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How to Make Career Changes in the New Year

19311557_mAs the New Year gets into full swing it could be time to assess your career and make some new career goals for 2013.

If you have been working in the same job for years but dread going to work, it could be time for a change of scenery. But if you are finding it difficult to get motivated, to write a new CV and to look for jobs – you aren’t alone. Many employees find themselves ‘stuck in a career rut’ during this time of year and struggle to progress. Salary worries, job stability and being comfortable are all obstacles to searching and applying for a new job.

Last year a survey of 2,000 individuals, carried out by retailer Aldi, found that two out of five people are unhappy in their job. So why do many candidates work in a job that doesn’t fully satisfy them? And when is it time to start looking for a new career?

“Most people wait until the pain of not changing is unbearable, and then the need to get out of pain motivates them to overcome their fear of change,” says Personal Life Coach Becki Houlston. “If someone finds they are stagnating in their career they need to talk about what the problem really is to key people and friends and decide what they really want to do. Secretly most people know, but they have buried it because they see their dream job as impossible or see too many barriers. Remember the man who says he can, and the man who says he can’t are both right. If your passion for your career can’t be reignited, then you need to create an exit plan immediately, life is too short to spend 9 hours a day feeling unhappy.”

Although many candidates struggle with change, others see the New Year as a chance to create new opportunities. Whether it’s aiming for a promotion, working towards a salary review or changing careers – the New Year is an ideal time to assess career goals and to put a long-term plan into action. Dan Smith from Oxford works for an IT company and has already put plans into action for the New Year: “I have been working in IT for a few years but feel I’m not fulfilling my full potential. The Christmas break gave me an opportunity to assess my goals and I am now studying a degree alongside my job to help me move in the right direction. It’s quite tough to break your routine but it’s hugely satisfying to now be studying something I enjoy and am passionate about.”

One of the first steps to career progression, besides realising it’s time for a change, is updating your CV. Whether it’s applying for a promotion or sending your CV out to another employer, keeping your CV fresh and up-to-date is essential. Many candidates look at taking on extra work to help add content to their CV or volunteer for a charity outside of work hours. Keeping your CV varied with new experiences is vital as it can demonstrate to an employer that you are adaptable. It’s also a great way to boost confidence adds Becki: “You can build self-confidence in your abilities by doing some activities that are out of your comfort zone.”

But to truly make a career change candidates should make a plan and stick to it as Becki explains: “It’s important to write down goals and to picture yourself achieving them. If you want a promotion you should speak to your Line Manager and ask what you need to be doing for that job to be yours. Ask ‘what do I need to do more of? Or less of? And what strengths do I currently have that would be an asset to that role?’ Find out if there are any skills that you need to acquire, step your game up and be consistent.”