A job for life is a rare thing – if it even still exists. You’ll probably move jobs a few times, and deal with changes within your role and company. You’ll learn new things, and could even end up in a career you’d never considered. Being adaptable will help you make the best of whatever twists and turns you face.
Stuck in a rut
If you think it’s time for a change, it helps to work out why you feel that way.
Are you unhappy or bored with the job itself? Is it the company you work for that you don’t like? Is there anything you can do to change things at work? Try talking to your boss about flexible hours, or picking up a new project. Ask about career progression opportunities if that’s what’s making you unhappy.
Give yourself time to make your decision.
Five things to consider when you’re changing your career
Making a big change can be scary. As well as indentifying your transferable skills, these five things will be important factors as you make your decision. The more research you do, the more likely you are to end up in the right place:
What’s it really like?
Changing careers can be a big culture shock. Talk to someone already working in the industry and find out what it’s like.
A job that plays to your strengths will be more enjoyable. Try the Strengths quiz in your account for suggestions of careers which might suit you.
Will you need to take a pay cut? Think through the effect change will have on your finances.
What’s the future looking like in this industry? The information in our job profiles could help.
Changes in your current job
Change can also happen while you’re employed. You could find yourself working on different projects or contracts, moved between teams, or given responsibility for a particular task.
Most of the time these changes should fit within the duties noted in your job description. If there’s a change to your employment contract, your employer needs to ask for your agreement.
If your company is being taken over, or restructuring is taking place, your employer must consult with you. If there’s a trade union in your workplace, they should be kept informed about what’s happening.
If you’re struggling with changes, remember it’s ok to ask questions. Talk to your manager and colleagues and make sure you know what’s expected of you. Union members can approach a trade union representative. Your workplace might have an employee board or feedback system as a way to share your concerns.
Translator Joan found that being able to work from home with flexible hours suited her when she returned to work after having children.
Alexander went back to university to change his career, and now works in Stirling Castle guiding visitors.
Find out about both of their jobs in the videos.
There’s no longer a default retirement age, so what you do as you reach the end of your career is up to you. There’s plenty to consider as you decide when to stop work, and what you’ll do next.
Your finances are one of the key concerns. We found some useful online resources which might help:
- The Gov.UK site is your first stop for information on the State Pension, planning your retirement income, and early retirement. You can also find out what to do if you’re retiring abroad
- Citizen’s Advice has lots of helpful information, including a checklist of things to do as you near retirement
- The Pensions Advisory Service has free information, advice and guidance
- Age UK has a useful guide on planning for retirement
- The Money Advice Service has information about pensions
- HMRC has information about tax and National Insurance after you reach State Pension age
The move from full-time work to retirement is a huge change, so you might also want to consider how you do it. Some employers offer phased retirement. Using some of your new-found free time to take up a course, hobby or volunteering might also suit you.