Is it time for a career change? So you've had an outstanding career and you've been as fast as Virgin Lightning. But what do you do when your career has nowhere else to go?

So if you're Usain Bolt I'm sure you wont be laying awake at night worrying about this stuff. Actually if your Usain Bolt you're probably awake at night anyway! 

Usain ran seriously fast and he's also worked with some great brands including Virgin Media on their Virgin Lightning project. He's also benefited from presenting, attending events and just being the great effervescent guy he is. 

For him the choices may seem endless and the Virgin Lightning project I'm sure will be one of many campaigns he'll be involved in.

So what are the rest of us doing about a career change?

Well career changes can be hard to make and they don't come easy. My wife is a great example. She achieved the highest grades out of her peer group throughout her years of academia. Winning numerous awards and finally sponsored to do a PHD. However she chose to work in a creative role for the BBC and then moved into law! After qualifying and working as a lawyer for several years, she retrained by entering  into an internship as an academic librarian. Still only in her early 'ish' thirties (she'll kill me!!!), she probably still has opportunities for career changes to come! 

My wife is fortunate enough, and worked hard enough, to give herself the flexibility to make these changes in life. Not all of us could achieve such changes in our career. But don't underestimate the hard work, commitment and the sacrifices that went into those changes. It wasn't easy, but it comes with rewards that far exceed pay and ego!

This story is no longer unusual. People don't want to be pigeon holed into a single career choice and the youth of today are probably being forced into choices that they'll question as the years pass by.

But what choices can you make when you want a career change?

Well it's simple to explain. You need to be a 100% committed to any change you make. Sometimes like Usain Bolt, partly the choice is made for you and then its about getting the best out of what you have to give. In his case it's having a wonderful personality and why wouldn't Virgin Media want to include him in their campaign for faster broadband with Virgin Lightning? Its a no-brainier.

You need to find that thing that makes you happy. Remember happiness is not a constant, but there are places where we smile more than we frown. Wrinkles from smiling are good, but from frowning are not so good :(

So lets seek out those opportunities to smile :)

If you can't see where the next opportunity will come from. Start to explore things in your spare time. You may work in sales and have had enough of selling,  but you're actually a great coach. Probably, you coach people much better than you sell stuff. So start seeking more opportunities to develop your coaching skills. Work with charities who specialise in this area. Before you know it you'll be slowly developing a new career for yourself. It will also give you the opportunity to test out whether you really like it or not.

There may also opportunities within your current organisation to make a career change. Seek opportunities where possible to work with other departments and to learn new skills. Ask your manager for support. Reassure them you're happy with the work you're doing, but you just want to give yourself more opportunities for the future. Any good manager should understand and support this.

Take control of your career. Educate yourself, learning doesn't have to cost the earth, just your time! Read and learn more, consume content and as much of it as you can. Then share your knowledge and insight with others, as that in itself will further your learning and development. 

Set the career change you want before you need to!

The future development of technology, AI and who knows what else is, means we're all going to need to have a more flexible, agile  approach to our work and career. What new experience can bring to the table? 

Finally, don't wait for life to decide what it has in store for you. Plan for the future, and even if things don't go to plan, you at least will have prepared, in some way, for the unknown!