Anyone interested in changing their career will already know that it’s a big step to take, with plenty to think about before making the leap. However, it can also be an extremely positive one, reinvigorating your professional outlook and giving you fresh motivation to excel in your chosen position. You might want to search out an entirely new challenge outside of your current field, or simply take a step back from an intense career to find a better work/life balance.
Whatever the reasons you wish to make a change, you should think long and hard about the direction you want to take and how you are going to make it happen. To help you along the way, here we look at a few top tips to ensure you are prepared for the long road ahead.
Assess Your Current Skills and Interests
Whether you are looking at alternative positions in the same industry or you want to change things up completely, you should always start by looking at your current skills and interests. Any career change should be an upgrade on your previous one, so balancing want you can do with what you want to do is a great place to start. Additionally, finding something you are passionate about will help keep you motivated while retraining and applying for a new position.
The next step you should take is to look at existing job offers and ask yourself a few questions. You should check whether the salary is what you expect, whether you can get the requisite skills and qualifications, and whether the associated work/life balance is catered for. Other information you should consider includes the amount of competition for positions available and whether the job/role will still be required in a decade.
Upgrade Your Skills
There are some skills that are always transferable and required in positions across the board. Try to identify these and upgrade your skills through your existing company. This can be done through in-house training, at conferences, or even online. Whether it’s communication, organizational, or management skills, you’ll find they are always a good addition to any CV.
Often the key to successfully changing your career is to ensure you have the right qualifications. Having looked at existing job offers you should have some idea of what you need. The next step is to look into night school courses in your area, or even speak to your boss about retraining on company time. You can also spend time at seminars or conferences to boost your knowledge and gather valuable information about your chosen industry and role.
Think About Volunteering
In tandem with studying for your new career, volunteering is a great way to gain more experience. This can be done in multiple ways, from part-time internships to casual positions in non-profit organizations or charities. Volunteering is the ideal way to get your foot in the door, and once you have your qualifications and you are ready to start applying for positions, you will already have a solid CV and your name may already be known.
Reach Out to Recruitment Companies
Recruitment companies and headhunters are always on the lookout for highly motivated talent across multiple industries and roles. If possible, reach out to one in your area to gauge the market and find out what employers are looking for. If you fit the profile, you might just find that a new position is closer than you think. Additionally, they may offer to help with your CV and application to give you the best possible chance of securing a position in your chosen industry.
Naturally, these are just a few tips to help get set you on your journey. However, for more in-depth information it’s a good idea to speak to a careers advisor who will help you lay out a concrete plan for your future.