Making the Jump to a New Career: Dreams to Reality
Whether you’ve been in your sector for one year, ten, or thirty, it’s never too early or too late to re-evaluate. Maybe a decade pushing yourself in teaching has left you burned out. You might have realised you should never have given up on your childhood dream of becoming a “recruiter”, or perhaps you just want some change in your life. Whatever the reasoning, considering a career change can be quite intimidating – fortunately, though, we have some tips to help you out!
We even asked some of our consultants who made career changes themselves for their opinions!
1 – Dream it
You might know exactly what you want to do. If so, great – find out what it would entail. Research through every available channel where you feel you could fit in and see where you picture yourself and your new career. Discover what it is about the new job that entices you, and hone in on that. If you don’t know what it is you want to do, then think about your dreams. What is it you have a passion for? If you love working with people and learning about what makes them tick, are you suited for marketing? Or do you enjoy coding as a hobby – could you go into the expanding tech industries? Identify what you love and figure out where that can take you.
2 – Research it
You’ve figured out what you want to do and where: now down to Brass Tacks. Is there a specific barrier to entry that you need to overcome, such as a specific degree or training, or do you need experience in the field? Reaching out to your personal connections who work in that sector might help you find opportunities to gain part-time experience at an entry level. Online training is also becoming more and more available. Figure out what changes you need to make to your CV and action them ASAP.
Remember that there are risks involved – it may require a bit of a jump, or moving out of your comfort zone, but don’t worry: this is something that a lot of people go through. Countless famous business founders, scientists, writers, politicians, and more, all started doing something completely different!
3 – Cater to it
If you are coming from an entirely different career, that brings its own benefits too. Many “Soft Skills”, such as communication and organisation, are transferable across almost any job. “Hard Skills” such as proficiencies with specific software may be harder to sell (how many scriptwriters would need expertise in Payroll software?) but try to use creative thinking to explore alternative presentations of these skills. Think about how you can frame the experience that you do have as an attractive and unique quality in application. Moving from leading an Engineering team to HR? Why not demonstrate how you are experienced with teaching individuals of assorted levels of experience and have great time management?
Try to use Supply and Demand to your advantage; if your research suggests that there is a lack of a certain skill in your chosen industry, then think about how you can provide that, or work towards providing it.
4 – Bop it… Wait, no – Do it
It’s all very well claiming that your transferable skills can fit the bill, but it’s far better to demonstrate it. Pick up some freelance work, or volunteer for a not-for-profit charity. Do anything and everything to get active experience applying your own skills to the new environment. The more that you can demonstrate active engagement within the sector, the better it will look to prospective employers.
5 – Rebrand it
Be careful about doing this too early, but once you have built up your experience you can begin to rebrand your online presence. It’s best not to do this so early that it cuts ties with any of your old employers or contacts in your previous sector, but once you have firmly and publicly decided to move on to a different career path you need to maintain consistency. Update all your self-promotion, from your CV posted online, to your LinkedIn Profile, making sure to reorient your focus from whatever you used to do, to what you want to do.
6 – Go for it
At the end of the day, it’s still a leap of faith. Moving into a new career can be scary, but ultimately if it’s best for you then it’s best for you. Luckily, help is on hand, whatever your choice: for more information and guidance in seeking a new career, or advancing your old one, why not give Gleeson a call?