How to Find a New Career in 9 Steps (With Examples and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 7, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Individuals may consider finding a new career for several reasons. You may consider searching for a new career to improve your work-life balance, find more satisfaction in your work, or work in a field that aligns with your interests. Learning more about what factors to consider when changing careers can help make this transition easier. In this article, we discuss why people consider finding a new career and provide a list of nine steps to follow when looking for one.

Why do people want to find a new career?

Your career is something that occupies a significant amount of your time and is important in determining your lifestyle and work-life balance. There are a number of reasons why individuals might want to find a new career, including:

Lack of career satisfaction

One of the most common reasons individuals consider changing careers is because they no longer feel satisfied in their current role. They may no longer feel that their job duties are challenging, they may want more opportunity for career advancement, or their interests and priorities may have changed. Individuals may wish to look for a new role that they find more fulfilling, or they might change to a different industry altogether.

Related: Career Fulfilment (How to Find Professional Satisfaction)

New interests

Often, individuals pursue careers related to their interests. As interests change and grow over time, people may aspire to pursue different careers. For example, if you began your career as a kindergarten teacher, you may realize during this time that you're interested in music. As a result, you may wish to pursue a career as a music teacher and gain the necessary experience and training to do so.

Related: Determining the Answer to "What Are My Interests?"

A desire for more flexibility

Having a good work-life balance is important for many people. Individuals often wish to have more flexibility in their schedule to allow them to meet other commitments, and many people are interested in options for working from home. If your current position doesn't offer the flexibility you need, you may wish to pursue a career in an industry that offers more.

Related: What Is Flexibility at Work? (With Examples and Benefits)

Salary limitations

Salary is a common reason that many people consider changing jobs. If your current position doesn't offer opportunities for salary increases, you may wish to complete more training to advance your career. You may also decide to look for work in an industry that offers more opportunities for a higher salary.

Related: What Are Salary Pay Scales (With Different Structures)

Management style

Your work environment can have a significant impact on whether you choose to remain in a career. If you're feeling unsatisfied with your current management, whether in your own department or in the company as a whole, you may consider changing careers. Working in a position that has a more collaborative structure may also be helpful.

How to find a new career

Changing careers is a significant decision that you can make easier with thorough planning and research. The following steps can help you find a new career:

1. Consider your current skills

When working to find a new career, first evaluate your current skills. Understanding your current talents and abilities can help you brainstorm what career you might be successful in pursuing. Brainstorm a list of skills that you can refer to when searching for new careers. These skills may include those that you developed in your current career, such as writing or marketing skills. They might also apply to those that you developed outside of work and through hobbies, such as communication and design skills.

When brainstorming your list of skills, include both hard and soft skills. Hard skills are those that you acquire through training, education, and on-the-job learning. Knowledge of accounting practices, ability to use software platforms, and foreign-language fluency are examples of hard skills. Soft skills are skills that are inherent, yet may be helpful on the job. Examples of soft skills include effective communication, problem-solving ability, critical thinking, and working well in a team environment.

Related: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

2. Make a list of your interests

Individuals often consider changing careers due to new interests. Creating a list of your current interests can help you determine what possible careers might be suitable for helping you learn more. When making this list, consider both your professional and personal interests. For professional interests, think about your current and past jobs, what you enjoyed in those roles, and what you were curious to learn more about. For example, if you worked as a librarian and enjoyed the technical aspects of the job, you might consider a career in information technology.

Choosing a career based on your personal interests can help ensure that find a career you enjoy. When making a list of your personal interests, think about how you spend your spare time and what activities help you feel motivated. For example, if you enjoy spending time with your pets, then you might consider an animal-focused career such as a veterinary technician or animal trainer.

Related: How to Identify Your Career Interest (With Examples)

3. Determine your personality

Your personality can impact what type of career you enjoy and what jobs you're most likely to be successful in while working. There are a number of personality tests that you can take to help gain a better understanding of your behavioural tendencies and personal characteristics. One common personality test that employers often use to gain a better understanding of their employees is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which requires you to answer 93 questions or statements about how you make decisions and perceive the world.

Some personality tests provide suggestions for career choices based on your personality traits, or you can review your personality type and determine which careers are most likely to bring you success. For example, if you have an introverted personality type, then you're likely to be successful in jobs that value independence, focus, and observational skills. Examples of these careers include accountant, writer, and graphic designer.

Related: Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type and What It Means for Your Career

4. Identify your strengths

Like knowing your personality type, understanding your strengths can help you determine the type of job where you're most likely to have success. To identify your strengths, consider what aspects of your current job where you have success. If you're having difficulty identifying your strengths, consider asking friends and family members for their input.

5. Determine your ideal work environment

Your work environment can have a significant impact on your job satisfaction. Consider the type of schedule and work environment where you feel the happiest and most successful. You may consider whether you benefit from regular hours or if you enjoy more flexibility in your work schedule. Some individuals work best in a collaborative environment, while others work best independently. You may also consider whether you prefer a home- or office-based position, and if you might enjoy a job that involves travel. Compare these aspects with your possible career ideas to determine if there are any that relate.

Related: 10 Important Components of an Ideal Working Environment

6. Evaluate your salary goals

When looking for a new career, it's also important to consider salary. You can research salary caps and salary ranges for the different careers that you're considering. This is an important factor, as it can be helpful in determining how your lifestyle might change if you pursue a particular career.

7. Determine the requirements for your new career

Some careers require specific training or education before you pursue them. For example, if you want to be a teacher but have no training or education in this field, consider that employers require you to obtain a bachelor's degree in education. Researching career requirements can help you determine the amount of time required to prepare. Then you can decide if you feel the benefits of the career are worth the time investment.

Related: How to Start a New Career in 8 Steps (With Helpful Tips)

8. Research companies you're interested in

Even if a position's job duties align with your strengths and interests, the industry and company that you work in can impact your job experience. To learn more about what working in a certain field might be like, research companies for which you may want to work. This can inform you about what companies prioritize and the types of projects that they may be working on. You can also look for articles containing interviews with professionals working in the industry to learn about their daily schedules and experiences.

9. Network with other professionals

When looking for a new career, networking can be helpful in getting a new job and learning more about the industry where you want to work. You may consider letting individuals in your network know that you're looking for a new position and seeking possible referrals. If you're in the process of learning more about a new career field, you can try attending industry events or joining industry-specific groups on professional networking websites. If you're looking for more specific advice, consider seeking a mentor in your desired field or talking with someone who has experienced a similar career change.

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