Top 10 career change tips
With the volatility of today’s job market and the scarcity of employment, now may be the time to embrace a move into a different line of work. Many of us have skills from previous jobs which have fallen by the wayside – it may be time to resurrect these abilities. Alternatively, you may have aptitudes which, with a little tweaking, could be put to a different purpose than what they are currently being used for.
John Hyde, managing director of Nottingham-based independent recruitment agency Elizabeth Michael associates, said: “It’s a competitive marketplace out there and there will always be lots of competition for jobs at the moment. People wanting to change career will always come up against other candidates with more relevant experience.
“But personality is equally as important and skill sets. There are opportunities for people to change career but candidates should be careful they are doing it for the right reasons – employers want to know that their applicants genuinely want to work for their companies and are not just applying because they’re desperate to get paid.”
Mr Hyde helped Jobsite put together these top tips for employees looking to change their career.
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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.