Is it time for a career change?

Are you thinking of taking the plunge into a new career? Making a career change can be daunting, here's our take on starting the change.

20 May 2016

These days the career path you start on may not be the one you end up on. As you travel along in life, there are many things that can impact your decision to make a career change.

You may have already heard that the average Australian will have six career changes in their lifetime and a labour mobility survey released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2013, found that 56 per cent of the Australian working population had been in their job for less than five years, and 20 per cent for less than 12 months.

Exploring this further, of the people who had changed their jobs in the last 12 months, 57 per cent had also changed industries and 43 per cent changed occupations. This is indicative that the age of multiple careers during the average lifetime is here to stay.


Often it comes from external sources

Technology changes rapidly and can bring about whole new industries with their own skill sets and job opportunities; like the changes that have been brought about in IT, marketing, video and more through the introduction of the internet.

Life can also bring about changes; you may have married, had children, moved countries, or a major life event may occur that makes you rethink your personal goals and plans. You may have simply lost enthusiasm, want greater challenges, outgrown the options for learning and growth in your current job, or your values and interests have changed.

Sometimes it can be a combination of reasons, but whatever life stage you are at, the first step is recognising you want to make a change. Maybe you want greater challenges, or your values and interests have changed and you simply don’t know what the next step should be.


Starting on the path of career change

Whatever life stage you are at, the first step is recognising you want to make a career change. A survey conducted by last year revealed that 38 per cent of Australians intend to change jobs within the next 12 months, yet only 23 per cent will actually make that change. Reasons for this included not enough jobs in their desired industry, possible loss of job security and being unsure if they will like their new career – however of the people who made the change, 88 per cent said it was a good decision.

Quite often, we already know what we want to be doing.

Whether it’s becoming an artist, starting a business or changing from hospitality to horticulture, quite often the only thing stopping us is knowledge. “How can I make this happen?” and “What is the first step” are very powerful questions to ask.


Increase your skills

Once you have an answer to this question, start gaining knowledge about what’s involved from others who already do it successfully. Start by getting onto websites like Seek or LinkedIn and do a job search in your field of interest to see what employers are asking for. Do some research via Google, find a forum and ask some questions or join a Meetup group and talk to others in your field of interest.

Ask people in your industry how they got to where they are and what studies you could do to accelerate your skills and knowledge. Through networking events that discuss job searches, skills needed and learning options you could find someone who can point you towards your next role.

Often, it’s the enthusiasm for the role that can help you get ahead in your new career.


Get a head start

By choosing a course that offers hands-on and practical learning, you have the chance to learn the same core skills you would on the job. At TAFE Queensland Brisbane, many of our courses have practical components in real-life workplaces, so you can get a feel for your new career, and network with industry professionals before you even start your career.

You even have the choice of doing short courses or studying online, so you can keep going at your regular day job until you have the skills you need to move on. If you’re wanting to upskill, a short course or studying online is a great way to study your way and get ahead.


Mature age is no barrier

While it is going to be harder to make a career change if you have financial or family responsibilities, flexible study options can make the transition smoother and less challenging. Studying after hours or on weekends can increase your skills and abilities to bring about the opportunity for change.


Tips to help manage your study time

Here’s a few tips that can help you take control of you study time and get ahead in your career.

  • Set a regular study appointment – treat it like any other appointment or regular commitment, like going to the gym.
  • Plan to complete assignments a week before they are due – lower your stress.
  • Get help online from tutors – you can have your assignments reviewed and proof-read using student services such as Your Tutor.
  • Set time to relax as well – it’s important to have a balanced lifestyle while chasing your dream.


Make change happen today

Whether you are looking for new skills, a career change or considering what’s next since finishing school, find out how TAFE Queensland Brisbane can help you make change happen.

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