what to consider before changing jobs

Change, both personal and professional, can be daunting. This article will help you understand which aspect of your professional life would benefit from change including whether a complete change in job is right for you.

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Many of us have experienced the feeling of being stuck in a job that no longer fulfils us, or perhaps even causes us stress and unhappiness. It's important to identify the aspects of our job that may require change or decide if a career change is right for you. Preventing negative emotions from taking over our lives.

identify aspects of your job that require change

Most jobs have four essential aspects which, if negatively impacted, can motivate us to seek a different career path or job:


Whom you’re working with can significantly impact the quality of your work, how your skills are nurtured, and your feelings surrounding your work-life balance

Having people that you learn from or connect with is important for your mental health. If that’s not the case, you might feel lonely and alienated, potentially leading to stress and unhappiness.


Why am I doing this? What’s the point of this task? Why should I do this for you? Are my values at odds with my current role?

If you feel yourself asking these questions frequently, your work may no longer align well with your motivations. Our motivations and interests evolve as we get older, so it’s possible to feel yourself no longer enjoying one of more aspects of your job. It’s important to remember that you should not let this demotivate you but instead let it promote personal growth and upskilling for another path. 

Industry or role

If you don’t enjoy the core aspect of your job, for example, the service you’re offering, this can lead to a lack of confidence and understanding, as well as a heightened sense of imposter syndrome. This doesn’t reflect your perseverance; it just means you’ve explored something and realised it's not the right fit for you.


If you feel stuck or can’t see further growth in your current job because it isn’t serving your professional goals or exposing you to new experiences, this could be a sign that you’re ready for a new role or career. 

If you’ve identified with some of these tell-tale signs, it might well be time to start thinking about your next move and what is best for your mental, physical, or financial health.

need a career change but unsure what’s next?

Our Head of People and Culture, Suzie Dawes, has shared her expert advice on your next steps:

1. map out potential careers

At this point, it’s a good idea to explore and reflect on what would be the perfect workday for you. Do you prefer remote, hybrid, or office working? Is there an ideal location to be based? Would you like to start your day off with creative work or client relations? Questions like these will help you imagine your ideal career.

Once you’ve done this, you can then begin researching careers and industries that might fit well with your values and skills. Throughout this process, always keep in mind the aspects of your current role that you aren’t enjoying. If you find this challenging, it can help to seek guidance from recruiters, your professional network, or your loved ones. 

2. research potential job matches

Now that you’ve narrowed down your desired career fields, you can begin to explore a career in this area. A good way to learn more is to read job descriptions and research other professionals in a similar role. 

This will also give you an idea of the qualifications needed and what a typical day might look like in this role.

From your research, write down the skills needed for the specific roles you’re focusing on. Next to this list, note down which areas you match with already, what transferable skills you have and which areas you may need additional training or qualifications for. 

3. update your CV

Whilst this will come in handy when applying to other roles, updating your CV is a great way to start the process of reflecting on your career and goals, including: 

• Personal strengths/weaknesses
• Interpersonal skills 
• Hobbies and interests 
• A long-term career goal 
• Personal achievements and future aspirations

Check out our 14 top tips for creating a stand CV and cover letter.

4. reach out to anyone relevant within your network

Whether you’re considering a job change into another industry or the same, make a list of contacts you have in the relevant area. LinkedIn or email (if you have this) is a great way to reach out and start a conversation with these people. 

5. set measurable goals you can track

To keep yourself motivated in your career change plan, log milestones and learnings as you make your way towards a full career change. 

Setting small goals like ‘reaching out to one person each week’ or ‘learning one new skill this month’ can help keep you from feeling stressed with your new venture. Remember to take it at your own pace to feel comfortable with the change.

how we can support you

It’s never too late to change your job or career if any aspect of it is causing issues or affecting your personal life. We’re here to support you through the decisions you make, weather its retraining for a new career or free career coaching, getting you interview ready. Get in touch with one of our friendly support officers today, to work out the best approach for you.

still unsure if a career change is for you?

We offer free personal and professional coaching, helping you navigate what’s important to you and the big decisions in life.

get in touch with us today



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your questions answered 

Who is eligible for support?

We support past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and the family and carers of members and students. 

  1. No matter where your career takes you, past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England Wales (ICAEW) are eligible for caba’s services for life, even if you change your career and leave accountancy 
  2. ACA students (ICAEW Provisional Members) who are either an active student or have been an active student within the last three years are eligible for caba's services 
  3. Past and present staff members of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's services for life, even if you leave either organisation. Please note, for former employees, our financial support is only available to those who have had five years continuous employment with either organisation 
  4. Family members and carers of either an eligible past or present ICAEW member, ACA student or past or present employee of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's support. We define a family member as a: 
    1. spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner 
    2. widow, widower or surviving civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    3. divorced spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    4. child aged up to 25. Please note, children aged between 16 and 25 are not eligible for individual financial support 
    5. any other person who is dependent on the eligible individual supporting them financially or are reliant on the eligible individual’s care 
    6. any other person on whom the eligible individual is reliant, either financially or for care 

You can find out more about our available support both in the UK and around the world on our support we offer  page. 

Are your services means-tested?

If you need financial support, we carry out a means test where we consider income, expenditure, capital and assets.  

*Please note none of our other services are means-tested. 

I’m an accountant, but not a member of ICAEW, can you still help?

Unfortunately not. We only support past and present ICAEW members, their carers and their families. If we are unable to support you, where possible we will point you to help elsewhere.

caba has supported me in the past; can I receive support from caba again?

We understand that circumstances change. If we’ve helped you in the past there’s no reason why we can’t help you again. You can contact us at any time. Please call us if you need our help.

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