• You may be considering a career change by personal choice or due to forced circumstances or a mixture of both.
  • It is natural to feel both excited and anxious about switching your occupations.
  • You might be concerned that you haven’t got the relevant experience, skills, and knowledge to make the leap.
  • Retraining is a powerful solution — one that could be effective even if you aren’t already working in a job that uses similar skills.
  • Read on for our 3 best tips to help you successfully undertake a career change!

Perhaps you’re amongst those who make up what commentators are calling the Great Resignation of 2021 — over 40% of the workforce are contemplating quitting their jobs this year after reassessing their priorities during the pandemic.

If so, you might have considered taking a pause and resetting your work and life goals. This could have led you to look into switching careers in a bid to have a more fulfilling career or life. However, changing careers can be a daunting move. You might feel that you haven’t got the right knowledge, experience, or skills that could help you succeed in a new occupation.

An effective solution that can help improve your confidence about switching careers is to reskill. Retraining or reskilling is what many people have decided to put their faith in. This includes individuals like yourself who is navigating the post-pandemic landscape to governments trying to steer their battered economies through the pandemic storm.

Even before COVID-19, drastic changes in the economy are making reskilling and upskilling unavoidable for many of us. McKinsey Global Institute estimates that as many as 375 million workers globally (14% of the global workforce) would need to change occupations as a result of automation and artificial intelligence by 2030.

  • Upskilling = Enhancement of skills via continuous training so as to ensure skills remain relevant in response to new technological and business developments.
  • Reskilling = Learning completely new skills in order to be able to do a different job role, take on additional responsibilities or switch into a new occupation.

It seems straightforward then — if you are planning a career change, then you should definitely look into reskilling. This is supported by results from a career change survey, which show that 83% of respondents are aware that they need to learn something new in order to switch careers. However, Findcourses survey also shows that a significant proportion of respondents (35%) are unsure how much training they will need.

If you are amongst the career changers who realize you need to reskill but are not sure what or how much training to get, here are 3 top tips to help you get started.

Tip 1. Check: Is your chosen career a job of the future?

You might have an idea of which direction to head for your next career. Before you take the leap, it is a good idea to see how much that occupation is going to be in demand in the future and check what the current average salaries are to try to gauge how these will change over time.

Research by the McKinsey Global Institute highlights that automation is about to bring huge shifts in the world of work, with robotics and artificial intelligence set to replace and/or change jobs, while creating new jobs. McKinsey provides an indication on the types of jobs that are not likely to be displaced by automation as well as some that would be negatively affected by automation. The report suggests that jobs in the following 8 types of occupations are not expected to be displaced by automation and could even increase:

  1. Technology / IT professionals
  2. Professionals e.g., analysts, engineers, scientists, and accountants
  3. Teachers
  4. Executives and managers
  5. Builders and related professions
  6. Creatives e.g., artists and entertainers
  7. Healthcare providers
  8. Service and manual jobs in unpredictable environments e.g. gardeners and home health aides

Meanwhile, employment in the below jobs is likely to decrease in the future because of automation:

  • Job roles in predictable environments e.g., food preparation workers, dishwashers, drivers, assembly line workers, and agricultural and other equipment operators
  • Back-office and office support functions e.g., office assistants, record clerks, and finance and accounting
  • Some customer interaction roles e.g., hotel and travel workers, food service workers, and cashiers

Tip 2. Perform a skills audit and retrain to bridge skills gap

You’ve identified the career that you’d like to reskill into. You’ve also assessed the resiliency of that career path. Next, you should do a skills audit — check what skills you already have and what skills you will need for the new career. You are likely to have more transferable skills than you think!

You can identify your skills gap by comparing your current skills set with that required in your chosen occupation. You can then plan the training you need to take to bridge that skills gap.

Here’s an encouraging fact to bear in mind: Those who can move easily from one role to a different job role are not only those with skills adjacencies but skills that are similar to other skills.

A LinkedIn analysis found that half of those who moved into artificial intelligence and data science professions came from unrelated occupations. This percentage is even higher for engineering (67%), content (72%) and sales roles (75%).

What this tells us is that we are capable of learning entirely new things, for instance by taking training courses such as in IT and computer skills or sales training.

Seeing how quickly things change in the world of work, it is essential to embrace a lifelong learning philosophy so that you can continuously renew your skills and have sought-after capabilities.

Tip 3. See if there’s available funding for your training

In response to the widespread unemployment caused by the pandemic, many governments are funding learning to try and give their people the right skills and qualifications to find jobs. These funding programs could be aimed at increasing the number of people with skills in particular fields e.g., digital skills. The programs could also be focused in certain states to encourage increased employment in those areas. Funding programs could also be offered at the federal level for all types of courses.

In the US for example, the CARES Act’s 2020 Education Stabilization Fund: Reimagine Workforce Preparation grant gives eight of the states most impacted by COVID-19 a total of $126 million. The states are using the funds in different ways to help return Americans to the workforce. For instance, the Arkansas Global Campus, which is receiving $10 million, will work with employers to look at skills gaps and develop a pool of students that can help meet those needs.

To fund your training, you should first check if you are eligible for any available funding that may be provided by the state. Once you’ve checked that you’re eligible for funding, you can then browse for the funded courses that are offered. Next, you can search for the training providers that provide the courses you’re interested in and contact them. Keep in mind that many training providers now offer courses online, which can be a convenient option.

Final thoughts

You may be contemplating a career change due to forced circumstances or by personal choice or because of a mixture of both. It is natural to feel both excited and anxious about switching careers. By being as prepared as you possibly can before you make the change, you’ll be able to lessen your anxiety about changing careers. By taking on the appropriate preparations and training, you’ll increase your confidence and chances about making a successful transition and achieving the life goals that you’ve set for yourself.

About the Author

Carol Pang is a Digital Content Editor for findcourses.com. Prior to this, she has 12 years of experience in the corporate and financial sectors. She believes that people are fundamental to an organization’s success, and that effective training can create a motivated and engaged workforce.