Be prepared for challenges
There can be some significant challenges or hurdles to making a career change, Lambart says. Here’s how you might navigate them.
Lack of experience: This is a key challenge facing many people, Lambart says. “You may need to be very proactive to get that first job. Build a network in your new career area to improve your chances of gaining employment,” she says. Depending on how competitive the industry is, you may need to do an internship or even do volunteer work to get your foot in the door.
Fear of failure: We may fear making a mistake or making the wrong decision. “Recognise that this is totally normal, and be prepared for these feelings of self-doubt to arise often throughout the career change process,” Lambart says. Overcome this fear by reminding yourself why you’re looking for a change, and by doing plenty of research so there’s little doubt in your mind that you are making the right decision.
Fear of what others think: “This fear can be debilitating, especially if you’re giving up a career that has required a lot of study and significant work,” Lambart says. It may especially affect you if you come from a role with a high income or status, such as law, medicine and finance.
But it’s your life and you deserve a rewarding career. “Be sure about your career change and your reasons why. That way you’ll feel more confident explaining it to colleagues or concerned family members,” says Lambart
Take your skills with you
When you change careers, you’re often not actually starting from scratch because you have transferable skills that you’re able to use in a new career.
“Most candidates have many more skills than they realise, which will help them transition into their next career path,” Lambart says.
“The hard part is identifying these skills and articulating them correctly. It can help to discuss your skills with someone you’ve previously worked with or a career coach to help you really appreciate how many skills you have to offer.”
Transferable skills that can be use in a new career include:
“In many cases, these are the skills that are most important to future employers as the technical skills can be developed on the job.”
You will still need to be ready to learn new technical skills required for the role such as clinical skills if you’re moving into healthcare, or digital skills if you’re transitioning into web design or digital marketing, for example.
Changing careers can be daunting, but it takes some self-assessment and research – and that can become exciting once you start to explore your options. It’s normal to be worried about failing, but planning, speaking with others and breaking things down into steps can put you on track to working in a role that you love.