Is 2020 going to be your year? If so, that might mean ending up doing a different job than the one you’re doing right now; or maybe even a completely different career.
With the rapid rise of digital technology and automation, the world is changing. And the job market is changing with it. While some traditional industries have become marginalised by this unrelenting progress, other exciting new opportunities are presenting themselves.
All this is leading to more and more people changing their careers mid-stream in search of better opportunities that might not have been available when they first entered the job market. If you’re one of those considering a switch, here’s five tips to help you on your way:
1. First, ask yourself some tricky questions
It’s not just the world that’s changed in recent years; the chances are, you’ll have changed too. Your career goals or personal values may have altered. You may now be more or less motivated by money than you were when you started out. You may have new family responsibilities, or you may be looking for a role that offers more flexible working hours.
So, before you rush into something new, you’ll need to assess what it is you find unfulfilling about your current role and what you’re looking for in the future. Ask yourself all those searching personal questions that you probably haven’t asked yourself since you took your first job.
When you fully understand what’s changed about you and your ambitions, you can then plot an alternative way forward that will suit the new you better.
2. Consider different jobs in the same industry
The job market is now more competitive than ever and, to stand out, you need to do everything you can to make yourself seem like an irresistible prospect for potential employers. In most cases, relevant experience will be high on the list of qualities that employers are looking for.
So, even if you want to do a completely different job, staying within your current industry could well be the way to go. After all, you have valuable industry experience that is likely to be transferrable to the new role of your choosing.
You might be able to make your big career move without even leaving your current company. Every business employs people to do all kinds of different roles, utilising very different skills, and you might well be able to find the change of direction you’re looking for within the same organisation; particularly If you’re well-liked and well-trusted where you are.
3. Do your research
The more information you have at your fingertips, the more chance you’ll have of making the right decision on a career change. You may already have a strong idea what you’d like to do next or you may still be undecided. Either way, you need to find out as much as you possibly can about what’s likely to lie ahead before you make your move.
Start off by chatting things through with friends, family, and networking contacts to give you a little inspiration to get you going. If you’re having difficulty coming up with ideas on what you’d like to do next, you could always seek some professional advice from a career’s advisor.
They say it’s who you know, not what you know that counts and this popular maxim certainly applies to job hunting. Networking is a great way of forging a successful change of career. Not only will it get your name in front of people who can help you, it also gives you access to the hidden job market of roles that are never advertised.
LinkedIn is another good way to find new contacts in the career fields you find appealing. You’ll also find plenty of useful information online by Googling the jobs that interest you.
4. Make a plan
So now you know what you’d like to do next, you need to put together an action plan that includes a realistic timeline. Otherwise, you might soon become frustrated and be tempted to give up if your first attempts aren’t as successful as you’d hoped.
Your plan might include gaining relevant experience that’s likely to help your applications. Doing some volunteer or freelance work, for example, in your chosen sector could be one option. If you’re interested in content marketing, for example, you could set about producing your own blog or focusing more attention on your Facebook or Instagram posts. If you’re looking at a more organisational role, you might want to think about getting more actively involved with the PTA at your child’s school or help run a local community activity.
5. Remarket yourself
Last, but by no means least, you’re going to need to find a slightly new way to market yourself to potential employers in the sector you wish to enter.
You’ll need to tweak your CV, for starters. Dial up any skills or experience that are relevant to the new path you want to follow and dial down anything that no longer feel so relevant.
One thing we wouldn’t recommend doing is using the shot-gun approach of applying for everything with one CV and just keeping your fingers crossed. That strategy is unlikely to work for you in today’s ultra-competitive job market.
You’ve much better off tailoring all your applications, even the speculative ones, to the individual company and the specific job you’re applying for. This might take a little thought, in some case, but it will be well worth the effort.
Above all, if you need advice from a professional to help you make your career change, don’t be afraid to ask. Here at Trio, we know the job market inside-out and we’ve already helped many individuals successfully change careers. Just give us a call and we’ll be happy to chat you through all the challenges and opportunities out there.