5 Tips to start your career change
It can be pretty overwhelming when you realise that you are not happy when you show up for work each day. It not only impacts that 40 hours or more a week you are at work, it can also impact how you feel outside of work. Firstly, congratulations on realising that you are ready to make a change. The next step can often be where people get overwhelmed with what to do next. Here are 5 steps to make your career change easier.
Get clear on why you want to change your career
What are the reasons you are seeking a change? Is it an intrinsic reason, such as feeling like your skills are not being utilised, wanting to develop yourself professionally, or a desire for a challenging role or a need to help others? Or perhaps your motivations are extrinsic based. Your current workplace has a toxic environment, or you really hate your boss. Maybe you are seeking more money or status, or you’re in a role that is being phased out. Whatever your reason is, you need to be clear on it. This will then enable you to be clear on what you want and need from future jobs and be able to plan your next step.
Find out everything you can about the position you think you want to change into. Look at what skills and qualifications are needed, job prospects, salary expectations, pathways. The more information you have, the easier it is to plan your transition and know what you need to do to support the change. Perhaps you will need to take a pay cut, and so will need to be financially stable before changing. Maybe you will need to go back to university to get a qualification, or volunteer to build experience. There will be many things you will need to put into place to support your transition, so ensure you are fully informed to mitigate any potential challenges and barriers.
Develop your soft skills for the future of work
After researching the new job and career field you want to change into, you may become aware of significant skill gaps you need to develop. Perhaps you are considering a complete career change from one industry to another, so you will need to enrol into a degree or course to develop the required skills and knowledge. But maybe you are just looking at pivoting within the industry and so only require developing soft skills. Work out what your gaps are and spend time developing these.
Update your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn
When was the last time you updated your resume and LinkedIn? Do they truly reflect the amazing person you are? Do they highlight your skill set and demonstrate your experience? There is no time for modesty, this is the space for you to showcase what you bring and market yourself to prospective employers.
Remember this is a journey
Changing careers is a daunting idea and can cause great anxiety. But it really can be an exciting time. With all good journeys, you must plan the route you need to follow and take small steps to achieve your goals. Take the time to reflect on your core values, strengths and purpose and align these with your working life. Talk to your networks, find out everything you can about your options, the risks involved and the benefits of changing. Get a clear picture of what you need to do to make the change happen and then plan accordingly. Every day do something that is propelling you forward, closer to where you want to be.
At Forte we help people gain clarity around their strengths and purpose so that they can make informed career and life choices. If this is something you would like to know more about have a look at our Purposeful Future course or Lifelong Learning and be further supported by a career coach.
Written by Toni Jones, Co-Founder Forte