A career change for a better quality of life

October 27, 2014

Why change careers? Maybe you lost your job, or the job you have doesn’t interest you, or maybe you’d like to improve your quality of life. Here's how to navigate that shift.

A career change for a better quality of life

Should you change career?

Career changes don't happen overnight, unless you’ve been handed an opportunity on a silver platter.

  • If this is the case, jump in with both feet because they don’t come around very often. Why? Because the process of changing careers requires plenty of research, reflection and hard work.

Your reasons are your own and they are worth their weight in gold:

  • Is your current job aging you with stress?
  • Are you tired of managing all these responsibilities?
  • Are you tired of endless hours spent in traffic and the never-ending schedule your job requires?

Then it's time to take control of your life and change direction!

Talk to your friends and family

  • Talk to your neighbours, colleagues, friends, and family. Let them in on your current thinking. While some may be surprised, those who know you better than you know yourself might say: "It’s about time!”
  • Talk to a therapist if you're having difficulty during this period of transition. Therapy will help you chart your course and give you the tools to take small steps towards change.
  • Take advantage of social media and all of your networks to find people who are in the same boat (or were at one time). Feeling understood and supported will help you move forward with confidence.
  • Consult a counsellor for guidance while you explore a career change. Counsellors can help you set priorities and identify new opportunities that correspond with your knowledge, skills and interests. There are many tools available to you, including personality tests, to help understand which professions best match your needs.

Take your time in making your career change

  • Vocational and personality tests paint a portrait of your strengths and interests, and allow you to evaluate your expectations. The goal of these tests is to narrow down your choices in function of what you're realistically able to accomplish.
  • Research the jobs you want online or in trade journals, or ask people in similar positions to the one you aspire to.
  • Be prepared to sacrifice some time (even years) if you plan to go back to school. It's important to have the support of your partner, because career planning and investing in education affects the whole family. Work as a team!
  • Give yourself permission to be wrong since you may need to make adjustments along the way.

Once you've updated your resume, make a new cover letter explaining your intentions. Now it’s time to reach out to employment agencies.

  • Placement agents are equipped to introduce you to potential employers, plus you have an opportunity to discuss your journey and process with them.
  • Employment agencies are the intermediate choice and go-between to a new career.
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