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How to change career without starting over

By: Aquent

LAST UPDATED: April 7, 2023

Job hunting is incredibly competitive, with employers historically receiving an average of 40 applications per role, but in the current climate this number may well be in the hundreds. This makes changing career a daunting prospect, as you may be competing against candidates who have more relevant experience and qualifications.

Here is our advice on making the change work for you, without having to start over.

Create your mission statement

Having a personal mission statement is a great way to work out where you are in your career, where you want to be and how you’re going to get there. Begin by considering the things you value and the aspects of your job that make you excited. Think about what you are good at, your favourite day to day responsibilities and what transferrable skills you have that could help you do more of the best bits. Build this information into your mission statement and use it to help guide you through your career change.

Build your network

It is becoming increasingly common for hiring managers to source employees through their own networks and some companies even offer incentives for referrals. If your current network is limited to the specific discipline that you are trying to move away from then there are plenty of ways to grow it. Begin by making connections on and offline. Attend industry conferences and networking events, make sure to talk to as many people as possible and don’t forget to hand out your business card. Make sure your social media profiles are up to date, join groups and add to the discussions.

Upskill yourself

You don’t need to spend a lot of money or go back into full time education in order to expand your skillset. Look out for events and panel discussions you can attend or part time courses that fit in with your schedule. Try reading some industry relevant books, blogs and whitepapers, a lot of content is now available online for free and is easily accessible. There are also online training programmes available, where you can tailor training to your needs. Or you can access free online courses through our Gymnasium training classes at

Remember, a career change can be invigorating and energising but it won’t happen overnight. It can take around 6 months to make the move.. 

The most common reasons for a career change are:

  1. Frustration and boredom, not using your best abilities in your current job
  2. Redundancy or business closure
  3. Working in a diminishing industry or technology changes
  4. Realignment of values / midlife re-evaluation
  5. Changes in personal situation
  6. Career burnout or stress

If you have found this blog useful, then why not download our free ‘how to' guide on all you could ever want to know when searching for your next job.