HOW TO CHANGE CAREERS
The idea of selecting just one career for the rest of your life is a scary thought! Traditionally, that’s how things usually worked: people would train for a specific career, and stay in that industry (and sometimes even with the same company!) for their entire working careers. But luckily, things have changed. Career paths are no longer linear: now and in the future, people are likely to have more than 17 different jobs across five different industries in their lifetime! So if you realise that you feel stuck in your job, or can’t really decide what you should do, know this: there’s always the option to change.
Parents, teachers, friends and family can put a lot of pressure on you from a young age to find the "right" career. But it’s not always easy to make the right decision first time round. It’s ok to decide to change careers and choose something else down the line. We spend approx. 90,000 hours at work in our lifetimes, so it should be something that you enjoy!
Before you jump into a new career, assess what is important to you and what you want in your new career. Think about what you did/didn’t like about your current job and think about what you want for the future.
Using online tools can be very helpful in this process. Skillsroad’s tools are useful for students and young people looking to get into the workforce but also apply to anyone looking to change careers!
Start your career journey again:
- Take the Changing Career Quiz – go back to square one and discover your personality style. Our free Career Quiz will help you uncover your strengths and talents so you can make the right choices.
- Take the Job Fit Test – the Skillsroad Job Fit Test assesses your competencies and knowledge across two of the key areas required for career success: your ‘Work Readiness’ (knowledge of how to act and operate in a workplace) and your ‘Job Fitness’ against the selected jobs that spark your interest.
- Search Careers – research over 350 career profiles and match them against your Career Quiz results to see what interests you.
- Update your resumé – Revisit your resumé and look at areas you can improve on. Check out our resumés and cover letter page for guidance.
- Jobs board – once you’ve completed the above steps, have a look at our Jobs board and apply for jobs. There are plenty of local apprenticeships and traineeship jobs available too.
You might discover your dream job means you have to complete further study. Thinking about studying again (especially if you have already completed a course) can feel overwhelming, but there are often transferable skills that you can use to help apply for TAFE or UNI.
These aren’t your only options, either: you might consider a traineeship or apprenticeship to kick off your new career, or choose a VET pathway to complete while you’re still working in your old job. Apprenticeships and traineeships means you can combine training and employment and gain a nationally recognised qualification while earning a wage!
Whatever you choose, remember to consider what you are interested in, and what your natural skills are. Playing to your strengths and skills will make it easier to move across industries and into various roles, pursuing work that helps you to grow and develop your skills.
Check out our apprenticeships or traineeships pages for more information.
Don’t be scared to change careers and start something new. It’s essential to work in an environment you enjoy!
A mentor is someone who can help guide you in your change of career path. They will give you advice on how to improve and develop the appropriate skills to assist you in your new career.
Finding a mentor in your desired industry can steer you in the right direction and help you make useful contacts for when you are ready to start hunting for your new dream job.
Do research on the type of industry you want to work in. Talk to friends and family who might work in a similar industry, or can provide you with connections who have first-hand experience of what it’s like to work in the industry you’re considering.
Ask these questions to make sure it’s the right career move for you:
- What type of award/salary would you be expecting in this career change?
- What kind of work is it, i.e. is it a desk job, or working with your hands outdoors? Is that something you can see yourself doing?
- Where can this kind of work lead you / what is career progression like in this industry?
- Do you need to have a degree in a particular area? If so, can you see yourself completing that length of study?
A great way to get some experience in a new or unknown field is by volunteering or completing work experience with a particular company. This can help you develop skills in a new field and is a good way to try it out before you jump into study.
Reasons to give it a go:
- Volunteering gives you hands-on experience – it’s great to have some practical and applied skills listed on your resumé before jumping into study or a new workforce. This also allows you to test the waters with an industry to see if it’s right for you.
- Volunteering can help you meet people in a new industry – you will have an opportunity to network with a different group of people, which gives you access to employers you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
- Volunteering can give you a new perspective – you don’t have to volunteer in a new industry, but just help people in need. This kind of volunteer work can make you feel good about yourself for giving back to society. (You can also add volunteer work to your resumé, as employers often praise this.)
Need one more reason? LinkedIn research has shown that 41% of hiring managers consider volunteer work just as valuable as paid work experience when evaluating candidates.