Top career change tips
We all pick up a variety of skills throughout our career but without maintaining them they can easily fall by the wayside.
It’s worth keeping professional transferrable skills sharp in your mind because you never know when they might come in handy, such as if you’re planning to have a change in tack on your career path.
And given the volatility of today’s job market and the scarcity of employment, 2013 could be the time to embrace a move into a different line of work.
Leah Burrows, director at Plymouth firm 4 Recruitment, which has an office in Sutton Harbour, said: “There are many things to consider if you’re serious about changing career. For starters, ask yourself why you want to make the move. Think about your reasons and motivations for the career change. Are you looking for an increase in salary, a more rewarding role or a friendly team?
“Then you need to consider what are your key skills and how can these be applied to a new career – many skills can be transferable such as sales, customer service, organisational skills, and so on. A good recruitment agency can try and help with this, re-jigging your CV to help show-off any transferable skills or experience.
“Next, do your research into new industries and roles to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into – talk to people already doing a similar role to get the lowdown. Make sure you are not jumping from frying pan into the fire!
“And prepare to be flexible when it comes to salary – when making a career move you will often have to prove yourself in the new role, and this often means a lower salary initially.
“Finally, have no regrets – go for it, or you will never know! It’s often wise to follow your instincts when it comes to your career and believe in yourself.”
Here are Jobsite’s top 10 tips for employees looking to change their career.
1) Ask yourself why you want to change career?
Why are you applying to work for a company and what difference can you make? Employers will want to know that you want to work for their company for the right reason.
2) What’s your logic behind the move?
Is it for career aspiration, for money motivation, or geography? Working out the answers to these will help you decide if it’s the right job for you, which will in turn help you prepare for your interview should you decide to apply and be lucky enough to get invited for one.
3) Develop a plan.
Fail to plan, plan to fail, is the saying. Having a good career transition plan will provide a blueprint for a successful change. Work out what you want to achieve, think about what you need to get there, and put a strategy together.
4) Are you prepared to take a step back for a long-term advantage?
It may be that you have to start off in a new company a couple of rungs further down the ladder than you might have expected, with a view to moving back up the chain once you have established yourself.
5) Do your homework.
When you go for interview, be armed with an arsenal of questions about the company. Literally take a side of A4 with you – even if some of them have been covered by the rest of the interview you can visibly tick them off while you are running through them. It will make you look like you have prepared, that you are organised, and will impress your interviewer.
6) Can your family situation cope with a change of career?
Particularly if you have children, consider the impact of moving jobs – financially, the emotional upheaval and potential geographic change.
7) Don’t mention money.
Even if you are moving jobs for financial reasons, never talk about the finances of a job move in the interview. It’s a real turn-off for employers and something which should be sorted out either beforehand or after the interview by you and your recruitment company.
If you do fancy a change of industry and there’s something that you want to learn, there’s no harm in contacting a market leader, telling them what you have and asking if you have the relevant skills. You’ll get an honest and open answer and you will show that you have something about you – you might even get offered a position!
9) Speak to further education establishments.
If you have a new job in mind and you need some qualifications, then further education may be a good way to go about it. It’s also worth noting that when a role requires you to be educated to degree level, there are many ways of achieving this without actually doing a three year degree course, so speak to local further education colleges as they will help you determine the best route for you to achieve your goals.
10) Do some volunteering.
It will look better on your CV if you have made the effort to pick up some experience relevant to the new industry you are applying for. It will also impress employers that you were prepared to work for free in order to pick up the necessary experience.