People decide to change career or switch job type for a variety of reasons, the most common being remuneration, job satisfaction, career growth and fresh opportunities.

Changing career can prove a challenging prospect; however for those who go through with it, the move can be an extremely rewarding and edifying experience.

When contemplating a change to your career path it’s essential that you thoroughly research your new chosen career field before taking any action.

We’ve outlined some key pointers you should keep in mind when considering a change of career:

  • Assess the state of the industry/sector you wish to move into and the opportunities it offers to job seekers with little or no comparable experience.

  • Carry out a detailed self-assessment and analysis of your skills, accomplishments and the strengths which you can bring to a new role.

  • Look at the external qualifications available which will allow you to make a smoother transition.

  • Investigate mentoring, internships and volunteering opportunities within companies and institutions in your chosen new field.

  • Study job descriptions and attend career fairs you can assess what areas you need work upon to meet new candidate criteria.

  • Network both online and in person to uncover opportunities and routes of entry into your field.

  • Set up informational meetings with professionals in your new area. This can also double as a key networking tool.

  • Build your CV in such a way that your transferable skills are highlighted.

  • Have confidence in you abilities. This is probably the most important under-lying ingredient for anyone considering a career change.

Educate yourself on the risks

Changing career demands a considerable level of commitment and carries with it certain risks which you should aware of:

  • Lower salary – you may suffer financially if you need to study or join an organisation as an intern or volunteer.

  • Lower designation – you may not immediately (or ever) achieve the same status you previously held.

  • Lose contact with friends and colleagues – a new situation may take you out of contact with old friends and workmates.

  • Slower growth rate – the organisation/sector you join may not offer progression at a similar pace to your previous role.

  • Need to demonstrate your worth – you may be starting from scratch and will need to gain the trust and respect of new colleagues and managers, showing the value-add you can offer an entire organisation.