Is it time to make a move?

content change career

Changing career can be as scary as it is exciting. Fear of the unknown, and uncertainty around whether it’s the right thing to do, can prey heavily on the mind of someone considering it.

Sometimes, it’s easy to know that the time has come to make a career change. You may dread going to work, have a toxic relationship with a colleague or line manager, hate the industry you’re in or spend every waking hour dreaming of the weekend. More often than not, though, the signs that now is the time to make the move are far more subtle, but should be no less persuasive.

Your body is telling you something

If you find that you’re constantly exhausted, or suffering from stress-related symptoms such as headaches or difficulty sleeping, work is the first place to look for answers as to why. Most of us may have spent the last year in a different work environment, with working from home being the norm across many industries, but the fact remains that – wherever we are – most of us spend more waking hours working than doing anything else. If you’re not happy doing it, the physical response will often hit you before the emotional, financial or practical ones and, apart from anything else, being permanently stressed can also impact your relationships with others close to you.

You dream of doing something different

All of us click on the odd interesting looking job advert on LinkedIn or somewhere similar without the vaguest intention of applying, but if you find that you are constantly fantasising about what you’d do in your ‘next life’, getting jealous of your friends’ careers and feverishly trawling the internet for other opportunities, you may need to get out of your current job and make that change a reality.

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You’ve become apathetic

You may be working perfectly well at your job but lack any desire to innovate or move forward in your current role, even though you are usually bursting with good ideas. This is a classic example of your environment curtailing you as opposed to your lack of ambition. Coasting suppresses your potential and will ultimately lead to boredom. You need to think about the workplace that would enable you to bring forward your ideas and embrace them. That might be working for yourself and changing industry.

Your life has changed

Most people begin their careers in their late teens or early twenties when considerations like having a family don’t exist. Sometimes a career change is necessary to accommodate the changing needs of your family or other goals in order to achieve more flexibility and a better work/life balance.

You care about money

The notion of remuneration works in a number of ways when thinking of a career change. It may be that, while you enjoy the stability, you realise that your salary cannot make up for your dissatisfaction in your current role. Conversely, you may feel as though you are currently undervalued and can earn more in a new role or starting a business of your own.

Create a transition action plan

Once you’ve made the decision to change career, you need to come up with a plan to make it happen.

  1. Keep it real: Whatever your dream is, there are some real-world considerations to note, like the mortgage, monthly bills or school fees. You need to make sure that your dream career is practical based on your existing responsibilities.
  2. Recognise your current skills: List your qualifications, skills and abilities and try to think how could they be applied to your new field?
  3. Identify the skills you need to have: Do you need to get a new qualification or undertake training to make the move viable? Would it be beneficial if you added experience to your CV with things like volunteering in the sector you are interested in?

This article was first published in Student Accountant in May 2021

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