Alternatives to a Career Change

If you are considering a career change, but don’t want to start completely over, there are alternatives that will allow you to use your experience in a new job. Some options to consider:

Change where you work.

Most careers offer a variety of options in terms of where you can work. For example, nurses can work in hospitals, schools, clinics, and patients’ homes. If you don’t like your job, it may have more to do with your work environment than your career. You may want to move to a different department within the same company or switch to a non-profit institution. Don’t change careers without thinking about alternative workplaces that will allow you to stay in your current field.

Change your responsibilities.

If you’re a teacher, you may want to work with a different age group or teach a different subject. Maybe you can find a better job that’s more interesting and challenging. First, look for job openings within your own company since many companies give preference to internal candidates. If you hate where you work, be more discreet about your job search so that your current employer doesn’t find out about your intention to leave (at least not until you’ve secured a position elsewhere).


Okay, so maybe this is technically changing careers. But you can still use your knowledge and experience without starting completely over. Some college programs, such as nursing and accounting, are desperate for instructors and professors. And since work experience (in addition to a graduate degree) is often required for these teaching positions, you will have great “real world” advice to offer your students. If your worried about the cost of getting a graduate degree, many programs will provide stipends or scholarships to help with tuition and living expenses.


If you’re looking for more independence and flexibility, you might consider offering your services on a freelance basis or working as a consultant.  Some sites where you can find freelance and consulting work: Elance, Sologig,and Flexjobs.  A safe way to move into freelancing is to start out with one or two projects while working at your current job.  Once you’ve gotten some positive referrals, you can quit your full-time job.

Stress, bad coworkers, or a lack of challenging work can make you hate your career. Try to separate yourself from these negative factors for a while by seeking a career-change alternative. Maybe you do need a complete career change or maybe you just need an alternative to your current job.

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