Careers: making a change

Careers: making a change

  • Career change - which path to take
    Career change - which path to take?

New year, new job?

You won’t be alone if you’re considering a change of employer, or even a change of career, over the coming weeks. Early in the new year is the time most people contemplate a change, whether dissatisfied with their current role or being pulled over into some attractive, greener field.

Starting a new career

Changing employer or starting a new career will always be a major decision and source of anxiety. If dissatisfied with your current role or employer, have you checked whether you can improve your working day easily with an internal transfer or promotion? Talk to your boss and show your enthusiasm to take on new responsibilities, tackle new challenges. Or meet the boss of the team you’d like to join for a coffee and informal chat. These conversations could secure a better working day and avoid the hassle of changing employer. Unless you actually tell your current employer that you’re ready for a change, they may simply assume you’re content where you are. If being ‘pulled’ away from your current employer into something new, different, exciting and rewarding – then check that these benefits do actually apply and your career change isn’t based solely on one recent conversation you had with an old chum, glass in hand. Talk to those who work in the new company/profession – College alumni networks can be a useful source of contacts, or the Careers Service’s GradLink database of 1,700 alumni.

Reach out and network

Then, having completed ‘due diligence’ and you’re certain a move is necessary, take your time. Start to meet those in the company/profession you’d like to join – so many more jobs are now secured through contacts and conversation, update your LinkedIn profile, polish your CV and tailor it to the future role you’d like to secure. Recruitment agencies can be helpful, they’re always keen to have ‘Cantabs’ on their books – meet one specialising in your chosen occupation – you’ll find their names advertising in the professional pages and websites serving the sector. If looking for a complete career change and you’re willing to start at the ‘graduate-entry’ stage, then do look through the Careers Service website and our vacancy listings of graduate-entry jobs across all sectors – we advertised vacancies for 4,500 organisations last year. You’ll also find help on drafting a CV, being interviewed, networking and our termly diary – you’d be welcome to visit our Careers Events and begin to meet a few recruiters and practitioners in your new field. The Careers Service at Cambridge offers a service to alumni for life, we’d be happy to help.

Gordon Chesterman
Director, Careers Service