Changing professions at any stage of life can be a daunting prospect. The key thing for a career changer is that they know what they want before starting a search and to be prepared to give 100% throughout the process of changing careers. 

Our Profession Finder will give you all the links to professional associations and regulatory bodies you might need. Browse the Career Sectors to learn about professional bodies representing various sectors, with information about the different jobs, salaries, routes and qualifications within each sector.

One of the most important stages of the process, regardless of any re-training that might be needed, is to be able to link current skills and experience to those needed in the chosen new profession.

One of the best ways to research a change in profession might be to volunteer to gain short-term work experience in the prospected field. This is not only a great way to make sure the career changer's choice is a good fit, but also shows to new potential employers that they are keen and dedicated.

Check out our Job Search to see the latest professional jobs, as well as work placements and apprenticeships. Here are some other helpful resources:

  • CareerShifters is a great resource for expert advice and case studies when considering a change of profession. You can also get help from career coaches.
  • Position Ignition Career Guides know exactly what it takes to find the right career path for for those wanting a new career who may not know where to turn.
  • Susie Hall, author of “Divorcing Your Profession” offers advice on changing a career in her article “Career Change Help - Divorcing Your Profession”.

Improving your prospects:

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is required to a greater or lesser extent of all professionals. CPD is ongoing learning throughout a professional’s career, and is based on the assumption that qualifying to enter the profession does not mean that you are therefore competent to practice for the rest of your life. Rather, the profession will change as new technologies, techniques and approaches are developed which requires all professionals to continue to learn, debate, discuss and keep up-to-date on an ongoing basis.

  • Your professional body (go to the Profession Finder to search for them if you're not sure) as well as increasingly, your employer will encourage and perhaps even require you to carry out a certain amount of CPD and will support you to do so.

Find out about improving your skills to become more employable at these pages from the National Careers Service.

Returning to work (after having a baby or some time off) can be daunting. Many find that their confidence is affected when out of work for a lengthy period, due to maternity leave or long-term illness for instance. 

  • If you’re returning to work at your current employer, things should be easier, but can still make you nervous. Try and talk to your manager or Human Resources representative before returning to work to discuss any concerns or special requirements you may have.
  • If you do not have a job to return to, then there are many ways in which you can access help with deciding what’s right for you next. Start with this advice about going back to work from the National Careers Service, and if you're a new mother or a mother returning to work, take a look at Women Like Us.

Get some CV tips and interview advice to help you on your way...

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