5 Points to Remember when Changing Career
December 23 2014, 1 Comment
Making a shift in career can be a life changing move but it doesn’t come without sacrifice.
You need to ensure that you are doing it for the right reasons and that you are prepared to work hard and make a success of it.
Here are some important points to consider when making the leap.
Move for the Right Reasons
Make sure you are looking to make the move because you are drawn to your new career choice by interest and passion for the sector rather than being pushed away by the negatives aspects of your current job.
When you’re unhappy in your job it’s easy to assume that a career change will solve all of your problems, and maybe it will… but the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
Look at the aspects of your job which make you unhappy; if they are things like long hours, lack of progression, low pay etc. then perhaps a chat with your boss or even change of company in the same sector are more likely to solve your problems than a career change.
However if you know that even a pay rise or increase in responsibilities still won’t make you happy in your current field– then maybe it is time to make the change.
Do Your Research
It’s very easy to get excited about a career move based on a whim or idyllic perception of an industry.
For example, you might watch the film Wolf of Wall Street and become enticed by Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of the champagne Stock-Broker life style… but upon embarking upon the career you will quickly learn about some of the more important and slightly less-appealing aspects of the job, that the film doesn’t touch upon, such as tough exams, hard work, long hours etc.
So don’t go in blind… Scour the internet for articles, participate in forum discussions, purchase industry publications, talk to people who already work in the area – do everything you can to get a well-rounded view of your new potential work life, taking into account both the positive and negative aspects.
A great way to get a real feel for the work is to reach out to small & medium sized businesses and offer some voluntary part time assistance. It’s a win-win situation; the business gets some free assistance and you get valuable experience and industry contacts.
Understand it will be Tough
Making a career change is not an easy move for two main reasons.
Firstly you probably have little or no professional experience in the field that you are looking to move into.
Secondly you probably have a fair amount of experience in your current field.
Both of these factors are extremely off-putting to recruiters and employers. To put it very simply; if a Doctor with 10 years GP experience applies for a job as a Baker; the Bakery is unlikely to be interested.
The Doctor may be an intelligent and hard-working candidate but the employer will say “he’s a Doctor, not a baker” and then will shortlist candidates with baking experience.
So you must know that you are up against this mentality and be prepared for a long search with lots of rejection to come before reaching your goal.
Due to your experience, you will also be faced with lots of tempting offers from recruiters in your current industry, who will be keen for you to interview in the sector you are trying to escape.
So how do you combat all of this?
Tailor your CV to your new industry – To make up for your lack of experience, ensure that your transferable skills are prominent and you clearly describe your passion for entering your new career path at the top of your CV.
Make follow up calls – Your CV will not be at the top of recruiters/employers lists so make sure you put in follow up calls to get your personality across and build good relationships.
- Get some voluntary experience – This has already been mentioned in the article but it is extremely important, so reach out to some small/medium businesses and offer your services. Nobody likes to work for nothing but the experience you gain will be invaluable and you can highlight it at the top of your CV to catch recruiters’ eyes
Be Prepared to Take a Step Back
If you have a few years of experience in your current role, then you will likely be receiving a salary and level of responsibility that reflects that.
You can't expect to move into a new field, where you have little or no experience, with the aim of retaining your current salary and position.
Realistically you will be moving into a near entry level job so make sure you can afford to take a pay cut while you work your way back up the ladder.
This will may even mean putting some money away beforehand and cutting back on a few luxuries, so be prepared.
Remember the End Goal
Throughout what is likely to be a difficult and lengthy job search, never lose sight of the end goal.
It’s very easy to get disheartened and throw in the towel when faced with multiple rejections and a seemingly impossible challenge.
But remember that your doing this to become happier and more fulfilled in your work and ultimately in your life.
Discuss your move with friends and family frequently and pick up as much support as you can along the way. Put the work in and make it happen for yourself.