How to Successfully Carry Out a Career Change

Employee Advice | PreviewMe | 22 November 2018

Unlike the old days, where people tended to work for one company for the majority of their working life, most people today are fairly open to chopping and changing between jobs. In fact, it is not uncommon for people to change roles or companies several times over the span of their working life.

No matter what stage of your life you are in, or what career you have chosen, the decision to change direction can be a daunting one. Some may desire a new challenge, some may not feel appreciated at their current job, or others may simply be in a rut. But, essentially, it’s now highly-accepted and, in most cases anticipated, that most people will change careers at least a few times.

If you find yourself thinking about making a change, there are a few things you can do to put yourself in the best position to succeed.


Look at yourself in the mirror

A good place to start is with an honest evaluation of where you sit and what you bring to the table. As you go through the process of changing careers, you will be forced to answer a few tough questions about your work experience and performance. Because of this, it is critical you are able to answer these questions and inspire someone to give you a go.

So make sure you are able to answer questions such as, where do you see yourself in five years? Why do you want to start a career in this field? What skills or strengthens will you bring to this role?


Be open to receiving help

With the decision to change careers being such a big one, don’t feel like you need to go it alone. Seek advice or help from those who have recently changed careers or are working in the field you desire to enter.

They may be able to provide invaluable advice and insight into some of the challenges they faced and how you can avoid them. They may also be able to connect you with contacts in the industry which you could leverage to hopefully get your foot in the door.


Speak to your boss

While this may be a difficult conversation to have and you may not want to have it, it is highly recommended you be open and honest with your boss.

By having this conversation early in the process, you are not only signalling your intentions but it will also provide them with enough warning and allow them to start preparing for your departure. Your boss will greatly appreciate the warning and if you two have a good relationship, they will be more than willing to help where they can.


Have a plan

Like all big decisions, in order to achieve the result you desire, it is highly recommended you have a clear plan for how you will get there. If you are serious about changing careers, we suggest setting yourself several long and short-term goals.

However, in order for this transition to be successful, make sure they are realistic and achievable. Instead of setting a goal of finding your ‘dream job’, set a long-term goal of ‘I want to work in X industry’. Then have a series of short-term goals, such as ‘I’ll apply for five jobs a week’ or ‘ I’ll create a high-quality video CV and upload it to PreviewMe’.

By setting yourself a series of goals you will have a clear plan of attack, that if you stick to, you will be putting yourself in the best position possible.


The decision to change careers is not a small one. It is one that you need to be sure is something you want to do and have the capacity to carry out. But, if you believe it is in your best interests and are 100% committed, it could be one of the best decisions you make.

If you are unhappy with where you are or want a new challenge, why settle?