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Is It Time for a Career Change?

Is It Time for a Career Change?

Are you feeling bored, burnt out or just indifferent to the job you’re currently in? A complete career change may well be the answer to your work blues.

In my line of work, people often ask me whether it’s possible to make a career change. The answer, of course, is yes – but the key is knowing where to start and how to get there – smartly.

3 things to do before you change careers

There are three crucial things that anyone looking to make a career change needs to do.

1. Reflect and research

Ask yourself: what do I like about my current job and what do I not like? What am I aiming for? Is it greater job satisfaction, more autonomy, an opportunity for learning, or a desire to do something more meaningful?

Your dream job may actually be staring you right in the face and a little lateral thinking may be all that’s required. For example, within your company would it be possible to move to flexible working hours or reduce your number of days? Could you move sideways into a different business unit or move abroad if you’re part of a global company with different locations? Or should you aim to step up into a leadership role?

Remember, a career change can prove costly if you need to retrain or start in a more junior position, so it’s worth reviewing all your options. Assess how any change may impact your personal life as well as your family, and make sure you get their buy-in and support.

2. Speak to people in the role/field you’re considering

Talk to those who have your dream job to better understand what’s involved on a daily basis. Have you romanticised it and is it what you really want? Use LinkedIn as a tool to contact and network with people who can offer information and advice. Be brave and make contact with those in senior level positions; these people are often the most altruistic and willing to help with useful contacts and good advice.

3. Is it realistic and achievable?

Ask yourself: is what I’m aiming for achievable – am I setting myself up for success or failure? Seek an objective opinion from someone who’s not emotionally attached to the outcome, but who can help you to make your decision. Talk to a career coach to get some objectivity and structure to your decision-making process, and fully explore your options.

Sometimes we think we want a career change but what we actually want may be more opportunities for learning or more autonomy in our current role. In order to make an informed decision my advice is to get as much information as you can – after all, knowledge is power – and explore all your options thoroughly. Then go for it!

Looking for more career advice? Visit our Job Seekers section.


Craig McAlpine has over 20 years’ leadership experience within the HR, professional services, banking and finance, and technology sectors. He acts as a coach and mentor to his clients, assisting with career transition and coaching high performers to fulfil their potential and achieve their goals.

- Craig McAlpine, Senior Coach, Hudson Talent Management, New Zealand


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