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Tags: Recruitment Advice, Career Development, Career Guidance...

​This year, change is not optional, but is it time to make a change on your terms? We spend the majority of our lives at work and it is proven that doing a job you enjoy increases productivity and improves mental wellbeing.

Now more than ever, we’ve had to adapt and adjust to meet the needs of the business, but is the role or company still meeting your needs as an individual? Whether you’re looking for a new challenge or your role has been made redundant, there is evidence to say that the job market is recovering with 53% of companies anticipating an increase in headcount by the end of this year, 2021 could be the opportune time. 

Before you let self-doubt creep in, remember that from an employer’s perspective, career changers are flexible, resilient and able to hit the ground running. Candidates from different backgrounds can offer a new skill set and dynamic to a team, perhaps skills other hires from a more linear career pathway may not have.

 Positives for career changers in 2021

  • The rise in remote working has broken down previous geographical barriers. Roles that you may not have considered beforehand because of your location or commute time are now options. Whilst employers are also more likely to employ a remote candidate after effectively working remotely throughout the pandemic.

  • As redundancies have taken place and companies take advantage of the furlough scheme, companies have had to do more with less. Changing expectations around new hires have allowed companies to deviate from traditional job specifications and be more open to career switchers.

What you should consider first

Whether money motivates you, job satisfaction or having more free time to spend with family, there is a lot to take stock of before committing to a career change. Here are five questions you should ask yourself before switching career.

1.     What you dislike about your current role

It could be your roles and responsibilities, the company culture, working hours - can you think of 3+ reasons why you dislike your current position? If these issues cannot be easily resolved then make sure these are requirements for your future role.

2.     Make a requirements list

Not every job will tick all the boxes, but it's important not to sacrifice the things that are important to you. Make a list of requirements that you are looking for in your new role, and put them into priority order. Keep these in mind when you are considering your options.

3.     Are your options future proof?

It’s easy to fall down the route of following a passion project but often they can be short-lived. Consider your long-term aspirations and commitments and whether your new career will support this. Will it provide you with enough money to live comfortably, or does it offer the progression opportunities that will keep you satisfied?

If you’re investing a lot of time into re-training and higher education, think as far ahead as 20 years and what the long-term prospects of this career pathway are.

4.     Plan how you are going to achieve the switch

You may feel you’ve done enough Google searches to last a lifetime, but do not underestimate speaking to someone with first-hand experience. You may think that there is only one clear way to achieve what you want, for instance, gaining a degree, however, there may be alternative ways that are more suitable options for you.

Speak to somebody you know who works in the same field, or even join online forums and interest groups. People are always willing to help others with genuine interest, and these conversations could even lead to gaining practical experience such as placements, shadowing or mentorship.

5.     Gain practical experience

 Hands-on experience is so important. Many organisations will let you intern or volunteer if asked, and this is much more valuable than reading ‘a day in the life of…’. You’ll be able to get a real feel for if you’re going to enjoy it and be able to ask yourself, have you got the skills, passion and commitment required? 

​After evaluating the benefits, your skills, education options, experience and long-term prospects, you should be able to answer the all-important question. If more than three of these questions are bordering on the ‘no’ side or are unachievable, then you should reconsider if now is the right time for you. If more than three of these answers are affirmative and encouraging, then go for it, there’s no better time than now.

Remember, it’s never too late to develop in your role and reap the benefits of a career change. The average retirement age in the UK is 66, so even if you’re in your forties or fifties, you still have plenty of your working life ahead of you to find fulfilment. 

We have industry-experienced consultants spanning over 20 sectors, so whether it’s nursing or accountancy and finance you’re looking to move into, get in touch with one of our career consultants today.