The decision to make a career change—whether by moving into a new role at your current organisation, moving to a new company, or changing industries altogether—can be exciting for most people.
However, if you are leaving your current role for something else it shouldn’t be a decision you make lightly. This is a potentially life-altering decision that can and probably will impact areas of your life outside of the office. Before making that decision, you should assess your current situation and consider your options so that you can make an informed choice A great way of doing this is by completing the career cloud activity, this helps you to take the time to assess your current situation, the possibilities of changing your career and the steps required to get there.
By taking the time out to complete this exercise, you will have a clearer idea of your career journey.
Career Cloud Activity
There are many decisions you’ll encounter in a job search. Our careers cloud activity is a simple way to compare the benefits and challenges of your choices.
This activity will help you to make an effective decision on your career path and highlight the ways of reaching your goals. We have made the exercise worksheet available to download. You can download it here.
Follow our step by step process on how to complete the activity below:
Step 1: Describe your current situation
Think about whether it really is your career that you want to change. Be very specific about what you do and don’t like about your current work – it may be your role, your boss, the working environment or your terms and conditions. Think about exactly what would make your working life more enjoyable. Remember, it can be relatively easy to think of all the cons of your current position.
It is important to consider both the pros and the cons of your current job. Take some time to reflect on the skills and strengths you have learned in this role. Have there been opportunities to learn? Make sure you explore all your options and don’t rush the process. You may find that you can make a change in a less drastic way, for example:
- Finding another job in the same sector
- Change sector
- Modify your existing job (by going part-time and pursuing another interest, make a move sideways to a different department, for example, or finding another opportunity to get involved in new project)
Step 2: Imagine if you didn’t make the change
Part of considering the pros and cons of making the decision to change your career is to imagine if you didn’t make the change. These are the reasons why this decision isn’t in your best interest, why you haven’t considered moving on until now or what has stopped you from changing.
Some of these reasons might be obvious to you, such as lack of experience to move on or changing your career could require retraining. Others may require you to examine your career goals, consider:
- What are you giving up?
- What are the risks associated with this decision?
- What challenges does the position present, and could you overcome them?
- How would this position impede or possibly defer your career goals?
Step 3: Imagine if you did make the change
Do the benefits of this career change outweigh the negatives? If you made the change in your career, consider the advantages of making your decision. Asking yourself questions can help you realise some of the benefits associated with each outcome, such as:
- What are the main benefits of this decision?
- What favourable outcome would you receive that you don’t currently have?
- What could you accomplish?
- How will this contribute to your current career goals?
- How does it position you in the future?
- How does it impact others in your life?
Step 4: Think about the steps you would need to get there
Sometimes changing your career can be a linear process. For example, you may have gained all the necessary experience in your current position to move up within the company or take on a more senior position in another company. Other times you may be required to gain further experience by taking on a position with a reduced salary, more hours or by enrolling in a training course.
These are important steps to consider as you will have to think about any additional costs this may entail, the timings for reaching your career goals or even the possibility of changing your living requirements.
It’s important to be careful about how you navigate your career path so you’re considering all the necessary steps required to move on.
Step 5: On a scale of 1-10, how confident do you feel about the change and how motivated are you to make the change?
Once you have researched the route you have to take to make your career change you should consider how confident you feel about the change and how motivated you are to make the change.
Most people won’t feel the most confident when changing career, it is a big step to make and may take a lot of time and consideration. If you're contemplating changing careers or job position, it can be useful to consider what transferable skills you may have learned previously.
Transferable skills are the skills that you have acquired from past positions, education experience, volunteering, hobbies, and more that are transferable to a different job role, industry, or work environment. These skills are highly valuable on your CV since they demonstrate to employers that you can use your existing skills to adapt to a new job description or completely different industry.
Realising you may already have the strengths required to change you career and move into your new position can help build the confidence required to take the leap. Transferable skills are incredibly valuable when going through a career change or moving industries.
These are the types of skills that all employers are looking for, and they could be the key to your dream job in a new sector – so it pays to recognise these and play to your strengths.
You can learn more about finding your transferable skills in this article.
The reasons people change their careers can vary but it is important that you equip yourself with the ability to make a clear decision so you can be certain about your career path. By completing the career cloud activity, you should be able to make your decision effectively.