Changing Careers? 5 Tips on Where to Start
The thought of changing careers can seem like a scary prospect, but it’s much more common than you think.
Gone are the days of staying in the same job and company until you receive a golden retirement clock. Today, the average person changes their career at least five times in a lifetime.
When you’re feeling frustrated with your current job, it can be tempting to switch your career path on a whim. However, before you decide to make the jump, you may want to read our advice first.
Take some time to step back and evaluate what you don’t like about your current situation – is it the job itself or is it the organisation, culture, or your management?
It may be that these things are clouding your vision, so take yourself back to why you joined the industry in the first place.
Focus on your strengths and understand your weaknesses. Psychometric tests can be a useful way of identifying your strengths and weaknesses as they measure your abilities and personality type. As some companies use these for recruitment, this can also help to prepare you beforehand.
Discover your motivation
Understand what gets your brain racing. Think about what you’re passionate about outside of work, you could be surprised at how this can overlap with the professional world.
If you’re still at a blank wall, ask your friends and family to describe you as they can notice aspects of our personalities that we don’t.
Identify that dream job by matching your motivations, strengths, preferred working styles and goals to specific roles, industries, and types of organisations (small or large, public or private, entrepreneurial or traditional etc.)
Make a plan and stick to it
Write a plan. Plotting something down on paper makes it real and forces you to think about how you are going to achieve it.
Break down your career objectives with realistic targets. Another thing to think about is getting your finances in order. Even if your new field promises a bigger pay packet, your career change may involve a pay cut if you’re starting at the bottom.
No one wants to worry about money, and this will only heighten the stress of breaking into a new industry.
Give yourself a task each day to stay on track. If you do something every day, even if it’s as small as signing up for job alerts in your new industry, you will still be a step closer to your goal.
Surround yourself with positivity
There will be times when it will get tough, so keep the momentum going with success stories from people who have been in your position. They can be a great source of inspiration, ideas and practical tips to learn from. If they can do it, you can do it.
There may be obstacles in your path; rather than viewing them as insurmountable, ask yourself how to get past them. Try not to let the rejection drag you down, just like any job search there will be lows as well as highs, but it’s all about how you learn from it.
Embrace your individuality
Rather than thinking about how your alternative career background could set you back, switch your perspective around. It’s highly likely that none of the other applicants for the job have the same experience that you do.
This makes you unique.
It’s your time to shine by stoking the employer’s intrigue with how transferable your skills are and where your passion for the job comes from.