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How to Navigate a Big Career Change

Not enjoying the career path that you are on is something that many people experience. Sometimes they experience even more than once. The push to get a job, any job, can make it feel like you’ve limited your options down the line, but that is the furthest thing to the truth. There are so many ways that you can change your career without starting from scratch. There are accelerated degrees, there are job roles that take advantage of your existing skillset, and there are ways to get started in the industry that you are most passionate about.

Loving your job and being passionate about what you do are two of the best ways to improve your quality of life and your overall sense of fulfillment. It isn’t always easy to navigate a big career change, however, so use this guide to help get you started:

Explore Your Interests

Before you switch jobs, it’s important to know what career you want to go to. It’s okay if, at the current moment, the only thing you know is that your current career path is not right for you. That is the perfect instigator, but before you jump in completely blind, it’s a good idea to explore what you are interested in and, more importantly, the career options available to you.

Just because you are interested in painting does not mean that becoming an artist is right for you. There are a wide variety of factors that will need to be considered and many different facets of yourself that you will need to learn about first before making the plunge.

For example, you may like painting, but your wish to give back and make a difference in your life is going to outweigh that. In that case, painting is something you enjoy as a hobby and only as a hobby, and as for your career, you may be better suited for a career like nursing.

Explore what you are interested in and what makes you feel passionate. Then, find job roles that help you pursue a career in those interests and passions, and then consider how it would feel to commit to that role permanently. Though it would be nice that every job we try for will pay us well, the reality is far different, and you need to consider that.

Still, you should be able to find a job that pays well, that interests you, and that helps you feel fulfilled. So, take your time while you explore your options, and once you know what you want to go for, use these three methods to help you make the change.

Ways to Change Careers

There are three main ways to change careers:

1.    With an Accelerated Program

If you want to get into a career path that requires a license to operate, then know there are ways to accelerate your efforts. For example, if you want to change from healthcare operations or research to helping patients directly, you can use the STEM bachelor’s degree you already have to accelerate a nursing degree. In addition, there are many excellent and full-time accelerated nursing programs online available, allowing you to become a BSN RN in as little as 16 months.

Most nurses take four years at minimum to become a BSN nurse, meaning you will be able to earn the higher median of wages for nurses and make yourself ready to earn an MSN in just a few short years.

Accelerated degrees are just what you need to make a career change, and the fact is you can accelerate almost any degree, even if there is no legal requirement. In addition, many of the first-year credits you will already have under your belt, meaning you won’t need to take them again. This saves you time, money, and energy.

2.    By Finding Your Job Role in a Different Industry

If you like what you do, but don’t like the industry that you do it in, then the career change ahead of you is very straightforward. However, you likely won’t get a lot of different interview offers until you can demonstrate a good knowledge of the industry itself. Read, take short courses, attend conferences and workshops. You will know about the industry better and be able to demonstrate your passion for that new industry.

3.    By Transferring Your Skills to a New Job Role

If you want to change job roles, then start first with the transferable skills that you do have. The unique skills you can bring to the table may interest an employer to hire you and train you. If not, once again, reading, attending workshops, and more can help you better understand the role.

If the job role you want to apply for has very specific, unique skills that you don’t currently have, then going for a degree or a diploma can be a great way to gain those necessary skills.

How to Build the Right Network

One thing that will make the most profound difference in your job hunt is who you know. Building your network can be daunting, but it can actually be very easy with modern tools. Be social on the job and career networking sites, attend events, go to conferences, and talks and workshops, and generally just put yourself out there.

You can connect with people online and then slowly get in touch and get to know them on a far more comfortable, natural level than people in the past could. After all, people don’t like when others are being pushy. So, by having a nice chat, introducing yourself, and then using a digital connection to foster your relationship slowly, you can build a very strong, very useful network that can help you make a career move after career move.


You will change, your wants will change, your passions will change. There should be nothing stopping you from trying to steer your career into a new direction or changing tracks entirely. It can feel daunting, but there are always possibilities out there for you, and once you get out there, you’ll learn so much about yourself and what you can do!

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