Build confidence to make a career change

A man looks out an open door

You've got everything you need to make a big career change – here's how.

Want to change your career but don't feel confident? Find out how to make sure you're doing the right thing.

Consider the positives and negatives

When making a tricky career decision, it can be helpful to list all the possible positive and negative outcomes.

How to do it:

  1. Create two columns on a piece of paper.
  2. Label one column as 'positives' and the other as 'negatives'.
  3. In the positives column, list all the good things that might happen if you change your career - for example, 'learn new skills' or 'meet new people'.
  4. In the negatives column, list all the not-so-good things that might happen if your change your career - for example, 'disrupt my current routine'.
  5. Look at both columns and see how many positives and negatives you have - don't be surprised if there are a lot more positives.

By doing this simple exercise, you can clearly see the good things (and bad things) that could happen because of your career change. You should consider both options - are you willing to put up with the negatives in order to gain the positives? Use this knowledge to give you the confidence to make the right decision.

Find out what's important to you

It's a good idea to sit down and think about all the things that matter to you. This will help you figure out how a career change could support the things you value most.

For example:

  • spending time with your family and friends
  • exercising in the morning before work
  • having stability by working permanent hours
  • being financially independent.

As you figure out what's important to you, deciding to make a career change to better suit your values becomes easier. Knowing that a big change could improve your overall wellbeing will boost your confidence to take that first step in the right direction.

Do your research

Doing your research is the best way to be sure about your decision to change careers.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are there any requirements or qualifications that I need for my new career?
  • Should I complete any training or study first?
  • How will this career change affect my financial situation?
  • What costs will be involved with my career change?
  • How long will it take from when I leave my current job to starting a new one?
  • What type of working hours will support my values and lifestyle? Full time? Part time?
  • Will this career change improve my overall wellbeing?

Your research could involve:

  • visiting our job profiles database
  • talking to a professional career consultant
  • checking your eligibility for loans and allowances on Studylink
  • visiting the Fees Free website
  • speaking with people employed in the industry you're interested in.

By finding the answers to these important questions, you will quickly gain confidence in your ability to complete a big career change.

Related article

How a career change can benefit you

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A career change could improve your life in many ways.

Updated 7 Jan 2021