Fifty years ago, when people trained in an industry it provided them with a career for life. Fast-forward to the present day and this approach to work couldn't be further from reality.

In 2014, it’s not uncommon for people to retrain and change careers several times throughout their lives. But how do we know when it’s the right time to make the switch? Here’s a guide to changing your work-life for the better. 

Reading the signs

Even the most satisfied and happy workers sometimes reach a burn-out point during their career - and when you do it could just be temporary. Overwork and tiredness is often best solved with a vacation and the chance to recharge your batteries.

How can you distinguish between the odd low and feeling generally uninspired with your role? Some of the common signs are feelings of exhaustion, a lack of satisfaction or accomplishment, boredom or a conflict to your ideals.

In these cases, there is usually something much more fundamentally wrong with your job. You may be in the wrong role, the wrong industry or the wrong career entirely. 

Where to go next?

For many workers the only thing more daunting than hating their job is not knowing what else to do with their lives. Finding something that ignites a spark in your heart and fuels your imagination is such an important and fundamental part of life. Fulfilling lives need fulfilling careers.

  1. Consider your interests and passions. Put your finger on the things you care about and the things that make you tick
  2. What are your strong points? Identify whether you're a creative or a logical personality. What is your ideal working environment?
  3. Conduct some research into the industries that use those skills
  4. Develop all of this information into a product, service or skill that employers will value
  5. Allow it enough time to grow
  6. Create future plans and direction.

Other considerations

Your current feelings of resentment and dissatisfaction might not be related to your career and industry but rather to your work environment. It’s worthwhile to take the time to pinpoint exactly what is leaving you feeling unhappy. Is it the content of your work, or is it simply the number of hours you spend doing it, or a difficult colleague?

If you’re unhappy with your work hours, a switch to part-time might be more suitable. Equally if it’s the culture and atmosphere of the office that’s getting you down, a switch to another department or working from home more days a week could be a better solution. 

Find a solution

It may be as simple as you want to stay doing what you're doing but somewhere else. In which case we can help. But if you have set your mind on changing careers, the next step is to create a plan with achievable stages for getting there. You need to ask yourself if you are you qualified for this new industry. If the answer is no, do you need retrain? Can you support yourself financially while you retrain? There are a number of training bursaries and loans available to help people through this phase of their careers so it may be easier than you think.