There are many reasons why people choose to change careers. For some, it’s simply in order to try something new; for others, it’s borne out of necessity – for instance as a result of redundancy. Whatever the reason for the change, it’s important to make the transition as smooth as possible. If you’re planning a career change, our basic tips on doing just that should hopefully help.
Don’t rush it
As with all major decisions in life, it’s very important to take your time before committing to anything. Don’t do anything rash that you may end up regretting. If you have the luxury of still being in a job, take advantage of that security and use your time wisely. Many people make the mistake of thinking they want to change careers when they’ve had a bad experience with a particular boss or company. Try and be objective about things and assess whether your motives are genuine and not simply a knee-jerk reaction to an unfortunate experience. Take your time and do what’s right for you.
Decide what’s important
When considering a career change, it’s essential to take stock and prioritise what is most important to you. Money may be your primary motivator or, in fact, be much less important than it once was. Perhaps you simply want to do something you actually enjoy and a sense of satisfaction and personal fulfilment may be much higher on your agenda. There will, of course, be lots of factors to take into consideration – from your family circumstances through to your financial commitments. In essence, it’s very much a case of deciding what works best for you and your individual needs.
Assess your Skills
Before embarking on any change in career, you’ll need to determine both what skills are required for your new potential role as well as assessing what skills you have already. It is likely that you will have many transferable skills which can be utilized readily in your new career. It’s vital then that you assess what these are, as you’ll need to update your CV to fully highlight and reflect these. You may also identify certain skills gaps which exist and perhaps take some time to upskill before you make a career move for real.
Do your research
Undertaking research is absolutely essential if you are seriously contemplating changing your career. You will need to look at everything from information on the sector itself and the types of roles which exist therein through to the demand for particular skills. By doing this, you’ll be equipping yourself with knowledge and therefore, be better prepared for any move. An employer will generally expect you to do this and it’s virtually a given that you’ll be asked on what you know about their sector during an interview. Don’t let yourself down by not being able to answer!
Build your networks
If you’ve been working in a particular area for quite a while, you may feel like a career change is like beginning all over again. The networks you have cultivated over the years may be no longer relevant. It’s vital therefore to use all opportunities to develop new links and contacts. Whether it’s at industry networking events or via social media channels, by making a concerted effort to expand your networks and making them relevant for your future career, you will be helping yourself no end! Building a new network ought to be one of your primary objectives.
We hope that these basic tips on planning a career change, should hopefully help should you be considering just that. Best of luck if you are!