The secret to a successful career change

At some point or another, anyone can arrive at the decision to change career, either by choice or due to reasons outside their control. However, even if the details of this change aren’t quite clear yet, it can be the ideal opportunity to breathe new life into your career and reinvent yourself professionally. A career change requires motivation and organisation, as well as the ability to ask the right questions in order to become familiar with your aspirations and to be conscious of your talents and skills. It’s also necessary to not disregard certain steps that will be vital in your success in your new career.

First of all, take some time to reflect – ask yourself some questions and be honest with your answers. Self-awareness, and an awareness of your motivations, talents, passions, skills, strengths and weaknesses is essential. It’s important to know whether this desire for change is only temporary, or if it stems from something deeper. Apathy for your current job doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re apathetic about your entire field of work. You may still enjoy your work with a new employer, or by becoming your own boss. Sometimes a small change in your environment is enough to find your motivation again and allow you to thrive in a career you’re passionate about. A career change shouldn’t be forced upon you – you should choose to do it yourself. It’s possible to make decisions based on your own criteria, having analysed all the opportunities in front of you. That’s the aim of OrientaEuro’s Personalised Career Coaching. A certified coach will support you through the process and allow you to (re)discover your talents, skills, and passions. It would be pointless to act on impulse and leave a job that doesn’t suit you as quickly as possible only to find yourself in a similar situation, or even worse.

Another essential step for success in any career change is to do your research on the career in which you’d like to practise. You should have a clear overview of the socio-economic environment, business sectors, companies, clients and prospects for the future. This research will allow you to easily determine whether or not it’s necessary to work on your skills. In fact, throughout professional retraining, it’s not unusual to have to learn everything about a new field of work. Many people decide to take the “learning by doing” approach, and sometimes it’s the best way forward, but it’s also often essential to look into training to identify and acquire the necessary skills. Going back to education, either for training or studying, can seem complicated after years spent working. However, there are different types of apprenticeship available to help you to gain the qualifications necessary in your new career. The most common in Belgium is the ‘validation des acquis par l’expérience’ (VAE) – a teaching method which takes your professional experience into account and allows you to obtain a professional certification. You can find more information on the Forem or Actiris websites.

Then, after having drawn up a detailed account of your future career, and having determined whether or not you need to acquire any new skills, it’s important to meet with those who work in the sector to understand the reality of the field. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about their everyday routine, their career, and any advantages or disadvantages as well as the skills necessary to succeed in their line of work or even the salary you can expect to earn. It’s important to take a step back from your preconceptions of a career to truly understand if it presents a significant opportunity to bring about positive changes in your professional life. Taking this step allows for further reflection, and grants you the ability to make informed decisions and to determine an action plan to achieve realistic goals.

Finally, involve your family and friends in your plans. Changing your career path is an upheaval, and will affect your personal life just as it does your professional life. It can be a stressful time and the support of your family and friends is essential. It’s important to decide together with your partner whether or not you can afford to depend on them financially until your projects come to fruition.

Are you seriously considering a career change because your profession no longer makes you happy? Do you no longer find any meaning in what you do? Does your job restrict your progress, or is your current professional situation unsustainable? Do you want a change but don’t know where to begin? For these or any other reasons, OrientaEuro can give you the support through this uncertain time. Don’t hesitate to make use of our expertise – our certified coaches have the tools and experience necessary to make your professional retraining a success and to allow you to find the perfect balance between your passions, your talents and meaningful opportunities in your line of work. What’s more, if you live in Brussels or Flanders, are currently employed and have worked for 12 of the last 18 months, then you are entitled to our full 8 hour Personalised Career Coaching process (valued at € 1330) for only € 80, thanks to government subsidies.

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