The "HOW" of Career Change - JobTestPrep's Blog

If the future of your local government career looks fragile, then you may be considering a change of career. And the same thought might occur to those who fall prey to the axe of redundancy before they had planned to, and don’t want or can’t afford to hang up their briefcase and smartphone.

So if you are feeling stuck in a rut, facing compulsory redundancy or just feeling out of love with local authorities, what are your options and how do you go about realising your new career?

You need to understand:

Yourself and what you can do. Drill deep and understand your skills, your knowledge and your attributes. What have you got that you can use in another career?

Your motivations and values:

  • What is it that you want to do with your life?
  • What is important to you in your work?
  • Where would you not countenance working?

Know your interests and enthusiasms. It’s not easy to keep changing jobs, so what would create an enduring field of interest?

Explore your options – in depth. Ensure that before you ‘give up the day job’ you really understand what it means to do that job day in and day out. It might look glamorous but it can actually be repetitive and dull.

  • Would you enjoy it on a long-term basis?
  • What additional skills will you need?
  • How do you get entry into that sort of work?

Once you have done all your research you are ready to take the plunge. Or are you? Only 5% of those who think of changing careers actually do so because it is very hard!

In order to be successful you will need to overcome significant barriers:

→ You will need a financial cushion; you will probably need to take a lower paid job on a new ladder, buy a business or take time to build one from scratch. You may need money to train and money to see you through the search process.

→ You will need to come to terms with the loss of status, authority and support. If you have had any seniority, the lack of people to delegate to may come as a shock and you may have to expend a lot of time and energy overcoming the reservations of your stakeholders (wife/partner/kids/parents/ friends) all of whom may make you justify your actions… or just be jealous of your courage.

→ You will need to overcome your self-doubt and nagging feelings of insecurity. You won’t know if you can be a success unless you try. You can minimise the risks but you won’t know. So you’ll need lots of courage and confidence, self-belief and perseverance.

Key advice for any career changer is that they need to leverage off their networks to find opportunities. Large firms have formalised recruitment processes and lots of gatekeepers, small organisations may well be prepared to take a chance on someone because they see the potential and the owner makes the decision. So gird your loins, garner your confidence and get exploring your talents and your options to create a realistic exit strategy.

Try our free personality test.

About the author: Mary Hopes is a careers coach, for more information about Mary you can visit her website.