Feeling stagnant in your job? Here are 7 steps to change your career

There are so many aspects to consider when changing a career, not just finances. Picture: Pexels

There are so many aspects to consider when changing a career, not just finances. Picture: Pexels

Published Jan 27, 2023


Thinking of a career change can be daunting. There are so many aspects to consider, not only your finances, and potentially having to compromise on certain things.

According to the marketing manager of JustMoney, Shafeeka Anthony, mid-life is the time when many people reassess their priorities and decide to make a career change.

Anthony said making a shift can be a positive and strategic move, with the potential to increase your income and ensure a better lifestyle in the long term.

“Such a move is best approached calmly and logically, though. An impulsive decision to email a resignation letter to your difficult boss could badly jeopardise your prospects and impact your finances.”

Anthony said making a career change may sound quick and easy, but it usually requires developing several strategies.

“A key aspect of a successful transition is being in control of your finances.

“You want to avoid taking on debt or dipping into your retirement funds.”

Here are Anthony’s seven tips for those considering a career change:

1. Consider why you are dissatisfied

Could you be physically and emotionally exhausted, and in need of a holiday, or is it a more fundamental yearning?

Do you want greater flexibility, a better work-life balance, or new challenges and adventures?

2. Speak to a career counsellor

Professional career advisers are not only for school-leavers.

A counsellor can help you assess your skills, open your eyes to fresh options, and guide you through training applications and CV updates.

You can also book an interview with a recruitment specialist in your area of interest.

3. Put your toe in the water

Exploring a side hustle while keeping your current job will help you to figure out if a new interest has potential.

If you yearn to set up a craft enterprise, start making items in your spare time and selling them online and at weekend markets.

Take online courses, watch video tutorials, and find a like-minded community.

4. Check your budget

Ensure that you have a clear understanding of your monthly costs and obligations.

Rent, medical aid and grocery bills will still need to be paid while you pivot.

If you are a parent, your child’s education will remain a priority for many years.

These all should be factored into your planning.

5. Emergency savings

If you are considering a change, it is likely that you will have a gap between pay cheques.

Sufficient income to cover your living costs for six months is always recommended.

6. Company benefits

When assessing your new career options, research salary scales.

Is there a skills shortage in your desired area of work, and what are the opportunities for progress?

When you do apply for a new job, key considerations will be medical aid, leave, and retirement funding.

7. Retirement planning

It is tempting to cash out your retirement fund when you leave your old career behind.

It could seem like an opportunity to pay off debt and start afresh.

However, this means you will have to start retirement investing from scratch and will lose out on the power of compound interest.

Rather transfer your payout to a retirement annuity, pension, or provident preservation fund.