Changing career fields can be a fearful or an exciting experience. Some positive benefits to changing a career are that it opens you up to possibilities of new chances, broadens your horizon, and gives you a new job to add to your resume.
A person can change careers for various reasons. It could be because of lacking job satisfaction, burnout, new passion and interests, or some forced changes like jobs being outsourced overseas or technological advancements. You may be searching for a new opportunity because you need more money or you need to relocate.
Whatever the reason, you will need new skills to transition successfully by market yourself, selling your abilities, and navigating the journey.
Ensure you have the resources you will need to succeed in life. These tips will guide you:
1) Set Smart Goals
This is a critical mission, and you cannot afford to make any mistakes, unless you want to keep changing career fields all your life. Establish realistic goals as well as a clear timeline. You can begin with researching extensively on your preferred destination job, and then build the objectives from there.
Smart goals should be:
Exactly what do you intend to achieve? The more specific you are, the easier it will be to attain the goal. There is a very big difference between saying that you would like to be a millionaire, and saying you want to make $100,000 each month for the next decade by selling kids products.
Measurable goals means identifying what you want to see, feel, or hear after you reach your goal. Note that you need concrete evidence. Being happier cannot be considered as evidence. But, not taking junk food anymore because you want to lead a healthy lifestyle by eating more vegetables during every meal is measurable.
For a goal to be achievable, you’ll need to find out if it’s acceptable to you. If you don’t have the means to reach your goals, you will fail and become miserable. Get to weigh the time, effort as well as other costs the goal will need against other priorities and commitments you have in life.
Is attaining your goal relevant to you? If so, you’ll need to figure out what is needed to get there. Plan for trainings if you lack certain skills, and find resources if you don’t have them. The questions you must find answers to are: why do you intend to reach this goal? What’s the aim behind your goal? Will this goal help you attain your main objective? If your goal is to help the company perform better, can a bigger team really help?
Since time is money, you will need to have deadlines for your goals. Ensure that the timeline is flexible and realistic to avoid getting demotivated.
2) Take this chance to re-invent yourself
The attitude you have when approaching this career change will carry you through the tough times you must face. Commit yourself and ensure that you put in the hard work needed to get the job, and then stick to it through ups and downs.
You can re-invent yourself by:
- Getting the necessary credentials for your new career
- Evaluating your strengths and using them to your advantage
- Telling your story in a passionate way. Why did you choose to switch careers? This will set you apart from other candidates.
- Expanding your network more.
3) Know the skills you will require
To be a successful career switcher, you need to conduct an executive assessment to determine the necessary skills for the new job. Can you transfer your old skills to the new job? If yes, you will be on your way to having an efficient pitch for why you should be hired.
4) Acquire the skills you do not possess
In most cases, one needs new skills to switch careers, meaning you have to do some re-skilling. You may look into an industry conference, professional certification, take classes online or at a community college, or attend meet-ups to get the skills you don’t have. The best thing is you already know the exact skills, thanks to the assessment you did earlier.
5) Find a mentor
By interacting with professionals in your field, you can build relationships that can help you. A mentor serves as a coach and will hold you accountable. Select a partner who can help you stay focused and determined to get to your goals even when things get tough. Share your research, dreams, and goals, and request them to be with you all through.
6) Join professional groups in your new industry
Network with people who are already working in your chosen sector. This offers you an excellent opportunity to know what insiders know and get to meet your fellow colleagues. You will also get to understand the internal culture and some tips for the recruitment process.
Spread your wings – talk with both senior and junior employees to have a clear picture on how things work. You can also consider joining them when they hold educational events.
7) Don’t create a very long CV
Now that you have a chance to tell your potential employer who you are and what you can do, don’t be tempted to include everything in your CV. Try to keep the document to one page or two at most. Most employers don’t have a lot of time to read lengthy documents, so keeping your CV entirely relevant and concise is critical.
Be sure to understand the job description for the role you are applying for, and identify the objectives of the potential employer. Tie your goals and work experience to this. This is the most efficient way to capture the employer’s attention and get them to want to know more about you through your CV.
Even if you run into stumbling blocks, be sure to use the experience as a learning tool. Keep learning more about the profession you seek, get qualified, market yourself, and apply for the position with confidence. If the job doesn’t come your way, don’t give up. Keep trying, and you will get there.