What you need to know about making a career change.
What you need to know about making a career change.
There are many different reasons as to why you may want to make a career change, and these reasons will differ from person to person, as all of our situations are unique. It may be that your priorities or values have changed, and you are no longer chasing corporate success and instead would prefer a job with less pressure and one that makes you happier. It may be that you're looking for higher salary prospects. It may be that your work bores you and you're looking for a new challenge. Or, it simply may be that you're experiencing job burnout and just need something new.
Thinking about making a career change can be scary, particularly if you're not entirely sure what you want to do. You're thinking about leaving an industry and a role that you know, to jump completely into the unknown. However, with the average person changing careers five to seven times during their working life, it's definitely doable!
If you're reading this article, the chances are you have or are already thinking about making a career change. And so, here are a few things you need to know before you start to put the wheels in motion.
Understand that it isn't going to be a quick process.
You're not going to be able to jump from one industry to another overnight. You're not going to be able to go from hating your job to loving a new career in a week.
There'll be a lot of hours searching the internet for job adverts. There'll be a lot of hours writing, and re-writing, your CV and cover letter for a career-changing candidate, and then tailoring each one to each application. There may also be a lot of hours spent soul-searching figuring out exactly what you want to do, too.
It's going to take a while and it's important that you realise this before you get yourself all demotivated and give up when it doesn't happen straight away. It's also important to remember to only take a new job if it feels exactly right. There's no point jumping ship just for the sake of it... the last thing you want is to end up in another job or career that you hate!
Take the time to really think about what you want.
...Which is why this one is so important. What is it that you really want out of your next career? Is there a particular industry or sector you've always wanted to work in? Are there people you would like to help through your work or do you have any personal goals you'd like to achieve? Do you want to be in a more creative role or a more corperate one?
All of these things are so important and can all contribute to whether you feel happy and fulfilled at work. So, take the time to sit down and think about what you really want from your next job, and how it's going to help you achieve your longer-term career goals.
Know exactly what you don't want.
Then, sit down and understand what you don't want. This is just as important as thinking about what you do! If you're even just thinking about changing your career, it means that there's something in your current role that just isn't working for you.
So, figure out exactly what this is... and stay away!
Whether it's because you want to be in a less sales/commission-based role, or you're after a better work-life balance, or you'd like a more employee-friendly culture in the office. Whatever it is, identify the most important factors, and make sure to ask questions based around these in any future interviews.
Trust us when we say, you'll just know if a job is right after your interview. You'll get a gut feeling if a company or role is going to be for you, and if you have any doubts, don't take it. There'll be the perfect job for you right around the corner.
Focus on your transferable skills
If you're looking to make a career change, the chances are you're not going to have the experience in the industry you're after. However, it's important to not get yourself down and think too much about this - instead, focus on what you do have.
No matter what job you've had before, you'll have lots of transferable skills that you can use to show you're just as capable to excel in your new role as anyone else. Skills such as time management, communication, leadership, organisation, team-work and personal motivation are all transferable skills that employers value.
Show your time management and personal motivation by demonstrating you are able to manage your side-hustle alongside your full-time job. Show your team-work and leadership through a hobby or team-sport you may play outside of work, or any clubs or societies you were a part of at Uni.
Transferable skills don't have to just come from your employment history, so think outside the box to show exactly what you're capable of.
Be prepared to take a step back if you have to.
But, remember that it isn't really a step back at all if you're getting closer to something that you want and that will make you happy. If you don't have the experience in your new industry or sector, it may be that you have to take a pay-cut or a lesser job title to get started. You may have to go from manager to exec while you gain the experience you need, but it's so important to not let this put you off if you're passionate about making this career change and making it work long-term.
Make sure you have a back-up financial plan, just in case.
And finally - as we've mentioned - the transition from one career to another isn't going to happen overnight and similarly, you may not be able to just switch to a different career on the same salary. If you do have to take a pay-cut, can you afford it whilst still living the same lifestyle or may you have to make some changes? If you're going to take a small sabatical before you find your new career, do you have enough savings to get you through?
Ensuring that you have a financial plan in place is just as important as having a logistical one!