What is Career Transition?

Also known as ‘career shift’ or ‘career change’, career transition is essentially just moving into a new role. This could be a step up, a step sideways, or something completely fresh like re-training for a new job, going back into further education, or even starting your own business. It’s about you defining your career and taking the next step on your personal journey. So, a career transition is a little bit more than just a shift in the same industry.

How to Spot a Career Transition at a Hundred Paces

Career transitions are not as obvious as they sound, sometimes, people need help with identifying the right signals and what they mean. Here are some indicators that a career transition could be on the cards.

  • Boredom – if your current role doesn’t excite you or even make you remotely enthusiastic
  • Curiosity – you’re becoming interested in what friends and other peers are doing, their jobs seem to be much more exciting than yours
  • Marking time – your job doesn’t stretch you and you are keen on new challenges and responsibilities
  • Salary – your current salary is limited, perhaps you’ve gone as far as you can down this road and are earning the maximum for that particular role
  • Work/life balance – your work/life balance is out of kilter

If you recognise one or more of the things on this list and identify with them, then you could be ready for career transition.


Trying to formalise your thoughts and feelings which may be swirling around in your mind, is not an easy process. However, there are some simple techniques that can help you see more clearly and start to take some steps forward.

Keep a Work Journal

Keep a journal of how you feel at work on a day-to-day basis and how you react to different situations. It doesn’t have to be the next Booker Prize-winning novel, just a couple of lines jotted down to help you capture your thoughts and emotions. This will help you understand what’s working for you and more importantly, what’s not.

Review your Interests, Hobbies, Skills, and Abilities

Look at your life in the round and note down your skills and abilities across every area of your life from hobbies to volunteering including time spent at school or college where you have excelled at something.

The 21st century is the century of transferable skills and so these are all relevant to your CV. There are also free online tools that can help you explore some of these aspects and broaden your job and career alternatives with objectives that align with your motivations.

Spend Some Time Daydreaming

Perhaps a radical career change is what’s beckoning, talk to trusted friends and family about your alternative career aspirations. Ask them what they think you would excel at and enjoy.

Online Research

If you think you’ve identified an area or job path you would like to go down then do some research on the internet. Career counselling or outplacement services can help at this point, particularly if you are considering a move into a different field or sector.

Create an Action Plan

Once your thoughts and ideas have begun to crystallise, start to write an action plan of how you can take your ideas from the theory stage to actual development and reality. If you can see the end game, then that’s more than half the battle; creating a route to get to that point just requires research and often some targeted advice, a lot of which can be found online. Always include a realistic timetable in your plan so that you have the impetus to make it more than just a pipe dream. Reaching different milestones however small will help you feel positive and encourage you to believe that you are making progress.

How can Outplacement help?

Sometimes, we can’t see the wood for the trees, we know something isn’t quite right but we’re not sure what it is or how to go about resolving it.

Using an outplacement consultant is like having your own sounding board, interested and focused on what matters to you but without the vested interests of your employer, friends or family members. Advice is independent, impartial and objective. Fresh eyes can look at your situation in a new light and recommended things you may not even have thought of.

Outplacement is broader than just career coaching and will cover avenues like self-employment, starting your own business, re-training for a completely new career, and even retirement.

Of course, career transition can come from another direction entirely and that could be redundancy imposed on you by your current employer. Many companies offer outplacement services as part of their redeployment or redundancy package. Take a good look at the service provider they are using and make sure there are suitable options for your situation. This service will be free at the point of use and won’t count as a financial amount in the value of any redundancy settlement.

We provide a diverse range of outplacement services helping employees who are forced into career transition and those who seek help because they are unhappy in their current roles. Our provision includes all outplacement essentials plus finding a new job, retraining for a new role, a return to education, self-employment, and retirement. We help businesses large and small across all sectors and also offer dedicated redeployment, change, resilience, and pre-retirement services.

Get in touch with one of our professional outplacement consultants today and see what we can do for your business.

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