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Six steps to change by career coach Denise Taylor of

Cover of  by Denise Taylor

1. Identify why you want to change. Is it to move away from something you hate or to head towards something you love? If you loathe your job you might feel that anything is better, but if you're passionate about something then make sure you're focused on that specific goal.

2. Don't pigeonhole yourself. Look at your role, rather than your job title, to identify the strengths you have to offer. Unpick the key skills you've developed and see how they can be adapted.

3. Be realistic. Change might mean a series of stepping stones instead of one leap. Don't assume you need a degree when short retraining courses or part-time study might be enough.

4. Do research. You might have an aptitude for something, but what if it involves being self-employed or shift work? Talk to someone in that job to find out what it's like, and consider being an intern - you might not get paid but compare that to the cost of retraining.

5. Be structured and systematic. Tailor your CV to each job and company you apply for, prepare questions to ask at interview, etc. If you're systematic, you can tick off each step to evaluate your progress. Avoid the scatter-gin approach and stay targeted.

6. Be proactive. Don't wait for jobs to be advertised - contact companies direct to put yourself on a shortlist for when jobs or short-term contracts come up.

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