Smart Strategies for Making A Career Change

Catalyst for change

I don’t know what you think but I feel like 2016 has just flown by. As we get towards the end of the year, for many of us, our thoughts turn to 2017 and what that year might bring (I’m personally hoping for a lot less political drama and a lot more kindness globally!). 

December is a great time to take stock and many people use the break to consider whether it is time for a change in role, job, or career, while others may just take the time to enjoy the feeling of contentment that comes from being on the path or the place they desire.

I have made a few career changes myself, from electrician to architect and now entrepreneur and when I tell people about this journey, the second or third question after “how did you do that?”  is often an expression of desire for change, (accompanied by a sigh) and understandable concerns around the challenges of making enough money, having responsibility for others and just not being sure which path to take next.

Sadly, millions of people across the UK are unhappy with their work. According to research by the London School of Business and Finance, almost half of the UK’s workers are considering a job change; with 1 in 4 people reporting that they feel that they are in the “wrong career” for them and wishing to make a career change. 

When the data is explored by age, it’s clear to see that seeking change is not just a preoccupation among those approaching their mid-life; 66% of millennials (18-34 years olds) believe they are in the wrong career!

“Recognising that you are not where you want to be is a starting point to begin changing your life.”  Deborah Day


So, how can you make a change?

I am constantly inspired by people undertaking change for the betterment of their lives and just as importantly I’m inspired by the ways in which they are doing this. Change is scary and depending on your appetite for risk, it is possible to start the process in a variety of ways:


The Side Giggers - I meet lots of people like this. They are the individuals who have a role which gives them stability and income, but they dedicate a portion of their down time to a passion. For example making chutney or coaching others which does or could provide additional income. Should the side business take off they are ready to reassess their situation or gather more resources to scale and develop their business.

Mentoring for Change - For those looking to find out more about a possible role before making a major commitment, becoming a mentee is a great way to find out more. Mentoring for change is a key tool in supporting career changer candidates at Built By Us. 

The Mature Student/trainee – These are people who are continuing to upgrade or add new skills relating to a new area of work. Not necessarily new, you may be thinking, but did you know that there are a substantial number of mature (over 24) apprentices in the UK? Adult apprenticeships are on the rise with 44% of apprenticeship starts in 2014/15 attributed to learners of 24. 

Power Part-timers  - From April 2016 every employee in the UK gained the right to ask to work flexibly. By eking out time many part-time workers have been able to create time for volunteering, consulting or work experience in the areas that they wish to go into.

3 tips for making a career change

I have taken a number of changes in direction and I believe it’s never too late to make a change and create the life you want! Here are my 3 top tips on making a change!

1. Be prepared to make sacrifices - many people are unsure about making a change because of some form of sacrifice (often time or finance). But, if you really want to take your career in a completely new direction you need to be prepared to give something up to gain (even for a short period of time).

2. Share your dream - your network is more powerful than you realise and you would be amazed how many people are prepared to share their time, expertise and resources to help you succeed.

3. Take action - contact your local college/uni, volunteer, do some desk-based research, contact a recruiter - while it’s important to share your dream, it’s vital to start making your change tangible and seeing progress. 

If you are thinking about making a career change and have an interest in construction please contact Built By Us - we’re happy to help!