A career change is a big deal, no matter how long you’ve been working in your current industry. Not only could it involve financial drawbacks, there is also a mental stumbling block that must be overcome too. Switching careers involves admitting that your current path isn’t working and may make you feel as though you’ve wasted a part of your life.
However, taking on a career change doesn’t necessarily represent failure – simply that it is impossible to know if a career is right for you before you’ve given it a try. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to switch jobs. If you follow these tips and put in some hard work, you can secure the career change that you’ve been dreaming of.
Getting your CV right
Your CV may be the only chance you have of wowing your prospective employer, but how do you make yourself stand out amongst what could be hundreds of potential candidates? The first step is making sure you don’t stand out for the wrong reasons. Check your CV for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors and, if you are sending a cover letter, make sure you get the name of the company right.
CVs should generally be a single page long (two at most) and only include your relevant experience. As someone with a previous career, you may have built up a lot of experience over the years, but resist the temptation to include anything just to fill up the space. If it’s not of interest to your employer then leave it off.
Getting the qualifications you need
In order to secure the career change you want, you may need to acquire some additional qualifications. These could be bespoke courses in your chosen field or more general skills, like an Excel course.
There are more opportunities than ever when it comes to gaining new skills, with options to suit a wide range of financial needs and time constraints. You could opt to complete a full-time university degree, for example, or pursue an online course that you can complete in your own time. It is also possible that your prospective employer will be able to provide on-the-job training to get your next career started on the right track.
Be prepared to drop down
Changing careers must be accompanied by a realisation that you may not be able to stay at the same level you are at currently. In your present career you may have built up years of experience and industry contacts, only some of which will be relevant in your next role. This means that a career change could involve a drop down the career ladder, temporarily at least.
Although you should be prepared mentally, and financially, for this, you should not let it put you off making the change. The sense of personal satisfaction you will receive from working in a career that you are passionate about will make the change more than worthwhile. After all, it’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder that you want to climb than the middle of one that you don’t.