A career change is like an investment – if you want it to be successful, your decision should be based on solid information. Here are 10 key steps to guide you towards your professional goals.
1. Understand yourself as a professional
Before you make any radical changes, you should understand yourself much better than you ever did. What are your key principles and values for professional experience? What are your main goals and priorities for the next 5/10 years? Knowing what degree of risks you can accept when changing careers is crucial, because it will help you to guard yourself against high-risk situations.
2. Change the way you think about work
Before you decide to cut ties with your current sector, have a look at your professional past. Did you work in toxic environments or deal with back-stabbing colleagues or horrible bosses. Consider this: maybe your beliefs and mindsets can be blamed for shutting your eyes to other possibilities?
3. Take a look at potential career options
Research potential careers with these questions in mind: Does the career require additional education or training? What kind of experience is requested? Are there any entry requirements like exams or certificates?
4. See which of your skills are transferable
If you think you don’t have the necessary skills and experience for a job, you might be making a huge mistake. There are always skills that can be translated into the context of a different career – now it’s your job to identify them and express them in your resume.
5. Educate yourself
When changing industries, it’s fairly common to find yourself lacking specific knowledge or skills. Fortunately, the digital age offers many opportunities for filling those gaps with proper retraining. Have a look at online courses, eLearning opportunities or part-time learning in your vicinity.
6. Network with relevant professionals
The next step is networking with professionals who belong to your chosen sector. Getting to know them will help you to further understand how the industry works and improve your chances at landing a job through referral once someone spots a real talent in you.
7. Find someone that will act as your mentor
If you’ve stumbled upon a person that has lots of experience in the sector and a willingness to share their knowledge and expertise with others, you’re very lucky. This is a person that could become your mentor and help you to find a place for yourself when pursuing a new career.
8. Get some experience
Consider volunteering, getting an internship or working part-time within a related industry. Workers are always on the lookout for additional help, so for them your offer of working for them in exchange for learning and getting experience is something interesting.
9. Prepare to be flexible
If you’re looking towards switching your career, you simply need to be flexible. Once you experience the change, work as you know it will be gone and new rules will come to replace your old rules. You might end up working a completely different schedule or even relocating to a different city or country!
10. Revamp your job hunt strategies
During the last few years recruitment practices and expectations have changed a lot. Research the current do’s and don’ts when applying for jobs and consider collaborating with a recruitment agency. The latter can be a great option for finding suitable positions in your new career track.
Changing careers is an excellent strategy for making our professionals lives exciting again. Following this 10-step plan, you’ll be on your way to a meaningful and successful career change.
If you need a hand getting into a new career, have a look at our 3 Step Career Change Programme!
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The article was consulted with Isabel Wilimas who is a Human Resources Specialist at http://www.bankopening.co.uk/.