How to make a successful career change

Have these unprecedented times caused you to re-evaluate your career path or given you the time to realise that a change in career may be on the cards later on in 2020? Maybe you've recently been made redundant and are looking for a more secure role within a different industry, or simply believe that your skills and knowledge would be better off utilised within an alternative job role. Perhaps you are just at the stage in your life where you need a fresh start!

Whatever your situation, making a career change is a huge decision and there are many factors to take into consideration before jumping right into the job search. Take some time to create a plan of action and know what steps you need to take to be successful in this life-changing career move.

Make sure it's a career change you need and not just a job change

It can be easy to let one bad job ruin your opinion on an industry and make you wish you had studied something completely different. However, it’s important to remember that not all employers or workplaces are the same, and just because you don’t like the company you work for now, doesn’t mean you won’t like a different company in the same industry. It's important to keep an open mind and be careful not to jump into the unknown after a bad experience.

Identify your expertise and skills

This stage is crucial to determine what key expertise you've gained over the years and the skills you've learned from your current and previous roles. This will put things into perspective and highlight areas that you may get into with your current knowledge and what studying you may have to complete in order to tap into a new career. Be confident in the work you've done up until this stage and be sure to showcase these invaluable achievements.

Ensure your CV is up to date

It might be a while since you’ve applied for jobs and it may hold information that you wrote before you pondered a career change, so make sure you review every section to make it more suited to your current career aspirations. Remember to tailor your CV and cover letter for each job you apply for, instead of using a generic resume which could be pushed to the bottom of the pile. This is the first impression potential of employers will have of you, so make sure it’s a good one! 

Outline a variety of roles to explore

It’s easy to panic and apply for every role you see when you are eager to move on quickly, but if you’re significantly unhappy in your current role it will pay off in the long-run to carefully assess what type of career you’d be content in. Once you have identified these, it means you can put more time and effort into applying for these types of jobs rather than ones you wouldn’t be too happy in. 

Make plans for gaining relevant experience

If you want to change to a totally different career, you might not have the relevant experience for landing your dream role. Don’t panic! There are plenty of ways to get over this – although it might take some extra hard work, so make sure it’s something you really want. Take advantage of your free time to complete a relevant course, boost your industry knowledge and improve your own self-development to get you into the right mindset for a change.


It’s not what you know, it’s who you know… This mantra could really help in your career change! Networking can be a very powerful tool, and whilst attending industry events in the current climate may not be on the cards, using LinkedIn to connect with industry professionals is certainly a valuable alternative. You never know who you might come across, it could be your next employer! 

Set goals and stick to them

Don’t forget that job-hunting takes time, even more so when it includes making a complete change of career. Throughout these unprecedented times, it's important to stay patient and positive! It can be easy to lose motivation, but set yourself some goals and try your best to stay confident and stick to them. It's easy to lose faith when things don't fall into place right away, remain dedicated and you will get to where you want to be!

Stafffinders are here to help!

Remember, you don't have to go through this alone and the Stafffinders team can guide you through this career change with ongoing support, finding you the correct role to match your expertise and even place you in some of the most reputable client organisations across Scotland.

So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today to start the next stage of your career.