How to Make a Successful Career Change

Making a career change isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. We are all looking to improve our finances, grow our careers, reduce stress, and find our passion – these all influence our consideration to make the big decision of a career change. It’s critical to approach this with a strategic and researched view – a thought-through career change will likely lead to greater job satisfaction.

However, it could be the best decision you make in life and right now could be the best time to make a career change as well. Take time to evaluate your present situation, explore alternative career options, and ultimately choose a more fulfilling career.

Consider the following before taking the plunge and changing careers

To ensure a strategic and informed outcome, ask yourself the tough questions and review the tips below for exploring options, evaluating alternatives, and eventually making a successful career change.

Surveys regarding career changes provide interesting insights. A Joblist survey reports that most had positive outcomes after they took the calculated risk of changing careers. 

The research found that after a career change: 

  • 77% of respondents were happier
  • 75%  of respondents were more satisfied
  •  69% of respondents were more fulfilled
  • 65%  of respondents were less stressed

The Benefits of a Successful Career Change

Survey regarding career changes provide interesting insights. A Joblist survey  reports that most had positive outcomes after they took the calculated risk of changing careers. 

The research found that after a career change people were:

  • 77% of respondents were happier
  • 75% of respondents were more satisfied
  • 69% of respondents were more fulfilled
  • 65% of respondents were 65% less stressed

What to ask yourself before changing careers

These are the questions we recommend you think through and engage with before you change careers. This time could be highly important to your decision-making process so do your research well and take each question seriously.

Consider your current job situation

Ask yourself which aspects of your current job you like and dislike. Are your frustrations related to the content of your work, your company culture or the people with whom you work? Why do you really want to make a change?

Think about it when you’re angry, happy, bored, content, frustrated, or feeling any other emotion to make sure that your perception stays the same regardless of your mood. A career change needs to be beneficial for the long term, not just a quick fix for the way you’re feeling right now.

Assess your strengths and interests

Think about your expertise and professional skills. Consider previous fulfilling roles, volunteer work, projects and jobs to identify activities and skills you prefer. 

Ultimately, you need to determine whether your core values and skills are addressed through your current career. There are some great online tools available to help you determine what your strengths are.  

Brainstorm all of your different career options

Do as much research as you can online and by speaking to anyone linked to the field(s) you are interested in. Discuss the values and skills that make you tick with friends, family, and networking contacts. 

At Paton Personal we are extremely knowledgeable about a wide range of career opportunities and we can point you in the right direction. Click here to get in touch with a recruiter today. 

Find out if there are jobs available in the field you are considering

Do your own ‘market research’ and search for job titles/ roles you would be interested in. Such a preliminary comparative evaluation of several fields will be a very good indication of the practicability of your career change. You can find a wealth of information online simply by Googling the jobs/ job titles/ roles that interest you.

Do some networking

Reach out to personal contacts in relevant sectors for honest feedback and to relay their first-hand experience. LinkedIn is also a great resource for finding contacts in specific career fields of interest. 

Don’t be shy, ask someone for coffee to talk about one of the most important decisions in your life – one day it will be you helping someone else out. It has proved to be extremely valuable to shadow professionals in fields of primary interest to observe work first-hand. This isn’t always possible in these times but do offer/ volunteer to get involved.

Further your education in your field of interest

Explore educational opportunities that would bridge your background in your new field. Consider taking an evening or an online course that you can fit into your current schedule. Youtube can also be a huge help in this type of situation. Spend some time attending seminars or webinars. Contact professional groups in your target field for suggestions; they are generous with their advice. 

It is imperative to look for ways to develop new skills in your current job which would pave the way for a change e.g., offer to write a draft legal letter if this is a skill valued in your new field. If your company offers in-house training, sign up for as many sessions as you can. There are ways you can position yourself for a successful career change without having to go back to university.

Consider a change of career within your industry

It may be worth considering alternative roles within your current industry which would employ the industry knowledge you already have e.g. If you are a manager for a large bank, you could consider a move to corporate recruiting within the banking industry. Or if you are a programmer, you could consider moving to technical sales or project management.

What to start doing for your new career now

Whether you’re feeling unfulfilled in your current job or are finally brave enough to pursue your dream career, a change in vocation offers many potential benefits. You can start researching your new career right now, go to and get in touch with a specialised recruiter today – and ensure the successful career change you have dreamt of!