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It's never too late to change your career path

Two construction workers interpreting technical papers

There are many reasons for wanting out of your current gig. And there’s one way into your new one – by deciding what you really, really want to do next.

You know it in your gut, it’s time to go. You can’t face going to work. another. single. day. You just don’t like doing it any more.

Or you’ve never liked it but can’t kid yourself any longer, or maybe your whole industry has changed so dramatically you can’t see a future in it.

For some people, there’s always been a burning desire to do a particular job, but earlier in life there were barriers – couldn’t afford further study, needed to support the family, distance, inadequate secondary school results. Now could be the time to restart.

For others, there may have been a hint in the past but it needs to be drawn out now. Think about your past self or talk it over with people who’ve known you a long time.

‘Oh yeah, remember when we made that cubby house together? I loved building it and you loved arranging it inside.’

Or ‘I’ve always loved being around children’, ‘You were amazingly calm when that accident happened’ or ‘You did a beautiful job arranging the flowers for my party’. The clues are there, some deep thinking may draw them out.

Then there’s the NI crowd - No Idea at all. This is going to tougher to work out. You need a do a lot of thinking, soul searching even, a lot of research – and some quizzes.

For funsies, Buzzfeed has a huge list of kooky quizzes that will tell you what job you should be doing, depending on seemingly random questions. Yes, they are a bit silly, but they are fun, can get you thinking and may just contain a spark of truth.

To get serious about the search, you can turn to the Australian Government and its Job Outlook site

It provides information about Australian careers, labour market trends and employment projections. There are skills match, career quiz, explore Australia and future outlook functions which give you a clear picture of the jobs market now and in the future.

The career quiz can lead you to jobs that match your work style, while skills match can give ideas for new jobs that use your current skills.

Both can throw out suggestions that never would have occurred to you.

Looking ahead

Future outlook says there will be 886,000 more jobs by 2023 and the top industries for jobs growth over the next five years are healthcare and social assistance, construction, education and training, and professional, scientific and technical services.

The reasons for this growth include an ageing population, the advent of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, growing demand for childcare and home care services; and investment in major infrastructure projects such as road and rail.

The jobs expected to grow the most over five years are aged and disabled carers, registered nurses, child carers, software and applications programmers, waiters and education aides.

There will also be more jobs in the leisure sector as Australians become increasingly health conscious, and more jobs in travel and tourism.

The Jobs Outlook site says over 90% of new jobs over the next five years will need education beyond school, such as university or TAFE qualifications.

Next, you can head to the My Skills website a national directory of vocational education and training (VET) organisations and courses, so you can search for, and compare, VET courses and training providers.

Then you can think about how to study part-time while sticking it out in your current role, or chucking it to study full-time and finding a way to manage financially, or juggling like crazy until future you finds future job and many happy future years.