The world has changed over the last 3 years, including the economy and the job market. Whether this means redundancy, more opportunities to work from home, or a growth in some sectors and a decline in others. Has this made you feel that it’s time for changing career?
If you’re ready to take that leap, here are some tips on changing career, both in the short term and for the future.
Find the Link
- When you’re changing career, you may not have the skills and experience to walk straight into your dream job. You need to find the link from where you are now, to where you want to be.
- Start by identifying some transferable skills that can be used in a broad range of jobs. For example, if you want to move to an office based job, admin is something that is common in a lot of work. You probably have admin experience without even knowing it.
- You need to be methodical and identify what elements there were in each of your previous roles that relate to the jobs you apply for. The pool of jobs available will be larger if you don’t choose a niche skill, so you’re more likely to be successful. On the flip side, there’ll probably be less people applying for these kinds of roles.
- Think about other experience that might be relevant to the company and make you stand out from other applicants. For example, if you’re applying for a job in an IT company and your hobby is designing websites, include this in your application. It’ll show the employer you have relevant skills and a genuine interest in IT.
- Identifying your transferable skills will truly give you an understanding of what you have to offer a potential employer.
- Don’t dismiss your life skills. When we’re looking for a new role, we tend to think about the skills and experience we’ve gained throughout our careers. These are of course important. However, there are many other aspects of our lives where we gain skills that will be valued by an employer.
- Think as broadly as you can about skills from family life, through voluntary work, or even from your hobbies. For example, if you play a team sport, you are literally demonstrating that you’re a team player!
- Think about the way you define yourself. When describing themselves, most people will define themselves by their job titles. People will say ‘I’m a chef’, or ‘I’m an accountant’. Rather than thinking in that very restricted way, by changing your mindset, you can change the way you define yourself. For example, ‘I have time management skills’. ‘I’m able to manage staff in a pressurised environment’, or ‘I have financial management skills’. These are the types of transferable skills you can take with you into any role.
- Research the transferable skills employers value. Spend some time looking at job vacancies, whether these are advertised in newspapers, on job sites or by agencies. This will give you a feel for the kinds of skills employers are looking for. These may be skills such as problem solving, creative thinking, or communication.
- Make a list of the 10 skills that come up most often, then think about examples of transferable skills that you could demonstrate to an employer. This will also help you to understand which are your strongest skills, based on the number of examples you can find for each one. You can then use this information to target your job search on roles that best fit your strongest skills.
Have a Plan
- You need to be realistic about the time it could take for you to reach your ultimate career goal. It could take years, so have a plan with the steps that you’re going to take to make sure you stay on track. Set yourself targets.
- You might need to start by working in an entry level job for 12 – 18 months to give you some initial experience to put on your CV.
- You can train or gain a qualification while you’re working, either through your employer, or by distance learning that you fund yourself. Make sure you research the training providers for your course and that the qualification has an accreditation that will be recognised by future employers.
- Depending on the course, it might take you a number of years to become qualified. As you get more theoretical knowledge from studying, you should be looking for your next role that will give you more practical experience and take you further towards your end goal.
Think Outside the Box
- You might have skills from hobbies, or things that you learnt when you were younger, but haven’t used for a long time. Think about how you can make these work for you now to support your change of career.
- You might have to do something in the short term that you don’t enjoy very much, but it’ll give you some time to look for the job that’ll start you on your new career path. On the other hand, you might find that you enjoy it much more than your old job. It could lead to a whole new change in direction for your career.
- When changing career, friends, family and people in your social networks can all be a good way to find roles. These could be jobs that you hadn’t even thought about before, or wouldn’t normally have access to. Don’t be hesitant to let people know about your situation and ask for help. The more people who know, the greater your chances of success.
Tap into Recruitment Agencies
- Not all jobs are advertised, so even if you’re using job websites, you could still be missing out on opportunities. Recruitment agencies will have relationships with local businesses and organisations, and have access to vacancies as they arise. These could be temporary, contract, fixed term or permanent roles.
- Taking a temp job can be a good way to find an entry point to start your new career. There are usually fewer hurdles to overcome than when you’re applying for a permanent job. Also, employers tend to want someone in the job quickly, so you shouldn’t have a long wait to get started. Another benefit is that once you’re in the company, you have the opportunity to show your employer how good you are at your job. Temp roles often lead to a permanent job because the employer can see the value you’re bringing to their company.
- The Recruitment & Employment Confederation provides tools for jobseekers and information on what recruitment agencies can offer.
If you’ve found these tips on changing career useful and would like support with CV writing, cover letters, LinkedIn profile, job applications or interview techniques, please get in touch. We’d be very happy to talk to you about the services we have to offer.