Deciding to change your career can be a daunting prospect, but an exciting one too. No matter your age, if you’re not happy with your current line of work, finding something that you enjoy is important which is why we’ve compiled a list of steps to guide you in the right direction when it comes to changing your career around.
- Why do you want to change?
This first step is probably the most important. Sit down and list the reason, or reasons, that you wish to change your career path. It may be that you’re unhappy with some of the day-to-day tasks in your job, or that your hours are not flexible enough for your lifestyle. If this is the case, speak to your line manager to see if these can be resolved before you decide to firmly commit to change. Some of the most common reasons for people changing their career include a lack of interest in the role, a lack of room for progress or a bad relationship with colleagues or managers. Decide whether or not it is your entire career you wish to change, or simply your place of work.
- Knowing what you want
Knowing what it is that you want out of a career isn’t always easy. Consider the things you dislike in your current line of work and what you’d like to do instead. Do you want a different environment? Do you want to make use of other skills? It’s best to start thinking about the potential benefits of a career that will allow you to change these things but don’t forget to make a note of the negatives that could come with your new role.
- Establishing your strengths and weaknesses
In your current line of work, you’ll have picked up many skills that can be deemed strengths. However, it’s likely that you’ll also be aware of the things you need to work on whether this is something technical or simply the way that you communicate with others. By establishing your skills, you’ll be able to know whether or not these will be transferable to your desired role and by being honest about your weaknesses, you’ll know whether or not further training will be required to land you a new position.
- Will further training be required?
A leap from two different careers is likely to require some new skills. These might come as formal qualifications or skills of the trade. If it’s a formal qualification that you need in order to progress, take up classes on an evening that will help you work toward your goal while staying at your current job. Sites such as CV-Library offer online courses that cover skills such as IT, networking and accountancy.
- Changing gradually
Some people will want to change their career instantly but be aware that this isn’t always the best option. This process can be stressful, so consider the weight such a change might have on your emotions. A gradual change might mean making changes in your current job, learning a new skill or even move into your new line of work via a series of jobs.
These days, there is a huge emphasis on the importance of professional networking when it comes to establishing a career. By making yourself known in the industry, you’ll stand a better chance at being recommended for jobs you might like. Speak to current and ex-colleagues about people that they may know who can guide you in the right direction and join professional networking sites such as LinkedIn to build up relationships with people in your desired industry. This is often the best way to understand the internal process of a business and what they’ll be looking for throughout the recruitment process.
- Polish your CV
One big mistake that many people succumb to when it comes to finding a new job is that they are tempted to include too much on their CV. If you can, keep your CV to one page. This will make it concise and relevant to the role you’re applying for. Always make sure that you read the job description and identify exactly what the employer is looking for then tie your experience and skills into this. Remember that the purpose of a CV is to capture the employer’s attention; you’ll be able to bring up your further experience, interests and skills at the interview. Good luck!