A career change can seem daunting at any age; from fear of failure to feeling too old to make the jump, there are countless reasons people decide not to change their career despite being unhappy in their current job - a survey by LifeSkills created with Barclays revealed that seven in ten people wanted to change their career, but only a fifth of people have ever take any action to move into a job they'll enjoy.
Even the supposedly ever-optimistic Gen Zers among us aren't immune from career fear, with 10 per cent saying they don't think a career change after 30 is possible. LifeSkills created with Barclays is hoping to change this mindset by extending its support to all ages, providing online advice and resources around the biggest areas of need for the workforce currently, such as introducing more workplace wellbeing, how to work flexibly, and even starting your own business.
At just 37, former Olympic boxer Nicola Adams was forced to retire from boxing in 2019 over fears for her eyesight. Being pushed to change careers gave Nicola time to take stock of what she wanted from life and allowed her to move into her new path confident knowing she was making the right move.
Here she shares her advice for making a career change
1. Make your own opportunities
"When I started out boxing, there were very few opportunities for women to train or compete, so I learned early on that I had to make my own. Embarking on a career change has been the same; opportunities aren’t always handed to you on a plate, so I’ve needed to think about what I’m passionate about and go make it happen."
2. Use your existing skills in a different way
"TV presenting is a world away from boxing, but I’ve treated facing a teleprompter for presenting jobs like I would any opponent in the ring. When I thought about it, the core skills are the same for each: needing to apply yourself with discipline to the task at hand. That mindset has seen me through to where I am today."
3. Do your research
I didn’t plan on retiring from boxing when I did, so I had to take a step back to think through what I wanted to do next. My advice before starting a new career would be to spend some time working out what you like and what you’re good at, and speak to as many people as you can about it, whether it’s friends and family, or people already in the industry you’re considering.
4. Get the advice you need
I’m entrepreneurially minded and plan to set up my own chain of gyms one day. I’m in the stages of sussing out business plans, locations and investors, so have needed to get advice on how to go about doing this. It’s the same for any new business, whatever the size; make sure you’re getting help on how to navigate the practical aspects of launching your idea.
5. Don’t let anything daunt you
The journey to success is never a straight line - there’s bound to be ups and downs when making a new start. I’ve found that while things might not always go as expected, if you’re staying focused, open-minded and optimistic, you’ll get to where you want to be.
Written in partnership with LifeSkills created with Barclays . To help people of all ages boost their skills and make the career changes they want and deserve, LifeSkills created with Barclays offers free support through online tools and resources including articles, videos and case studies.