The challenges and opportunities of changing careers

Finish school, find a job and work until you retire.

For the generations before us, this is what a career was. Whether you maintained a passion for it until the day of your retirement or stuck with it long after the enthusiasm had waned, the idea of changing careers in the middle of your life was almost unheard of as recently as 20 years ago.

Leaving one industry or profession and jumping to another, often with a period of study in between, was not only far more difficult than it is today, but it was looked at as highly unusual and often came without the support of past or future employers.

Having more than one career in your professional life is not only more prominent these days, it has almost become the norm. The broader availability of online study, as well as the creation of programs within many companies to nurture this kind of personal expansion has made it easier to jump from one line of work to another.

Electricians can become teachers. Accountants can become writers. Chefs can become landscapers. Hairdressers can become legal aides. The opportunities are limited only by your budget and enthusiasm.

There are many reasons to leave one career for another. Your personal circumstances may have changed, requiring you to work either more or fewer hours, or necessitating a job that allows you to work from home. Perhaps you’re simply tired of the job you’ve been doing and keen to try something different.

Alternatively, the industry you’re in may have changed. Your position may not be in as high a demand as it once was or you’ve identified an area with more opportunities.

Whatever the reason, changing careers is both exciting and frightening. Chances are, you’ll need to make do with a slightly reduced income while you establish yourself in your new career. Additionally, you may need to adjust to new working circumstances, possibly including:

  • New working hours
  • Potential for overtime
  • Less/more benefits, such as mobile phone, car, fuel allowance, etc.
  • Different clothing guidelines
  • Potential for travel or relocation

Before making the decision to leave your job and embark on a new career path, it’s important to consider all the consequences of your decision. Be sure the new career is something you’ll remain enthusiastic about. Otherwise, take some additional time to identify your true passion before leaving your current job.

Look at your finances closely and evaluate whether the time is right for a change. Do you have a family and/or mortgage to consider?

Most importantly, be aware of the job opportunities that exist in your dream career and work towards those. Make your goals ambitious yet achievable, and be sure to communicate them to potential future employers.

Whether your skills from your previous career are transferable or not, the passion you are likely to show for your new industry is likely to impress employers and may overshadow any lack of experience. For this reason, it’s important to be open about your reasons for changing your occupation. Let your employer help you on your journey.

The easiest way of communicating this passion and enthusiasm to future employers before you even walk in the door is with an ISMYCV online resume.

Create your free online resume for your dream career and be sure to clearly outline your personal and professional goals. Introduce yourself with a Video Profile and use it to explain what you hope to achieve through your job.

If the time has come for you to change careers, putting together a free ISMYCV resume is a great way of taking the first step.