So you’ve decided that choosing a new career is the right thing for you – but where to next?

If you ask any career coach, their immediate reaction is to tell you to take a moment and research, research, research!

Think about the thousands of different professions and roles out there; there is no way that you know all there is to know about every career. Take the time to figure out which career is perfect for you.

This is one of the reasons why nearly half of the UK’s working-age population is looking to switch careers – when they started, they didn’t know what they were going to want 10, 20, 30 years down the line.

The same notion applies now, you have a much better grasp of what you want and need but you likely still don’t know all the options out there.

First, you need to get to grips with why you are deciding to make the switch. Once you know what it is that is pushing out of your current career, you can check that your next one isn’t going to resurface the same issues.

From there, you can look for a profession that will meet all your criteria. Alongside these requirements, you can identify which sector has the greatest potential for your skills and abilities.

To get you started, we have listed a few questions to ask yourself about why you are making the switch:

Do you have changing commitments?

The most common commitment that causes a career change is to do with children, be that you have new-borns, or your children have all grown up. For information on choosing a career to suit your commitments, read our dedicated guide.

Have you reached a career ceiling?

Be it that your industry is changing, or your company has changed direction, it’s now commonplace for whole branches of organisations to be slowly made redundant. Most significantly, this makes getting promoted near impossible.

If you feel like you are facing this issue, make sure you choose a career that is in a growing, not shrinking, sector.

Are you not following your passion?

The question with the ever-elusive answer. Are your interests supposed to remain hobbies, or could you make your passion your livelihood?

If you feel confident in ensuring the latter, consider what parts of your passion you want to pursue. By identifying what it is you really enjoy, you can find work that shares the same elements, such as helping others and working with local communities.

Are you treated unfairly?

If a particular company dominates an industry, whether it is in decline or there is a labour excess, it is common for working conditions to deteriorate. Pinpoint what it is you don’t like about your treatment when considering a career switch, it’s not always 100% rosy on the other side.

Is your job role facing redundancy?

Sadly, this is an increasingly common occurrence. Industry in the UK is changing faster than ever, which can lead to people losing their dream jobs. If this is you, consider what it is you enjoyed about your role, and how moving into a similar position in a growing industry will be far less stressful.

For more information on facing redundancy, see our guide on assistance with potentially losing your dream job.

Once you have reasons for your switch as clear as possible, researching the different sectors is essential. It isn’t easy to get it right in your first try.

When considering different sectors, careers and roles, try asking yourself these questions:

  1. What are the most lucrative sectors?
  2. Where has the highest ceiling?
  3. What transferrable skills do you have?
  4. Do you have to retrain?
  5. Where do you have a network of contacts?

If you would like more support and guidance, look at our pages discussing retraining, alternative careers, and career changes at 30, 40 or 50.