5 Steps to Making a Successful Career Change
People decide to change careers for different reasons. Some people seek higher salaries, others look for a better work-life balance, some feel burnt out in their current positions, and other individuals simply realize that their job does not interest them anymore.
Coming up with the idea of changing jobs is one thing, but, creating a plan to do it is another thing entirely! Many people feel lost and do not know where to start from when thinking about changing jobs.
Of course, changing careers can be challenging, but it is possible! If you are struggling with this task then you need to read this article. Our step-by-step guide will help you create a plan to make sure you successfully change careers.
Step 1. List all the things that make you want to change your career.
It might sound like a waste of precious time. And you might be thinking, you know that you don’t want to work in your current role anymore, isn't that enough? Well the answer is “no”.
So many people change their jobs only to find themselves hating their new role as much as they hated the old one.
You do not want to make the same mistake, do you?
Take time to think about what exactly you do not like about your current job and write it all down. Maybe you have to travel a lot but want to spend more time with your family. Or perhaps you sit in front of your computer all day long, or maybe you don’t have sufficient communication with other colleagues.
Write down anything that crosses your mind, and keep this list with you as a reminder of what to avoid when choosing a new role.
Step 2. Narrow down industries and job positions that interest you.
Now you know what you do not want from your new career, it is time to focus on what you do want. And this is probably the most challenging and important part of the entire process. So do not rush this part.
Start with a broad list of occupations that seem to be a good match for your personality, interests, and values. And then do further research to narrow down your job search.
Ask yourself things like, is this field growing fast? Are these professions in high demand? Is the salary in this position satisfying? Do I already have some skills needed for this job?
Do not forget to consider alternative positions in the same industry too. This is where you can utilize the knowledge you already have.
Let's say you are a programmer tired of coding, for example. Then a career in tech sales or project management might be a good fit for you.
Here are some job sites you can check out for information on different roles:
- Job boards like Monster, Indeed, or Hired – get an idea of role requirements and find out if a position you are thinking about is in high demand.
- Glassdoor, Indeed, and PayScale – for comparing salaries and reviews of various companies.
Ideally, you want to finish with one occupation that interests you the most and a couple of alternatives. At this point, you are ready for the next step.
Step 3. Make a list of transferable skills.
Regardless of your previous experience, you probably already have some skills that can be transferred to a new role.
Go through job ads, analyze what recruiters are looking for, and write down all the skills you already have.
For example, it might be your attention to detail or impeccable organization skills, or perhaps you are great at time-management and public speaking. Note all of these competencies down and do not forget about them. You will need them all when you get around to rewriting your resume.
Step 4. Learn new skills and get some experience.
No matter how long your list of transferable skills is, if you are changing careers you may have little to no experience in a new field, and you will most likely have to get some additional education.
So, it is time to create one more list — a list of skills you need to acquire.
Remember that qualifications for a particular role may vary from company to company. But focus on those repeated in most job ads. Once you know what you need to learn, think about how much time and money you are willing to invest in this new education.
Nowadays, you can choose from long-term and short-term courses, offline and online, on any topic you can think of. And everyone can find a course that works best for their budget.
Our Manual QA course, for example, is only six weeks long, but it has helped thousands of students get jobs in leading IT companies. Many of these graduates did not have any previous experience in tech before they came to Careerist. And the best part is, this program does not require a large initial investment, it is possible to finance it with an Income Share Agreement.
Undoubtedly, it will help you a lot if you can get some experience in the field you intend to work in. A short internship or volunteering on a small project can both boost your confidence and improve your resume.
Step 5. Revamp your resume.
When you are ready to start applying for jobs you need to adjust your resume.
Your new and improved resume must reflect your newly acquired competencies and highlight transferable skills. (Remember those notes you made in step 3).
Always explain how your previous professional experience applies to the job you are applying for, and it might be better to mention your skills higher up on your resume, and to put your "work history" lower down. In addition to this, remember to include information on relevant courses and training you may have completed.
Hopefully, our guide will make your journey to finding a new career less overwhelming. And if you are still not sure which career path to choose consider the tech field. This booming industry offers lots of job opportunities, higher-than-average salaries, and an excellent work-life balance.