Want to change your career – Heres what to do
People seek to change careers for many different reasons. Your career goals may have been changed, you may have discovered new interests that you would like to incorporate into your job, you may wish to make more money, or have more flexible hours, just to name a few. Before you decide it’s important to take the time to evaluate your present situation, to explore career options and to choose a career that is going to be right for you moving forward. There is proof that most people are happier after they have made a change. Here are some tips for assessing you interests, exploring your options, evaluating alternative career paths and making the move into a new career:
Are you getting job satisfaction
Keep a record of your daily reaction to your job. Which aspects of your current job do you like and dislike? Are your dissatisfactions related to the content of your work, or your company culture or the people you work with? While you’re doing this list some of the things you do in your current job that will help you move on when its time for a change.
Review jobs you have had in the past, volunteer work, projects and other roles in order to identify things you like to do and the skills you have obtained along the way. Determine whether your core values and skills are addressed through your current career. If not now is the time to move on.
Think about alternative careers
Brainstorm ideas for career alternatives by researching career options. Discuss these with friends, family and networking contacts. If you are having difficulty with coming up with ideas, consider meeting with a career counsellor for professional advice.
Check our job options
Look at options that could be available for you, be realistic with your ambitions. Identify a few target areas for in-depth research. You can find a wealth of information online simply by googling the jobs that interest you.
Find out as much as you can about the type of area you want to work in and reach out to personal contacts in those sectors. A good source of contacts is your college or university mates who maybe have gone into the field you would really like to work in. LinkedIn is another great place to find contacts in specific career fields that interest you.
Try to get a trail shadowing someone
If you want to get into a specific area of employment for instance teaching, it may be worth contacting local schools to see if you can observe a teachers role firsthand. This is a good idea as it will give you a good insight into what you can expect if you decide to go this route. You can do this for any role its just a case of picking up the phone and speaking to the right person. All you want is a few hours, not days and days, a few hours will be enough to see if this is the right road for you.
Research potential job matches
Once you have an idea of the type of potential job roles you feel would be right for you, you’re in a position to begin a more extensive search. Talk to people you feel may have an insight into the type of industry or position that is going to appeal to you. Additionally look at areas of growth in the employment market where there could be opportunities.
Make an action plan
Creating your action plan means defining a clear goal and the milestones needed to complete it. By this time you will have done all your research and should be able to have a very clear idea in your mind as to what you want to do. Now its time to consider what it will take to get there. Think about things like education or training which you may need to achieve your goal, attend networking events and seize opportunities to practice within the specific industry or field you want to get into. Write down what steps you plan to take in order to achieve your objective.
Before you start applying for jobs you may need to undergo a bit of personal rebranding. It’s important that any candidates looking for a job uses resources like a CV, cover letter and social profiles to create a personal brand that makes sense to employers. This may be even more important during a career change because your existing experience may not clearly align you with your desired goals without a little thought and planning. Consider how your existing experience makes you a better candidate for the role you are applying for and use that to make a powerful personal statement about why you are a good fit across your CV, cover letter and any business network sites you are on.
Look at educational resources
If you are considering moving into a field that requires a degree or a particular qualification you may need to seek additional education beyond your current work experience. College courses, education-continuing classes or even free online resources to help deepen your understanding of your new potential career. If you are working find opportunities at your current job to gain the skills you need to make a career change. For example, if you are working in marketing but want to move into finance you could ask to control the marketing budget in order to gain skills in the accounting field. Seizing opportunities like this are helpful but only if you remember to put those newly gained skills on your CV.
Changing career is not always easy, to keep yourself motivated in your career change plan consider making a log of milestones you need to meet in order for you to make a full career change. Sometimes changing your career can take time. By tracking your progress you acknowledge all the small victories along the way – and that can make you feel a greater sense of accomplishment when you successfully make the switch.
Consider a new job in the same industry
Consider alternative roles within your current industry which would utilize the industry knowledge you already have. If you are a Chef but have grown tired of the evening and weekend hours, consider moving into recruitment and specialising in the catering field. Think about what you are currently doing and where that industry experience could take you.
If you are really unhappy with the career you have chosen or fallen into it will affect all aspects of your life. It’s not easy to change career whether you are in your 20s or in your 50s, but it is possible. It will just take a lot of thought, a great deal of planning, enormous amount of effort and a huge desire. But if you feel strongly enough you can achieve it – others do every day.