It’s common for a person to want to change careers after they’ve started their work life. Coming up with a strategy and planning the change will make things much easier to change careers. It’s harder to change careers as a person gets older. Changing jobs at 50 is more difficult than making a career change at 30 years old.

Reason For Career Change

Determine why you want a change and what you don’t like. Is it the job, company, supervisor or career? If it’s the job or supervisor, that might be changed so you don’t have to switch careers. If it’s the company, that can be changed by moving to another company.

Preparation To Change A Job

Disrupt your life as little as possible. While still in your current job, plan for the switch. This includes seeking advice on the job switch. Decide on what job you want to switch to. Make certain a complete career change is what is needed. Evaluate your current company and see if you can meet your desired goals there by switching to another position or department.

It may be helpful to prepare a list of what’s good and bad about the old job compared to the same criteria on the new one. This will be helpful in all phases of the career change.

Evaluate the skills, training and education you currently have that will translate to the new career. It may be easier if you pick a new career that is in the same industry. This may shorten the time it takes to re-train or re-educate.

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Discuss your plan with family and friends. Attend job fairs and talk with people in the career you anticipate entering. Get advice from anyone who’s made a switch. It’s a good idea to get outside advise, but don’t let anyone bully you into doing something you don’t want to do. Make your own decision. Contact someone in the career you plan to enter. Ask them about the job, and skills and training needed to do it. Volunteer work might be possible to help gain helpful exposure and training.


Re-train to have the necessary education for the new job. It’s much easier to do it before you move than to expect on the job training or taking classes to get up to speed. It’s easier to get hired and you’ll be able to hit the ground running if you have the classes beforehand.

Transferrable Skills

Evaluate your current skills and compare them to what you require in the new position. One way to do this is to redo your resume. It will help to compare what you have to what you need.

Evaluate Your Resume

This can be done at any time. If it’s the first step it may help a person lay out plans for a course of action. A person can visually see what they may need when working on a resume. It may be complementary to work on the resume and skill evaluation at the same time. Read books on upgrading your resume and finding a job.

Career Counselor

If you’ve evaluated all the considerations, written them down and are still undecided, it may be time to see a career counselor. This may be especially true for someone contemplating a career change at 50 or older. Bring your reworked resume for them to evaluate. They may want to change it completely, but they’ll have something to start with. Even if you don’t want to change it, the resume will provide good insights and discussion.

Prepare For Interviews

Refresh your interview skills. This can be done talking with new hires, reading books or watching videos. Investigate the different interview techniques and practice responses to tough questions.

Career Change Don’ts

Don’t change without proper evaluation. Don’t change on a whim. Don’t change without proper education, training and skills. Don’t change without dusting off your job search skills. Don’t be unprepared.

A career change is stressful at any time in life. A career change when the economy is bad or getting a new career at 40 is more difficult and stressful. Prepare well.

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