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How to Make a Successful Career Change

How to Make a Successful Career Change

Ever found yourself at work, on the job, thinking about changing careers and doing something different?

Maybe you've always wanted to work in a trade, but just never explored that option? You're not alone - Australian workers on average change careers five to seven times within their lifetime.

Making a career change can be difficult, so we provide you with some things to consider and tips to help you make a successful career change.

Tip 1: Think About Why You Want to Change Careers

Be honest with yourself and ask yourself if it's just a role change rather than a career change you are seeking. Find out what's triggering this need for change.

If it helps, talk it through with someone who knows you well, like a former teammate, or leader who can provide you honest feedback and advice.

Tip 2: Think About What Your Interests, Values and Skills Are

Are you good at a particular skill, or passionate about a specific hobby that you could turn into a career? Perhaps you've got really good organisational and administration skills - perfect skills for a role in logistics and warehousing! Maybe you have a passion for a particular trade skill such as welding and have great people skills - a great combination for a career in trade sales.

A good visualisation exercise is to write down your hobbies, your skills (and maybe things you don't like so much too) to get a better picture of what you want out of your new career, as well as your main strengths.

Tip 3: Do Some Research Into Your New Career

Find out more about your dream career. Attending trade careers expos is a great way to do some research into different career paths. You'll get to meet people representing many different trades roles who can provide helpful advice. If you're a mature-age job seeker, don't be put off! Trade careers expos are open to all ages, not just school leavers.

Do you know someone who works in the trade that you want to pursue? Find a mentor in the trade you're exploring and ask questions. Find out the pros and cons of certain roles if you can. This is a particularly important step, as expectations don't always match reality!

Are there any opportunities to volunteer at any organisations in that field? Why not put your hand up so you can get a taste of what the role is really like.

Learn more about apprenticeship trade specialisations that MIGAS focuses on.

Tip 4: Upgrade Your Skills

Before you jump into another career path, you may need to think about upgrading your qualifications. Do you need any special skills for the trade you want to get into?

Some trade roles may require some level of VET-level training and/or competency-based accreditation. You may consider taking a short course or a skills-based apprenticeship or traineeship to get your foot in the door.

The benefit of taking on a skills-based apprenticeship or traineeship is that you can still earn money while you learn the skills required for your new career.

Tip 5: Know That it Won't Always be Easy

Career changes are not easy. Your journey will be filled with challenges and can cause emotional and financial stress. Be kind to yourself and understand it is normal at some times to feel stressed. Lean on your support network or reach out to any career mentors who may be able to give you helpful advice along the way.

If you are financially stressed, try building a budget to help with expenses, while you pursue your new chosen career, or explore payment plan options for any skills-based training you may be receiving for your new career.

Tip 6: Dive Into Your New Career

Now that you've set up the basis of your new trade career, all you need to do is jump in! Inaction can be your main enemy in pursuing career satisfaction, so don't wait! A change can be as good as a holiday!


Are you looking for a career change and considering a trade career? MIGAS has been recruiting, employing and supporting apprentices and trainees to achieve their desired trade career for 35 years.

Check out our latest job opportunities and apply today!


Published 05/10/2021

In the spirit of reconciliation, MIGAS Apprentices & Trainees acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and emerging, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.