Changing careers is a tough thing to do, but it isn’t impossible!
First and foremost, realize the change isn’t going to happen overnight. Once you have embraced the notion it will take some time, draw up a strategy that includes reframing your ‘professional brand,’ a lot of networking and a constant evaluation of your efforts.
Embrace a slow pace of change
It’s sort of like turning a massive cruise ship: You need to take a long, slow approach to pointing yourself in the right direction. If you swing the ship around too fast, you risk injury, damage and veering off course.
As soon as you decide which new career path is for you, begin taking small steps. This might mean making small shifts in your present job, coursework in the evenings or learning new techniques to make yourself more appealing to prospective employers. It could also mean gradually moving to a new career via a sequence of jobs as opposed to one massive leap.
Draw up a plan
When drawing up a plan for your career change, start with the destination in mind. Make sure you have identified your main goal, as well as a loose timeline.
Then, break your goal down into essential milestones: the skills you need to get, people you must meet, means to transitioning out of your current job and any personal details.
Designate daily or weekly tasks to complete. As the completed tasks start to pile up, you’ll begin to notice how small steps can snowball, giving you both momentum and confidence.
Shift your professional brand
If you’ve got a different background than every other applicant for a position, connect the dots for a hiring manager and show them why you are a good fit for the role.
Don’t expect someone else to figure out how or why you “may” make sense for a certain role on your new career path. Instead, make it apparent on your resume, social media and cover letter.
Keep in mind, many of your competitors are going to appear great on paper because they’ve been in that industry or held similar jobs in the past. Therefore, you must brand yourself in a manner that not only makes sense, but also positions you as a standout applicant.
Network, network, network
Whether you’re changing careers or just changing jobs, it’s always good to do some networking. For those changing careers, networking is a good way to identify what skills in their chosen field are most in demand, what companies are hiring, what a typical day is like and what the long-term prospects are.
Try to network at all levels of your chosen field to get a comprehensive view.
Track your effort
Diligently document your status each day; how effective your last steps were and what you ought to be doing next. If you’re going to invest all that time and energy into changing careers, a bit of extra effort to track how you’re doing can go a long way.
At Action Group, we have years of experience helping professionals change career tracks. Please contact us today to learn more about how we can help you do the same.