complement you well.

Taking an online test will also help to give you insight into your motivations, skills and what jobs are best suited. Researching different career options is also a great way of discovering new jobs that could be a good fit.

The transition to your new career path

So you’ve got a new career path in mind, great! Now it’s time to do your research, learn the industry and uncover what you need to do to secure that dream job.

Get learning!

Some career changes may require additional qualifications or experience. Partaking in free online courses shows that you have a keen interest in learning about the industry. Anything that demonstrates eagerness i.e. attending a seminar, work experience or completing online certifications will give you a higher chance of impressing in the interview. You can take a look at available courses here.

Update your CV and socials 

Be sure to update your CV and tailor your skill set/attributes to those that complement the industry well. Once you’ve attended any relevant classes or courses, and achieved some certifications, make sure you include these. Specify what they've taught you, and which areas you found most interesting, defining those areas that are suitable to your character also!

Updating your LinkedIn is a great way to find a job and build a network of relevant contacts! Edit your title to show that you’re looking for a new job and connect with people in the industry as well as recruiters. Remember to also update your skill section to include attributes relevant to the industry.

Selling yourself in your interview 

Focus on your transferrable skills

There’s no doubt that you’ve gained some valuable skills throughout your previous roles. Discover what skills are valuable within your new career and which ones complement your new career aspirations well. Remember to highlight these transferrable skills in your interview, this will demonstrate that you have a good understanding of the role and that you know you possess the right skills.

Preparation is key

Most importantly, you must do your research on common interview processes and questions related to that industry. Along with this, prep your answers for common interview questions for a career change, such as the below:

  • ‘Why are you interested in a career in x?’
  • ‘Why do you want to change career?’
  • ‘What value can you bring?’
  • ‘What do you know about this job role?’

In the interview

Make sure you highlight everything that you’ve taken part in and studied in your free time that relates to the industry, as it will show the interviewer that you’re keen. If you can find an interesting topic to talk about that will help find common ground, even better!

Lastly, remember to highlight your long-term career goals and aspirations, discussing how this career change will fit in with these. If you would like to see our top interview tips, take a look here.

Given the amount of time we spend working, it’s so important to have a job that you enjoy doing. If you’ve found yourself in a job that you no longer enjoy, it may be a good idea to do some research and discover new career paths more suited to you. Remember, seeking out your passions and interests is key to finding the right job for you!

Looking for jobs in chemistry, pharmaceutical, or the medical device sector? Take a full look at our available science jobs here!

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