6 Steps to Change your Career:
1. Do your research.
2. Develop your plan.
3. Get qualified.
4. Develop a network.
5. Get some experience.
6. Go for it.
If you're feeling stuck in a rut it can be difficult to get focused on making the right career decision for you. We hope you find the following helpful in making your career change.
Do your research.
If you know the career path you want to change to then it is vital to put in the research. Seek out and speak to people in the industry - gain a realistic insight in to the career field you are choosing. As part of your research it is essential to identify any skills gaps you might have and how you might fill them. If you need to re-train ensure your qualifications are recognised within your industry.
Ask others in your chosen new career what they have done, for example, what are their backgrounds and how did they get where they are? What qualifications do they have?
This will become your blueprint for a successful change. Set your sights on your end career goal and create a map to get there. You’ll need to include each of the steps you need to take. Put a realistic timeframe on each of your goals. It is realistic to expect that you may need to adjust your plan as you work through it – to take into account realistic and unforeseen events, such as changes in the labour market or personal/health problems.
If your new career path requires training and qualifications, then research ways to complete these without disrupting your current employment. Check out your training options including online and part-time courses as these can be easier to fit around a job. Before you start your course talk to your course provider about flexibility within their training program – will it fit in with your current work schedule? What are your options if classes are missed? How much time will be needed, outside of classroom hours, for home study, assignments etc.
Professional associations within your chosen career can be a useful source of relevant information. Begin by seeking out and attending networking events. Develop your connections with people and organisations in your new career area. By connecting with people already working in your new area you’ll find it great way to learn about potential employment and training opportunities.
By being both qualified and experienced, in your new career area, you will be more valuable to potential employers. One of the biggest challenges people face, when changing career, is how to gain experience in their new area. Most practical training courses will have a work experience component within them. Once you have completed a placement make sure to add it to your CV. Include your duties, projects and any achievements.
It is very important that you choose your host employer wisely; many employers recruit new staff through work experience programmes – so remember to impress. Another way to gain invaluable work experience is through volunteering or taking on short-term work contracts outside of your normal working hours or during holidays.
As difficult as it may seem, there will come a time when you will need to make the final leap into your new career. You may need to work at a lower income until you become established in your new field – be aware to include this in your planning.
Don’t be afraid to get assistance making the transition to a new career, seek help from qualified and experienced career practitioners.