Key issues to consider
If you are thinking of a career change, it’s important to consider some key questions.
Answering these questions will clarify your reasons for wanting to change career and help you assess how much change you’re seeking.
Do you want to
Focusing on the aspects you want to change will help you to identify your career options.
Try this activity from the Open University's T161 course (module) to help you understand how important work is to you and identify your priorities. You will need to use your OUCU and password to access this page.
It may be useful to have a personal development plan that details your preferences, your goals and your plans for achieving them.
If you are in work, you can use your appraisal system to discuss aspects of your job that are important to you and ones that you want to change, rather than resorting to changing career.
A career change usually involves training for new qualifications or to top up existing ones. Consider how long it will take to qualify, how much this will cost in terms of money and your personal time and energy.
Career development loans are bank loans available in the UK, of between £300 and £10000, that can be used to pay for study or training. The loan can be repaid once you have completed your study.
Please note: The Open University has withdrawn from the Career Development Loan Scheme so students will not be able to pay for OU study with a CDL.
Loans and grants are available for full or part-time degree study, depending on your circumstances. There are funding schemes available in England and Wales, Scotland, or Ireland and Northern Ireland. Many OU students qualify for some kind of financial support.
While you will be able to use your transferable skills in your new career, you may have to consider starting in a role that has less responsibility and a lower salary. Can you afford to do this in the short, medium or long term?
The changes you make will affect those around you, and by discussing the implications of changing career you can ensure you have support and encouragement when you need it.