Career Woman

How to change careers: 3 key steps to switch careers


This short guide outlines how to change careers by taking the three key steps you need to take to switch careers successfully.

A career change is a big deal, no matter how long you’ve been working in your current industry. Not only could it involve financial drawbacks, there is also a mental stumbling block that must be overcome too. Switching careers involves admitting that your current path isn’t working and may make you feel as though you’ve wasted a part of your life.

However, taking on a career change doesn’t necessarily represent failure – simply that it is impossible to know if a career is right for you before you’ve given it a try.

How to change careers: 3 key steps

With this in mind, don’t be afraid to switch jobs. If you follow these tips and put in some hard work, you can secure the career change that you’ve been dreaming of.

Getting your CV right

Your CV may be the only chance you have of wowing your prospective employer, but how do you make yourself stand out amongst what could be hundreds of potential candidates? The first step is making sure you don’t stand out for the wrong reasons. Check your CV for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors and, if you are sending a cover letter, make sure you get the name of the company right.

CVs should generally be a single page long (two at most) and only include your relevant experience. As someone with a previous career, you may have built up a lot of experience over the years, but resist the temptation to include anything just to fill up the space. If it’s not of interest to your employer then leave it off.

Getting the qualifications you need

In order to secure the career change you want, you may need to acquire some additional qualifications. These could be bespoke courses in your chosen field or more general skills, like an Excel course.

There are more opportunities than ever when it comes to gaining new skills, with options to suit a wide range of financial needs and time constraints. You could opt to complete a full-time university degree, for example, or pursue an online course that you can complete in your own time. It is also possible that your prospective employer will be able to provide on-the-job training to get your next career started on the right track.

Be prepared to drop down

Changing careers must be accompanied by a realisation that you may not be able to stay at the same level you are at currently. In your present career you may have built up years of experience and industry contacts, only some of which will be relevant in your next role. This means that a career change could involve a drop down the career ladder, temporarily at least.

Although you should be prepared mentally, and financially, for this, you should not let it put you off making the change. The sense of personal satisfaction you will receive from working in a career that you are passionate about will make the change more than worthwhile. After all, it’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder that you want to climb than the middle of one that you don’t.

Recommendations for how to change careers

1. Make a financial reserve

The first thing to assess, is that you will very likely go back to being a junior professional when you decide to change careers. “You will probably have a lower position and, consequently, have a lower salary.”

That’s why you need to make a financial reserve before embarking on this transition. Especially if people are financially dependent on you, such as children, parents, etc. Silvio recommends that you make this reservation for two or three years, more or less, to more calmly face the change phase itself.

2. Understand the job market

Before changing careers, you also need to study the job market. Understand the real possibilities that the new area offers. “It’s not enough to just like what you do. This is widely publicized, but the reality is different. It’s necessary to focus on something you like, of course, but also that has a market, that has a public”, says Silvio.

3. Talk to someone who has already made the move.

It is very important to look for a professional who has made the same career transition you are thinking of making. If you don’t find someone like that, talk to a professional in the area you want to follow. It is this person who is more likely to say the best paths for this change. “Having a mentor who can guide your career is always great to avoid some mistakes.

4. Learn a lot – quickly

In a career change it is also very important to seek as much knowledge as possible in the shortest possible time. That way, you will be able to be seen again as a full or even senior professional in a shorter period. You can invest in postgraduate studies in the field you want to work. This helps in two points: acquiring knowledge and building a network of relationships.

5. Network

The networking  aspect is also a sensitive issue at this moment. Probably, the professional relationships you have in your old career will not know how to help you with your new challenge. What does that mean? Exactly what it sounds like, you will have to network again .

6. Take care of your health

Another recommendation is to take good care of your health. That’s right. “You don’t know how long it will take to have some stability and a good performance again. This requires a lot of physical, mental and emotional energy, so if you need support, don’t delay in seeking help, whether from a doctor or a psychologist”, suggests Silvio.

7. Be sure

Finally, decide to change areas if you are absolutely sure that this is what you want, that you are able to work that way and, in fact, leave the previous area behind. The word that must accompany this change is “perseverance”. A lot can go wrong, but if you’re right in the decision, a lot tends to go right too!

When is it time to change careers?

But understanding how to change careers is only part of the issue. How do you know when it is time to change careers? Changing jobs needs to be carefully considered. Six tips to keep in mind.

1. Satisfaction

Question yourself. What makes you happy? Unsatisfied what? Don’t just look at your job, but your whole life.

2. Priority

Which is more important to you: money or meaning? And what does “meaning” mean when you think about your job? One is usually the other’s price. Be honest with yourself: What can – and do – you want to do without?

3. Type

What kind of person are you? The thinker or the doer who rolls up his sleeves when others are still weighing all the pros and cons? Do you like to go ahead, stand for your idea? Or do you prefer to leave responsibility to others?

4. Commitment

They are interested in God and the world, have a say everywhere. But what are you committed to, what are you doing? What are you ready to give up on your routine for?

5, family

A sanctuary for animals or therapeutic riding – no question about it, a great idea. But what does your family think about that? What do your future plans mean for your environment? For partners, children, parents? Never make decisions alone.

6. Childhood dream

What did you actually want to be as a child? “Business controller properties” probably not. Are you perhaps living the life that others expected you to live? Doctors ‘children often study medicine; lawyers’ children study law. A bank apprenticeship is a sure thing. But what did you want? Think about it! Be honest with yourself: What can – and do – you want to do without?


At some point, almost everyone becomes dissatisfied with their job. The work is annoying, the career is paralyzing. This is when you need to understand how to change careers.

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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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