Top ways to change your career

Caroline Cassidy

Unemployment figures are high and the country has just emerged from a downturn but that doesn't mean you have to get stuck in a rut. There are still plenty of opportunities to switch career. Did you dream of being a teacher, mechanic or solicitor? Perhaps you want to start your own business. With a little planning and research you can have the career of your dreams.

Top career searches:

  1. Finding a new career

  2. Interview techniques

  3. Find jobs online

  4. CV examples

  5. Cover letters

  6. Career planning

  7. Retraining grants

  8. Distance learning degree

  9. Career changes

  10. Job finder

Here is some advice on how to make that change:

Firstly, ask yourself what you are good at. If you already have a career in mind then do you think you could do it professionally? This means weighing up your strengths and weaknesses. Look for examples of where your core skills and experience match your chosen career. Do you like working with people or money? Would you like to do something more practical?

Whichever career you choose you should try reading the sector trade press, research all the websites, and look out for trade fairs. It's important to know your market so discuss with family and friends and learn as much as you can about the area you want to work in. If possible speak to someone who is already doing the job. See if you can arrange to shadow someone for the day. That way you can find out about the nuts and bolts of the role and see if it really is for you.

Your CV must be accurate and up to date. Remember, don't have just one version, your CV should reflect the role you are going for so edit it accordingly. It's important to know your CV well so that you know how to relate any relevant experience you have to your new role.

If you know the job specification pick out the key requirements and see how these match up to those in your CV or cover letter. If you are successful and your application gets you short-listed for interview the next step is to convince your employer you are the right person for the job. This means demonstrating that you have the necessary skills, experience, enthusiasm and talent for the role.

It may be more appropriate to consider a course. Or you might need to retrain. If so, find out what steps you need to take to get the training. Start making the necessary financial arrangements. Research how long it will take you. How about volunteering part time? This may give you the skills and experience you need to break in to your new career.