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Planning your move increases the likelihood of a smooth transition. Moving to a position that is more suited to your talents and interests can be fulfilling, however you must also consider the costs. To make the right choice, you have to decide what factors are most important to you in a new job, and then you have to choose the option that best addresses these factors.

Most job seekers will experience a varied career path over their working life. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you like or dislike about your current role and industry?
  • What has excited/bored you in past roles?
  • What are your personal interests and passions?
  • What are your key attributes, strengths and talents?
  • What would your ideal job look like?
  • Will the change involve taking a pay cut?
  • Being out of work for a period of time?
  • Does the department/organization have a distinct culture?
  • Who has been/is successful in the role? What characteristics do they possess?
  • What skills beyond the job description do they use?
  • How much training and development will be available to you?
  • Where have people in this role typically moved?


Based on your personal preferences, research some careers that appeal to you. Scan online career and job profiles to find out if the reality matches your expectations. Try to find out those roles that could suit your interests and abilities; The daily tasks involved in these roles and likely starting salary; If your skills, strengths and experience are transferable to the roles; The strength, stability and growth prospects of the industry


Your career change will be smoother if you can find a role that builds on your existing skills. Think about the key transferable skills, strengths and experience you could bring to potential roles. Consider how past study and achievements could apply in a new context. It’s also important to determine the skills you will need to bridge the gap to your new career. Research any additional training, education or experience you might need. If possible, try to volunteer or temp in your new industry to gain some experience before making your move.


Taking a strategic approach to your career change and following a structured plan will increase your chances of success. To get to your ultimate goal, list both short and long term milestones around education, skill development, networking and research and put time frame around their achievement. Be sure to also refresh your job-search skills, so that you can seize any opportunities that arise.