Forging a path for yourself in one career setting takes hard work and perseverance. This is why it is so much more of a challenge to one day decide to change course and start again in a new industry. It can feel as if you have wasted your time or failed to put your skills to good use, but in fact changing career path shows a strength of conviction. If you are keen to challenge yourself to a change of career, these four steps should provide some guidance on how to do so successfully.
1. Outline Your Career Goals
First of all, what do you want from your working life? Some people make financial security a priority while others care more about expressing themselves through a personal passion. Think carefully about the underlying reasons for your career change and how you are being influenced by them. Write down a list of why your current job is no longer satisfying and what you would hope to experience by shifting careers. This will help you to clarify your thoughts and make wiser long-term decisions.
2. Research the New Area
While you may have been eyeing up a role in a completely different industry for some time now, that doesn’t mean you automatically know anything about how to break into it. Career ladders are all structured differently and are hard enough to navigate for those already working in the field. Take a look at job postings for the roles you’re interested in and take note of the many requirements prospective candidates need to meet. This information will help you to identify where you have to develop your experience and skills for a chance to be hired.
3. Return to Education
You will most likely need to retrain to a certain extent before considering applying for roles in your chosen new industry. This might involve taking on relevant volunteer work or going back to school. Services such as those found at campusreel.org are designed to help college applicants find out what grades they need to be accepted and this can help you figure out which colleges offer helpful courses. Again, it is sensible to refer to the industry job postings for a clearer understanding of what qualifications and experience future employers will expect from you.
4. Retain What Your Previous Job Taught You
Don’t forget to use the skills you learned in your previous career. Even if the leap has involved a big shift in expertise, there will always be a way to transfer existing talents into a new role. You never know when previous knowledge from an unrelated industry could give you an edge in your updated position. Make your employer aware of your value as someone with such varied skills and experience so that you are given projects that take full advantage of your talent.
Switching career paths is not as impossible as it might seem at first. By being clear on what your goals are, doing your research, and retraining to enhance your qualifications, you can transition to your new industry with surprising ease.