Changing careers tend to get riskier with age. The older you are, the more you likely have to lose, which means higher stakes. Many people, despite the risks, are choosing to make career changes in the wake of the 2020 pandemic. Whether out of a sense of adventure and fear of missing out. Because of a realization that one is unhappy or has plateaued in their current career or industry. A large number of people are in the process of upending their professional lives–hopefully for the better. If you are considering a career change now or sometime soon. Below are some career change steps you can follow to help make the move a successful one.
Reframe and Repackage Steps For a Career Change
The first step to a successful career change is to reframe and repackage your work and educational experience. Tailoring it to the new role or industry. Most people have resumes that, given the right focus and language. Would resonate well in a variety of different industries. But it takes some strategizing and a deep understanding of the nature of the career change. A good idea is to take a look at winning resume samples from different industries. So, to see how they are structured and presented and then use them as templates.
This step often involves a considerable amount of brainstorming. Trying to revisit as much of your previous work and educational experience as possible. It is also why it is always good to keep a list of new skills. Responsibilities and competencies you accumulate. So, work on it throughout your career. So that it is all easily accessible if and when it comes time to revisit your resume. Once a job becomes routine, it can be easy to overlook the myriad things you do on a daily basis. Many of which end up being highly transferable and valuable elsewhere.
Reflect on Your Strengths
Reflecting on your strengths is naturally the second step in the career switch process. Because once you rewrite and repackage your resume and work experience. You need to determine whether the strengths and skills you have make you a viable candidate in a different industry. Profound knowledge and extensive experience in one area do not imply competence and proficiency elsewhere. This is one of the most painful things with which people looking to switch careers. Those who took significant time off from the labor force after having worked for decades often must come to terms.
It is important to be honest with yourself about what you bring to the table. In whichever industry you end up migrating to. If you spent your life working in law. But you believe you would be much happier working in digital marketing. You need to be realistic about how your strengths as a lawyer translate into value for a marketing company, or if they do at all.
Consider Your Financial Security Steps For a Career Change
An important and perhaps uncomfortable conversation to have with yourself before committing to a career change concerns your financial security. While it is entirely possible that you will be able to up and change careers seamlessly. There is a very good chance there will be some time in between. You may have to factor in a potential pay cut. You may need to pay for certain training. Moreover, certifications in order to be eligible for the roles and industries in which you are interested. That is why being honest with yourself about how a career change will impact your financial security is essential.
Sometimes the realities of life get in the way of changing careers. If you are a working parent with children, a mortgage. Bbills and college funds to save for, taking a pay cut to change careers might have an adverse impact on your family. By extension, your well-being. You also need to soberly assess how much of a financial cushion you have to support yourself. If the career switch takes several months. Ideally, you would already have a new job lined up before leaving your current one.
Ask Yourself What You Want to Do
Once you have decided to make the career switch. After weighing your transferable skills, value and financial security against the odds, you need to expand your network. At least 70 percent of all jobs are unlisted in the modern labour market. Which means your professional and personal network should be the first place you start your job search. At the same time. You should also be adding people from your desired industry or career niche to your network and building relationships there.
You can use Linkedin for this, join professional Facebook groups and Slack channels, and even attend virtual networking events. If you are switching careers, you are unlikely to be able to position yourself as a fellow expert. So try to carve out a unique niche for yourself that leverages your previous career’s worth of experience.
Don’t Get Discouraged Steps For a Career Change
Changing careers is difficult; there is no use in sugarcoating it. As previously mentioned, it could go seamlessly and painlessly. But there are enough stories out there to indicate that the opposite is more likely. It is vital that you don’t get easily discouraged. The cliche that nothing worth having is easy to obtain is almost always true in this context. When you feel like the new industry or niche is impenetrable. That person will never recognize what you bring to the table. Remember that finding gainful employment is hard at the best of times.
There is a staggering number of people either contemplating or in the middle of a career change in the wake of the pandemic. People are leaving jobs for a variety of reasons, including an unwillingness to return to in-office work, unsatisfactory benefits and career potential, and a desire for rebirth and something new following a catastrophic and reality-shattering event. If you are considering changing careers, know that it is possible, but certainly not without its dangers. Keep the above steps in mind and make sure your execution is thoughtful, deliberate, strategic and realistic.