Career Woman

Change career paths: Why it’s never too late to consider a career change


Careers are one of the most important parts of our lives. Yes, they’re how we earn a living, but they are also important to measuring our self worth, and if we choose not to pursue a certain career path, we can often wonder ‘what if’ we change career paths … and woder for years or even decades into the future.

Perhaps you find yourself thinking about a certain career path but are scared it’s just not worth it to change career paths: your training will take too long, you need the income now to support your family, or maybe you’re afraid you’re simply not made for the role.

The thing is, many people change career paths successfully, even when they are older – on average, people change careers five to seven times in their lifetimes. With this in mind, we’re going to show you how to work out whether you should change your career, and examples of how it worked out for three women.

How you can successfully change career paths

If you are on the fence about whether to change career paths, there are some things you can do to assist your decision-making so you’re not left wondering what could have been.

Start by understanding why you are considering a career change. According to a survey by behavioural science and analytics organisation WerkLabs, women were more likely than men to want to leave their jobs in the coming year, due to poor work-life balance, job clarity, social connectedness, and support.

These sorts of negatives can seriously hamper our enjoyment of the work we do and lead us to explore new career avenues. That said, it’s important to work out whether this problem is endemic across your career and industry, or if they are simply symptoms of one poor boss or workplace.

Even if your current workplace experience is positive, you may be learning for a job which is more in line with your interests or ethics. Rose-tinted glasses are a potential problem here, so ensure that you are completely in the know by performing plenty of research into the role you are considering.

Learn about what the day to day is like from forums and articles and understand the training and experience you will need to get to succeed, comparing this to your own. Job shadowing, informational interviews, and volunteering are also all excellent ways of making sure you’re making the right choice regarding your career change.

We can’t tell you whether your career change is a good idea or not. But by researching it in depth and putting in the effort, you can become more assured of your decision to stick with what you know – or take the leap!

How changing career paths worked out for these three women

So, for those that have taken the plunge to change career paths, how did it work out?

Annabelle Bradley

Going from a tax accountant to a full-time blacksmith is a massive change, and that’s exactly what Annabelle Bradley did back in 2007. Swapping office desks for heavy-duty workbenches in an atmospheric workshop in Malham, Annabelle was spurred by her hobby making silver jewellery. Responding to a local advertisement asking for individuals to take over the local smithy, she learned on the job and hasn’t looked back since.

Keisha Ehigie

As a corporate consultant, Keisha Ehigie was safe in a high-flying role advising top boards of directors. As her daughter grew up and began to ask questions about her background, she struggled to find books written for Black children, taking about the Black experience. She decided to write her own, funding her start-up through savings.

“The alternative [to changing careers] is to look back on your life years from now and think ‘what if?’. There will always be a reason not to start – very valid reasons in a lot of cases – but if you don’t take the leap, you’ll never know.”, Keisha told the Huffington Post.

Giselle Roccaforte Steedman

After a decade working for ITV, Giselle Roccaforte Steedman decided to retrain as a teacher. Her hours were anti-social and detrimental to her family life, and after an experience volunteering at her daughter’s school, she caught the eye of the headteacher, who agreed to sponsor her teacher training.

Speaking to Red Online, Giselle notes that: “It was extremely difficult and brave, or crazy, as my Granada colleagues said, but I’m glad I did it and I think my age and my life experiences have helped me be successful in this job. All my many other jobs I’ve had at Granada and prior to that have all helped in some way.”

Changing careers can be a great move. Have you changed careers recently? Let us know your experiences in the comments section below.

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Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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