Changing careers is an option that many employees consider at some point in their professional lives. There can be many reasons for this. Some want to switch to a career that will allow them to earn more money and achieve financial freedom. Some want a career that can give them a higher purpose or sense of fulfillment. Whatever the reason may be, a career change is a huge step (or even risk) to take, and careful deliberation is needed to push through with it.
When you finally decide that taking the leap is worth it, you need to have a game plan. What are the steps to take? What things do you need to consider?
To help you, we’ve made a list of five things you must do to successfully make the switch.
1. Figure out what you like and dislike about your current job
There are many reasons why you want a career change, but it all boils down to one thing: you feel a certain level of dissatisfaction with your current job. You have to determine what causes your frustration with your job so that you can avoid it as much as possible in the future.
Are you dissatisfied with the company culture? Are administrative tasks too tedious and unbearable for you? Do you hate rigid structures?
On the other hand, you also have to determine what you like about your current job. What kind of tasks are you most engaged in? Which aspect of the company do you like most? Make a list of both. This can help you narrow down what kind of job and workplace you want to have.
2. Evaluate your interests and skillset
Doing something that you love and that you're good at is something that many professionals look for. This is why it's important to pause and evaluate yourself objectively. What are your strengths? What piques your interest? Is writing something you're good at? Are you a tech geek? If yes, then maybe working at a tech publication is a good fit for you. You can also ask your friends, mentors, and family members for their opinion. Your interests and skills are good indicators if you'll excel and enjoy a particular job.
3. Check out what's out there
A quick web search can help you find possible alternative careers that are better suited for you. By looking at the list you made on item numbers 1 and 2, scour the internet for job options that will tick the right boxes. By doing this, you'll be able to shortlist the careers that you find most appealing.
4. Bridge the gap
There is a huge possibility that the career you find most suitable for you requires skills that are beyond your college diploma and work experience. While you may have some of the skills required for the job you want, most companies look for concrete proof that those skills exist. This means you might have to enroll in short courses, get certifications, or build a portfolio.
For example, if you want to become a photographer, you might need to do freelance gigs or spend time on photo walks to build your portfolio. If you want to be a software tester, on the other hand, you might want to get certifications from a technical school or an online class.
You have to remember that many hiring managers put a premium on soft skills. You can use your experience from a completely unrelated field to your advantage. For instance, if you’re looking to make a switch from working at a PR firm to teaching at a school, you can highlight that your previous work experience has equipped you with excellent people skills - something that is extremely important in a teaching job.
5. Use your network
While updating your curriculum vitae and applying on job portals are the obvious things to do, it’s also important to leverage the connections you made in both your professional and personal lives.
If you’re looking for a job in the IT industry, find someone who works in a tech company that can vouch for you and your work ethic. Recommendations from trusted employees are sometimes better than an impressive CV. It can also fast track your application. Job portals like Recruitday even offer referral bonuses when you share jobs with your network - use it to your advantage.
Making a switch is never easy, but taking risks is a huge part of building a successful career. While you may have to make sacrifices, such as spending a considerable amount of time and money to acquire the necessary skills that will just land you an entry-level job, it might prove to be worth it in the long run. The money and time you invest may be rewarded with financial stability and job fulfillment in the future.
It's also important to remember that it's never too late to switch careers. Many successful people worked for years in a different industry before enjoying the success they have now. By taking the steps we've mentioned here and with a little streak of luck, you may yet find your proverbial place in the sun.
If you're ready to embark on a new career, search through the job postings Recruitday and find the most suitable job for you. And while you're at it, check out the other articles on Recruitday's News and Articles section for more tips and advice to guide you in the process.