The prospect of switching career tracks can be an intimidating one. This article explores ways to help you make the transition as seamless as possible.
Making a career switch can be an intimidating task – even for the most seasoned of professionals. Starting over in a new job means assimilating into a new environment, familiarising yourself with strangers, and accepting a healthy dose of uncertainty. The newness of an altered career track is especially exacerbated if you’re entering an entirely different industry.
While these feelings are valid, they should not stop you from making the change altogether. In fact, making a big career switch can be incredibly rewarding when done right. Read on for some top tips on how you can make the transition in a seamless and effective manner.
1. Evaluate your situation
Keeping a journal may be beneficial if you’re seriously contemplating a career switch. Write about how you honestly feel about your present career and if you are receiving the job satisfaction you’re seeking. You may also want to note any patterns in your feelings, events, or any recurrent themes in your job. Ask yourself difficult questions about any negative sentiments you have towards your work. You can also list down what you like about it and compare it against what you do not. After everything, take some time to review your answers. You’ll begin to get a clearer picture of what you need to do.
If you’re ready to proceed with the career switch, make a list of your skills, priorities, and interests relevant to your work. Think about when you last took pride and satisfaction in what you were doing. Was it from your current job? When you were volunteering? An internship? A hobby? Consider how you can attain success in that area and if there are any special skills you have that are applicable to the new roles you are looking into.
2. Check if you have any transferrable skills
Lacking experience in a particular field doesn’t have to be an impediment. If you’re looking into entering a completely different industry, you’ll want to add any and all transferrable skills you have acquired to your resume. Skills such as problem-solving, leadership, out-of-the-box thinking, and project management are universally applicable and can be incredibly helpful to those looking to start anew.
3. Mentally prepare yourself
Oftentimes, you are starting from scratch – or something close to it – when you make a big career switch. You need to be ready to start at a lower-level position. It’s important that you look at it as a learning opportunity rather than a demotion. You will also need to be open to being taught by someone much younger, even if you’ve had substantial work experience. A willingness to take on a steep learning curve is vital to achieving your new professional goals.
4. Get work experience
Gaining work experience in an industry you’re looking to transition into will undoubtedly make you a more viable candidate for any company. You can do this by experimenting with part-time jobs, internships, or volunteerism. Once you’ve gained some insight into the industry, you’ll have a better idea of what a career in that field would entail in order to make a more informed decision.
5. Do research
The best way to do your due diligence is by getting a first-hand account of what the job would encompass. You could see if there is anyone in your personal or professional network currently working in your chosen industry. An individual in an adjacent or pertinent field may also be of help. Enquire about what a day in their profession looks like, what the industry is like, and even their specific career goals. Knowing this information gives you an invaluable inside look you won’t be able to gather on your own.
You may not be seriously contemplating making a big career switch, but this information can still be helpful to you in the long run. After all, there is a big world of opportunities out there, and a career more suited for you may be on the horizon. As such, you’ll want to follow the aforementioned tips and make the change as seamlessly as possible and without any discomfiting ambiguity.
You can also peruse the Jobcentral Blog to gain valuable tips and resources for employment opportunities across several industries.