If you’re tired of your job and you’re thinking it’s time to switch careers, you aren’t alone. 60% of working adults want a new career, but 40% of them don’t actually know which career they would want to switch to.
Age doesn’t factor when it comes to a career change, as research shows both young and older workers are after the same things: job satisfaction, increased salary prospects, and a good work-life balance. Although it can be daunting to reinvent yourself in a new career, you should use the time to find out what drives you in the workplace, what you enjoy doing and what inspires you.
But if you still aren’t quite sure what career you want to move into, or if your existing skills are transferable, or if you think you might be too old for a career change, then it’s time to troubleshoot your problems and get you one step closer to the career change you desire.
If you know what you want to do
Remember to research your chosen career, to find out any common requirements, such as training or qualifications. Do you match up to their requirements? If you do, great! If you don’t, then you could consider doing an evening course alongside your existing job to train up for your desired career or take some time off to complete the course in a shorter time frame.
If you already know what you love to do and you’re thinking of maybe turning it into a career, it’s important to consider if you really enjoy it that much, you may not want to do it full time as well as in your spare time. Turning a hobby into your career can be incredibly fulfilling, but it may diminish your love for doing it outside of work.
Alternatively, if you really love something and think you can make a business out of it, it may be worth looking to see if others are hiring for that job, as sometimes it can be more enjoyable and rewarding to work for someone else, while still dedicating the majority of time to what you love, instead of running a company and only spending a fraction of your time on the actual thing you love.
If you don’t know what you want to do
Wanting a career change, but not knowing what you truly want to do next can be tricky. To help you think through your next step in your career, try identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and with this information research jobs that correlate with these strengths and also interest you.
If you’re still not sure, try searching for jobs in your area and reading up on the descriptions to see if they interest you. If you find one that ticks all the right boxes, then look into the career path in further detail to see if there are any requirements or an entry-level position you can enter through.
If you don’t have the skills for what you want to do
Every job will have its own requirements, including the one you’re looking at. If you don’t match up to certain requirements, don’t panic – instead, look into training courses that can help you reach your career goals and get you closer to your dream job.
Completing training courses and qualifications may require you to take some time away from your current job, but evening courses and weekend training is widely available. Another option is reaching out to those currently working in your desired industry, and building a network of contacts, as sometimes meeting new people can be your ticket in.
It’s important to build these working relationships as it can be easier to gain a job in a new industry if you already have a contact within that industry.
If you think you’re too old for a career change
You are never too old to change career. Your reasons for changing careers are the only things that will change over time as it’s been found that 43% of employees aged between 45 and 54 are now seeking new challenges and opportunities.
Some of the key pushing points for changing your career later in life can include: over-stressed, boredom at work, redundancy and the most common, being simply the want to learn new skills. As you get older, it becomes more about job satisfaction than anything, as the retirement age looms closer.
You want to enjoy your final years of working as much as possible and if that means changing your career to find a new sense of excitement in your career, then the time to take that chance is now. You are never too old to learn a new skill or job.
In-demand careers available
Across the UK, there are several highly in-demand jobs that we have a shortage of. The engineering industry suffers from one of the greatest career shortages, including that of civil engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and software engineering. In 2016, it was reported that there was a shortage of approximately 1.8 million engineers across the UK. They are all very desirable professions and pay considerably well, however, they will require training and qualifications to qualify for various positions.
The government has aimed to build 1 million new homes in England by 2020, but the skilled trades industry is suffering from one of the worst shortages. As you can guess, if you want to move into a skilled trade, you will have to get some training and skills under your belt first. This is a common problem, as 43% of the vacancies in skilled trades are due to the skills shortage. The trade which has seen the biggest skilled trade shortage is electricians. Learning a skilled trade has long been a desirable career path and it offers a variety of routes available, whether it be a carpenter, plumber, electrician or tiller, all with lucrative earning potential.
The number of teachers working in England is at its lowest level since 2013. In 2018, there were 66,000 more children in England schools, compared to 2017, but they are lacking skilled teachers to manage the influx. One root cause of the shortage is to do with the many experienced teachers leaving the profession, and not enough newly trained professionals entering the educational system. To become a teacher, you will need formal training (most often including a PGCE).
Healthcare professionals are consistently one of the most in-demand careers every year. The NHS is currently experiencing a shortage of more than 100,000 staff, and it has been reported that if this shortage continues, it could lead to longer waiting lists and ultimately, reduce the level of care delivered as staff would be stretched. To give the industry the boost it needs, the NHS would need 5,000 extra nurses every year, which is reportedly three times the amount it currently recruits. Jobs within healthcare that are in great demand include, medical practitioners, nurses, doctors, sports therapists, and biological scientists, and they all require formal, educational qualifications and training. Students studying medicine at university in England and Wales may be eligible for financial help from the NHS for a portion of their studies.
Another profession that is hugely in demand and seeing a severe shortage is the culinary industry. With the UK’s growing love of restaurants and eating out, it needs a high level of staff to keep it going. Every year, it’s reported that 20,000 chefs are leaving the profession. Becoming a chef will require formal training, including culinary-related qualifications.
About the author: Mike James is an experienced business writer specializing in HR, tech, and cybersecurity. On the latter, he has contributed to many of the leading publications both online and in print – such as StaySafeOnline, GlobalSign, Tech London and more.