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Even if you have the career you love at a company you want to work for, it’s still important to keep your career skills sharp. You never know where life will take you, and you need to be prepared. You may decide you want to change to a new career, especially with the growth of technology within the UK and all the new options it’s creating, notes the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. If you have the right skills and connections, you can change your life and career for the better.

Take Classes in Your Free Time

Don’t wait until you decide to make a career change to take classes for your new profession. Options like the online business management associates degree from Penn Foster can get you started on the business career of your dreams. You can take classes on anything that’s interesting to you. Whether you’re working toward a new degree or you’re interested in a certificate or diploma in a particular field, you can learn some amazing things online. Working at your own pace means your job performance and other activities won’t suffer, either. You can keep doing your job, while you work to make a change and keep your skill level high.

Learn New Skills From Others

Find people who know more than you do and use them as mentors. Learn from them. Ask them questions about how they became successful and how you might be more successful. The answers may lead you in an entirely new direction. If so, learn about a new field and develop the necessary skills to make a move. Even if it doesn’t become your new career it might be beneficial, because anything you learn is never wasted.

Join Communities in Your Industry

Almost every industry has a professional society that you can join. Consider what niche you’re interested in and then look for unions and other communities — both formal and informal — you can join. The Trades Union Congress has 54 unions with nearly six million workers represented. By sorting through the TUC list, you’ll find a union that’s involved with the career you have or the career you want. The Active Communities Network is another way to get involved with a grassroot movement that may help you find a job that’s rewarding. Vocational training and support is available, but you can also get access to education and employment opportunities.

Don’t Forget to Network

Networking is vital, both online and off. Virtual networking through places like LinkedIn can help you meet people from all over the world. Google+ is also a good choice for networking, whether you’re looking to learn something new or meet people who work in a field that interests you. You can also network in person by being friendly to other employees, vendors, customers, and others you meet during your work day. You never know when one of them will be able to help you out, will have a job lead for you, or will start a business and need employees. Keep your options open.

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