Can You Change Career While Still Working Full-Time?

If you’re not happy in your current career and looking to switch, then you’re not alone. Nowadays it’s common to have more than one career in your life, and a career change can mean doing something that you love, more money, or better job security. However, if you already work in a demanding career, it can be difficult to get the experience and qualifications you need to make the switch. Here are some things you’ll need to think about when moving on.

Moving on may not be a choice
The digital age has meant that certain industries have struggled recently, and it can be difficult to work in an area where there are redundancies and recruitment freezes. Your motivation to change careers may be due to your current job becoming obsolete, in which case, you need to do your research carefully and make sure you’re moving into a growing industry rather than a shrinking one, so you don’t find yourself in the same position down the

Studying while working
If you want to work in a completely different industry, then you may have some transferable skills, but in many cases, you’ll need some sort of qualifications. Luckily, it’s now easier than ever to study from home, and you can even take a course such as an MBA online with Suffolk University. Studying online is great for people who work full-time, as you can fit it in during your time off, such as evenings and weekends, and don’t have to step into a classroom. It can sometimes be difficult to stay motivated when trying to juggle studying and working, so make sure the subject interests you and is something you’re willing to invest time into.

See where your current role can take you
While you may not be happy in your current career, if you can’t switch right now, then you may be able to gain experience to take to your new role. Think about the kind of job you want to do, then see if there’s any scope in your role to take on new projects. While the two industries may not be much alike, gaining skills such as leadership, customer services, project management and more can make it easier to switch careers down the line.

Find some voluntary work
It’s usually difficult to find paid internships that’ll fit around your full-time job, but you may be able to find a voluntary role that’s within your chosen industry. Volunteering can be an excellent way to:

  • See whether you like the job before you commit to a change
  • Network and potentially hear about paid jobs before they’re advertised
  • Learn new skills
  • Meet new people
  • Fill out your resume and potentially get a reference

Some voluntary roles are only a couple of hours a week, so they aren’t necessarily a huge time commitment, but can get you on track to a new career.

Find a mentor

If you want to know how to succeed in a certain industry, then your best bet is to ask someone who has been there and managed to get to the top. Finding a mentor can be a little daunting, as you’re basically asking someone to invest their time to help you, so think of something you can offer them in return, such as guiding them through a project or helping
with IT skills.

Once you’ve found a mentor who has agreed to work with you, it’s important that you show that you are willing and put in the effort needed to develop your new career. Your mentor can’t do things for you, and they’ll soon get fed up of mentoring someone who puts in zero effort. Work with your mentor to create a list of goals, both small things you can do when
you’re busy, plus some larger things to do when you have some free time. That way, even if you have a busy month, you can feel like you have gone some way to achieving your goal.

A change of career is never easy, especially when you’ve got to keep up with your current role, but if you put the work in, you can work towards a job that you love. It’s not always possible to leave one career and immediately go into another, in many cases, you need to gain qualifications in your spare time or get some experience. While juggling these things can be tiring, ultimately, if it leads you towards your goal then it’s worth it, and you’ll no doubt be glad you took these things on.

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