02 Nov 6 Tips to Making a Successful Career Change
Time to Change: Career
So, here you are, ready to take the plunge. A career change. You’re tired of your current job; you want something new, refreshing, something to drive you to succeed each day.
It’s time for a career change. But what on earth do you want to do?
The biggest challenge in making a career change is deciding precisely what you want to do. It’s tough: but there’s so much you can do to point yourself in the right direction.
What do you love to do?
One of the best ways to discover your life’s calling is to find the place where your skills and interests meet. Sure, you might love to paint, but if you’re no Picasso, perhaps this isn’t the career change for you. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of being a musician, and yet you’ve never picked up an instrument. This is probably another one for the scrap heap.
Be realistic. Take an online free career aptitude test – the best of these tests takes into consideration your current qualifications, interests, and past skills, to list the best roles for your unique position. Your results might just reveal the career path you’ve been searching for all along.
What can’t you do?
What’s holding you back from your career change? What held you back in previous careers? Your training? Communication skills? The way you think about success? The influence of your loved ones? Finance troubles?
These are some tough questions, but ones that often bar the way to making this new transition. Start working on them now. Seek out the tools to overcome these issues: whether you take an educational course or two; self-coach; or talk to your family and friends. If finance levels are your fear, you might think to review your budget. Meeting your repayments and everyday expenses can be frightening on a lower wage than you’re used to: you might even consider a chat with a finance expert. There’s nothing like a fresh skill set and a different perspective to up your confidence.
Dissolve your dissolutions
It turns out you can’t begin your new career as a CEO. Realistically, you’ll be starting out by doing the photocopying.
Starting at the bottom can be a bitter pill to swallow, particularly if you’ve worked in senior positions in the past. Remember that your old skillset might not be transferable to get you started halfway up the ladder in your new career. There’s nothing wrong with starting at the bottom. Be realistic about what you can achieve with what you have. Write up a list of achievements to reach in one, five, and ten years to keep yourself motivated to reach the end goal. Bear in mind that following a career change might mean having to scrape up your finance for a time. Don’t stress. You’ll get there.
Kick-start your learning curb
There’s nothing better on a resume than good old-fashioned experience. In most cases, there’s always something you can do to gain experience in your chosen field outside of the classic workspace.
Whether you’re keeping up-to-date with industry news and practices, starting your own blog, tackling a side project, or joining a community group, everything you can do to kick-start your learning in your new career space is helpful. Having these items on your resume is a huge advantage when it’s down to the wire: you can show your prospective employers just how driven and dedicated to your new career change you are.
You might also consider applying for work experience or internships so you can learn the ropes on the job. Be prepared to work without pay: the reward comes from the valuable experience you gain.
Use who you know
There’s nothing as handy as a social network when it comes to seeking a new career path. Chances are, you know someone, who also knows someone, who has a cousin that does what you want to do.
Make it known to your friends, family, and colleagues that you’re looking for a change. Don’t be shy: point out your strengths and see if your connections know someone who is seeking someone with your skills to help out. It’s the ideal way to get a foot in the door and start using your skillset in a new way.
Set SMART goals
We know it sounds basic, but S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound) goals are ideal for creating realistic and achievable milestones.
The worst thing to do is tackle your career change with all the enthusiasm in the world and find yourself jobless and directionless 6 months down the track. Set yourself a trail of milestones: where do you want to be, and when do you want to be there? More importantly, how will you get there?