Written by: Katrina Lubiano
Feeling less than thrilled about your current career? Switching careers takes nerve and significant work, but the benefits are rewarding. This is an opportunity to challenge your personal development, try out different jobs, and learn new skill sets.
Create a career action plan
Learn how to make a job application strategy here .
Be strategic and develop an action plan to help you stay on track. It’s easier to stay on track when you can visualise your progress and chart your milestones. This can help you feel motivated and give you a sense of direction when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Consider what you require from the new job, locations you are willing to work, hours, and what it will take for you to build a resume and cover letter that will appeal to these companies.
Study the professional description
Understand the job postings and what recruiters are looking for in a successful candidate. Determine what your current skill set and experience bring to the role, and write a list of hurdles you’ll need to overcome to add to your career action plan.
Do you need to learn a specific program? build your portfolio? need more experience in a field? Jot it down and figure out ways you can work towards putting these notes in your career tool belt.
Even you don’t have much experience in the field you’re looking to transition to but are building towards it, you’ll prove to your future interviewers how serious and determined you are to pursue this challenge.
Overcome that feeling of intimidation
Try not to let minimum years experience and job requirements shut you down. Let your genuine passion for your new career path guide your nerves, and trust the process of growth and change.
Your experience is much more valuable than you give credit for. You’ll be surprised at how many jobs have skills that overlap. Your fresh insight might be the new thing the hiring manager or recruiter is looking for, so be confident in your abilities.
Your time is precious. Invest every minute of it.
Showcase your interests outside the workplace. What you do outside of work is just as relevant to building up your professional experience. Do your hobbies or extracurricular activities add value to the work you’re pursuing?
You can volunteer even just once a week while still at your current job. This gives you the chance to test the waters and reduce the risk of regretting your career change.
Craft a new resume
You should always tweak your resume for every role you apply for to highlight specific skills and experience. Start by crafting a solid foundation that you can easily adjust when you apply to roles in your new interest. Ask trusted colleagues to help you review for any typos or clumsy formatting.
Do not underestimate the power of the cover letter
Your resume highlights your experience and skills, while your cover letter is your opportunity to convince employers you are passionate and excited about the job. Tell your story about why you are looking for this career change, what brought you to the moment you are in now, and how you plan on succeeding in your new career.
Reach out to people who are in your dream career and listen to what they have to say. You can connect with people online through LinkedIn, Facebook Groups, and Twitter. Be sure to introduce yourself when making online connections and prepare a few questions to ask without taking too much of their time.
Networking in person will leave a longer lasting impression, so get out there! Volunteering, attending skill-building workshops, MeetUps, and presentations are all excellent places to meet professionals.
Grit is the most important factor for success
Ted-Ed speaker, Angela Lee Duckworth highlights the important factor for success does not reside in one’s IQ or inherent talent but through the power of passion and perseverance.
Not every opportunity that presents itself is going to make or break you, so don’t get discouraged if you run into rejection or failure. Getting back up from a fall and trying again will be the most important skill you will need for a successful career change.