How do I make a career change?

It’s that time of year again when we see a sharp increase in people searching for new jobs, reflecting on whether their current career is the right one for them. In fact, Work Well receive more enquires for support in January and September than any other time of year – these months coincide with new starts and beginnings.

The start of the new year is as good a place as any to spend some time reflecting on your work situation. After all you have 12 months and 365 days to explore, research and put a plan into action!

However, deciding to change jobs or move careers can be an emotionally challenging process. Our confidence can be low as we’ve not thought about our skills and experiences for a while. We may have experienced some difficulties with our careers such as gaps in work or education, or difficult work environments. We may feel loyalty to our current employers and moving forward to something new could feel conflicting.

Alternatively, there has been so much change in the labour market and its stability these past three years. We are still seeing the effects of the pandemic in some sectors where job roles have changed or, sadly, there have been redundancies with less job security as well as workers expressing their right to fairer working conditions and pay.

Working as a career coach within the health sector has brought into focus that whether we want to change our work situation or not, making time to manage your career can impact positively on our health and wellbeing. Afterall, we now see a career as a journey throughout our life; it is not one job or one work sector, but different work-related experiences, training or unpaid work.

We have developed some short videos to help you through each stage of exploring a career change – whether that be a different job in the same sector, or a completely new sector. It could even mean taking a break from work and returning to education or finding some unpaid work to fit around your paid work, to help you develop a skill for a longer-term goal.

The important thing to remember is you are in control! The videos can help you be creative and give you ideas, speak to those around you to help you think through some of your findings and plans. On that note I wish you a very happy new year!

Introduction to making a career change

Step 1: What’s important to you?

Step 2: What are your strengths and needs?

Step 3: Developing job ideas

Step 4: Researching the job market

Step 5: Your career plan


Adele Gardner - Employment Service Lead

Hello, I’m Adele, the Employment Service Lead at Work Well. I started as an Employment Coach in 2007. Lots has happened in the world of work during this time which I realise is quite the understatement! One thing I have noticed over the years is how our language has evolved when speaking about mental health and deciding how we share our own mental health with others, in particular our employers. Our staff contribute to our Work Well blog, often with subjects that they are passionate about and that come up in their work supporting people with their employment needs and goals, so I feel lucky we have this platform and hope it can be useful to others.

When I’m not working I enjoy running and doing my best to persuade my kids to come on long walks (I’m not usually successful!), I am a true northerner at heart, I love a good, strong, Yorkshire tea and anyone who knows me will tell you that I also love a good ‘who dunnit’!