We spend a lot of time at work, so doing something we enjoy, getting paid appropriately for our time and having a clear path for moving up or moving into roles of choice are pretty important to satisfaction in life.

There are many reasons why moving jobs can start playing at the fringes of our thoughts – perhaps your current employment doesn’t offer opportunity for progression; your pay is stagnant or not appropriate for the role you perform; life commitments demand a jump in pay or changing career is a smart move for your future as well as an important personal goal – just as a few examples.

If you are considering moving jobs or changing careers, here are a few tips to help ensure it is a smooth change:

Look a little closer at your current job

It can be easy to assume that progression or a pay rise is off the table, but you’ll never know for sure without a bit of investigation. It may be worth talking to your manager or HR manager about opportunities to expand your current role or other opportunities within the organisation.

And some questions for you could include: is it the work or the work environment that you don’t like; are you interested in the industry your employer operates in; what kind of role would excite you?

Mapping out the possible

If you’re thinking about a big change it definitely deserves some thinking time to – in detail – define the kind of role you are looking for. This is especially true if changing careers will mean a drop or loss of income and re-entering study.

Do your research; look at job adverts and speak to people in the industry to gather as much information as possible about your next career move. And importantly, think pragmatically – is there a market for you new set of skills? Is it paying what you need? Is there room for growth? Essentially, will this new career enhance your life and match or better your needs in terms of income – today and down the track?

Create a change management plan

Once you know the change you want to make and the steps that will realise it, consider your action plan and timeline.

(1) Getting your finances in place – is there the potential (or certainty) of loss or reduction in income? If so, how are you going to plan for this? What savings do you need to cover existing commitments for a period of time (relevant to the change you are making).

(2) When are you best to hand in your resignation? What is your notice period? Do you have annual leave entitlements? Is there an opportunity (if relevant) to work part time with your current employer – to ease the transition for yourself and for them?

(3) What lifestyle changes do you need to make? How does this affect your partner? Are you both on the same page and committed to the change?

It’s a big move and one that needs careful planning to ensure you achieve what you want with the least possible disruption to your life. It can feel very tempting to just move, take the step, and get on with life. But getting your ducks in a row and treating your career change like an expert manoeuvre on a chess board will ensure your move works best for all aspects of your life. 


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