Thinking of a career transition isn’t unheard of. We all have had these thoughts at least once in the entire trajectory of our careers. Stress management, flexibility, better pay, opportunities for growth, and feelings of appreciation are all common reasons for wanting to change careers. We all know someone in our life who did the unthinkable and later on, things turned out the best for them. However, not everyone can think of taking the giant leap which not only affects you but your dependants as well, and for a good amount of time.
Before you decide, it is important to take the time to explore opportunities and evaluate your options wisely. If you're thinking about switching jobs, here are a few steps that can help you through your career transition phase.
- Consider your options
Before you rush into something new, evaluate why you're doing it. Are you unhappy with your current job and find the work unsatisfying? Is it just the individuals you work with who make you want to try something new? Spend some time reflecting on your abilities and interests to determine which jobs would be the most suitable and satisfying for you. Consider your likes and dislikes, your skills, and your ideal work environment. You can also ask around and talk to other people who have moved on from a relevant career to yours.
Some industries are more conducive to a smooth career change than others, so search for the connections you can make between your current employment and what you want to accomplish. There's a narrow line between blindly chasing your ambitions and starting from scratch and pivoting to a slightly related career where you can build on much of your previous experience – analyze the benefits and drawbacks of starting from scratch with remaining closer to home. Setting solid career objectives will help you imagine what you truly want and will serve as a guiding light during your job shift.
2. Expand your network
Building a solid network of people in your current and desired industry is the first step toward a career move. They can help you with your new job search, offering advice and direction. Even more significantly, they can connect you with hiring managers and direct you to job vacancies. With minimal experience in your new field, having someone who can speak for you and open doors might just be what you need.
Connect with professional groups in person and online to find more ways to expand your network. These organisations can help you learn more about the industry and the latest updates, along with connecting you to people who can provide connections, advice, or a pleasant greeting. Encourage yourself to attend job fairs, get feedback, and meet new people - you never know who might just direct you to your dream career.
3. Learn about the industry and develop your skills
Do your homework and learn about how people behave and interact in your new industry before diving in since every industry has its own set of required skills. Spend some time building a strong competitive skill set that will be important to your future job.
There is plenty of support one can avail of from just an internet search. Virtual learning and online classes have changed the way we look at education. Gone are the times when you have had to commute for classes, these days one can even get their degree from home. You can learn most skills, like coding and other software programmes, rather fast and at a minimum cost. Obtaining the appropriate certifications or licences can also help you stand out. Having these abilities will help you prepare for the new job.
4. Tweak your cover letter and resume
If you're up against someone with years of experience for a job in a new industry, then you're probably already at a slight disadvantage. Your cover letter and CV can showcase who you are and what you can contribute to a new company. Although, you want to highlight your future prospects by showcasing your contributions to the business.
Do not forget to showcase your communication skills and intelligence, both of which might be helpful in a new position.
5. Get ready for the questions
It is a common practice for employers to ask about the reasons for your career transition, especially after you land an interview. Having a strong reason for your career change, such as the motivation to push yourself, help others, or follow your dreams will help you. Keep a positive attitude and show your excitement for the new industry. You will also have to convince your potential employers about how the different ways your previous job skills can be transferred to the new one. Elucidate on the tasks achieved such as the people you managed, the number of funds you raised for a charity, or an increase in sales.
Show your passion and zeal for the job you are applying for and do not get discouraged, we all know how tedious the job hunting process can get, but there is always one job which will bring out the best in you. Until then, keep looking for internships and ways you can get experience in that field.
You might decide to switch careers at some point in your life, possibly more than once. There are many reasons why people switch jobs, but when they do, being prepared is the way to move forward. A well-planned career transition will probably result lead to better job satisfaction. It won't be much longer until you are in your dream job.
Career transitions can be difficult, but they can also act as stepping stones for building a future that you can be proud of. Although there is no one way to ensure a successful life, you will never know if you never try.