Train to progress or change your career

TEC AoG 18815 Plan Your Career Advice pages webtiles v4 Train to progress or change your career

Explore your training options if you want to progress in your career, or move into a different area.

Train to progress in your existing career

If you want to progress in your existing career, ask your employer if you can talk to them about your future. Ask them what strengths they think you have, where you could improve, and what career paths you could take.

Your employer may be able to:

  • give you feedback on your strengths and weaknesses, show you how to do your job better, and point out ways you could advance in your career
  • link you to other people who can mentor you to develop your career
  • enrol and support you in an apprenticeship
  • send you on courses, or give you paid or unpaid study leave.

If you already have an idea about how you could progress, ask for their support and explain how this could help their business.

Train to change career

If you want to change career, you can use our interactive tools and information to get career ideas.

Once you’ve worked out what you want to do, find out the entry requirements for the job you want.

If you need a new qualification, find out if distance education is available, as you may be able to continue working while you study.

A micro-credential (where you do a short course to learn a specialised skill in demand) may also be a good option.

It’s also useful to talk to employers you want to work for and ask what qualifications and experience they prefer.

Can you speed up your training time?

You may be able to get credit for work or training you’ve already done, to speed up your qualifying time for your new role.

Could your current employer support your training?

Depending on what your current role is, and the entry requirements of the one you want to enter, you may be able to keep your existing job while you train. You could ask for:

  • part-time work while you study, or start work in your new role
  • paid or unpaid study leave to get qualified for your new role.

Consider asking your manager or the human resources department whether it’s also possible for you to get experience to help you shift into your desired role. For example, you could ask for:

  • a secondment in the area you want to work in, where you are still employed officially in your existing role but work in the new one
  • job shadowing, where you spend time observing someone doing the role you want.

Plan to combine study and other responsibilities

Combining study with work and other responsibilities can be difficult. Create a plan to help you organise support and free up time for study. Be prepared for a period of adjustment.

You may need to:

  • talk to your family/whānau and ask them for support
  • organise childcare or care for other people you look after, while you attend lessons and do assignments
  • reduce other commitments such as volunteer work or hobbies
  • change holiday plans so you have more time for study.

It’s also useful to talk to:

  • people in similar situations who’ve studied successfully – find out what worked for them and where they got support
  • people who have finished the training you are about to embark on – find out what they’re doing now and what advice they have.

Stay motivated

Use student support services

Once you start studying, find out what student support, mentors or co-ordinators are available. Contact them to find out what services they offer. Ask for support if you need it – they are there to help you succeed.

Work with a study group

If possible, work with a study group, which can help you stay motivated. If you are studying by distance, you will still be able to have group support online.

Updated 8 Jul 2019