The 6 Steps to a Successful Career Change

Many hard-working professionals want to change careers for various reasons. For instance, they might no longer be interested in an industry, are eager to increase their annual salary, seek greater flexibility, or want to improve their job security, to name only a few.

Yet, changing your career can be a life-altering decision, which is why you shouldn’t rush the process, or you could make a big mistake. If you need direction when switching occupations, read the following five steps to a successful career change.

Step One: Evaluate Your Existing Job Satisfaction

There are more than likely a few elements of your job you enjoy, which could help you to identify the right industry or role for you.

For example, if you enjoy communicating with the public and helping others, a career in healthcare could be an ideal option. You also can choose from a wide range of roles, such as a nurse, doctor, nursing assistant, or pharmacy technician.

Step Two: Consider a New Career in the Same Industry

Rather than allowing your knowledge and experience in an industry to go to waste, consider embarking on a new career in the same industry.

For example, if you are a retail store manager who has grown tired of weekend and evening shifts, consider a corporate career in a retailer’s head office. You will be able to apply your in-store knowledge into the business, as your hands-on experience could help the brand to simplify processes, avoid product waste or improve employee satisfaction.

Step Three: Review Job Security

If you are planning to change careers, you must ensure there will be many job opportunities available once you are ready to do so. For example, if you want to take your pick from job opportunities, consider a career as a data scientist.

As many companies are now focusing on utilizing big data to develop forward-thinking business strategies, many are looking for knowledgeable data scientists to help them research and analyze raw data. Read more about gaining a graduate diploma in data science.

Step Four: Research a Potential Role

Once you have narrowed down potential career options, you must aim to find out as much as possible about a job. Not only should you read articles to gain an in-depth knowledge about what a role entails, but you also could reach out to any contacts you have in the sector to discuss the career and industry.

You also could connect with people in your desired industry and role via LinkedIn, as they might be more than happy to answer any questions you might have about their everyday tasks and offer career advice.

Don’t be scared to reach out to busy professionals, as they are more likely to be generous with their time if you express an interest in them and provide validation for their chosen career.

Plus, communicating with people across the industry could help you to form connections with like-minded professionals before you have even secured a role, and they could be integral to your success once you are ready to take on a position.

Step Five: Identify a Job’s Requirements

Depending on the occupation you choose, you may have to invest both time and money into a career change.

Before you set your heart on a role, you will need to identify a job’s requirements, as you might need:

  • Multiple qualifications
  • Licenses
  • Industry experience
  • An extensive employment history

If you fear you don’t have time to earn a diploma, don’t despair, as an online course could fit around your current career. Carefully identify the exact requirements for a role and your willingness to grow your skillset.

Step Six: Volunteer

Before you apply for multiple job opportunities or start working your way towards a qualification, consider volunteering. For example, if your goal is to become a veterinarian, donate your time at a local animal shelter or veterinary practice.

It will provide an insight into the level of skill and hard work required to effectively care for animals each day, which could help you to avoid making a big mistake or could boost your passion for a role.


Changing careers can be anything but easy. However, unless you want to remain in the same, old role for many years to come, you must take action to change your professional life for the better. You can guarantee all the blood, sweat and tears will be worth it once you say goodbye to your old job and hello to a new career.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.