Steps to a career change.

Making a successful career change: five steps

Have you been thinking of the possibilities of making a successful career change? Wondering what your next career move will be and trying to determine what you really want to do?

Maybe you’re feeling like Francine Lee, who took a leap of faith to become a speech pathologist after the door to her 20-year police career was closed.

“I really wanted a meaningful role. I was looking forward to doing something with purpose, direction and longevity. Work that was intellectually stimulating.”

Making a change can feel a little daunting. However, with the right support, preparation and guidance you can make a successful career change that will open up a world of opportunity. Here’s how to transition to that new career you’ve been thinking about.

Assess if a career change is right for you

How do you feel when you think about your current job? Do you feel stressed, blasé or even a bit bored? Maybe you’ve become quite comfortable in your role and you’re looking for the next big challenge. If you’ve been in your job a while now, are you getting the same job satisfaction as when you started? If you’re not getting the personal and professional fulfilment you want and need from your current job, it might be time to look at some alternatives.

Consider alternative careers

Now that you’ve decided it’s a great time to weigh up your options, start to think about what it is you really want from your career. Ask yourself the following questions and prepare to get real with some honest truths.

  • What motivates you to get up and go to work each day?
  • Do you want to maintain a certain kind of lifestyle and support your family?
  • Are you keen to pursue your passions and make a difference?
  • Do you thrive on that rewarding feeling from adding value to an organisation that you truly believe in?

Once you’ve figured out the reasons that fire your imagination, brainstorm related careers. Examine your list closely. Which careers can you picture yourself in? Which ones really align with your passions, skills, knowledge and values?

Hot tip: Try not to focus too much on qualifications or how you’ll get there at this point – that comes next!

Explore your career options

Jump online and absorb as much information as you can about your preferred roles. Or get in touch to chat with our friendly student advisers about your career ambitions and how you can make it happen.

Another great way to learn about possibilities for a sustained, rewarding career is to explore career sectors that are set to boom. You can also take our quiz to discover careers that match your interests.

Volunteer in the field

If you study a hands-on degree with Charles Sturt, you’ll gain plenty of industry experience through workplace learning. So why not give yourself a head start and give back to the community at the same time through volunteering?

What better way to find out if a career change is for you than to get some practical experience in the field? Contact organisations or businesses in the field you want to work and offer your time. You can really get a feel for what the job could be like and decide if it’s right for you.

Upgrade your skills

So, if after all this careful planning, consideration and research you’ve decided a career change is for you, now’s the time to really get all your ducks in a row. It’s time to make it happen!

You may need to upgrade your current qualifications or do some study in a completely different field. Then you could be on your way to the career you really want. Just like Darren Denmead.

Darren came to Charles Sturt to retrain as a teacher. Now he’s working in that field, he couldn’t be happier.

“Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love the idea of making life a little bit more special for our kids and their families? No matter how trying the day, I go home knowing that I have helped children to believe in themselves and to love learning. Yes, the job is very demanding, but there is no better feeling than when you help kids to learn.”

Want some even more good news? Upgrading your skills can not only help you get your start in your new career, but it can lead to a higher salary. Charles Sturt grads earn an average of $68,900 straight after graduating (QILT Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020).

Your successful career change

So, what are you waiting for? Take the leap and change careers with Charles Sturt!