Five Steps For a Successful Career Change
Work culture has shifted over the years, and it is now not only pretty common to desire a change in work life, but it has become more common for people to actually take the initiative and make a career change. As many choose their education focus and even career path from a young age, some may find that their first job or jobs may have taught them a lot, but it is simply not the right fit that leverages their skills or holds their interest. It’s not easy, but by taking steps and being prepared a career change is doable.
Here are 5 steps to take for a successful career change:
Elevate your current job and assess what it is you do not like and would like to change
Before making a career jump it is important to consider your current job and why you want to make a change. Is it the industry that you are in that you’d like to shift from entirely? Is it the particular role or career field? Or perhaps it’s the lifestyle that your current work environment enables? Once you are clear on what you do not like and what you would like moving forward, this puts you on a clear(er) path moving forward.
Self-evaluate your skills and make room for improvement
When you self-evaluate your skills, including your strong points and your weak points, this will only benefit you in your interview process, future role, and overall success. It is important to know what your own skills are and what you bring to the table, and it gives you the space to make room for improvement and actually improve. You also gain greater confidence when you have done self-reflection and know what you are good at and some areas that you would like to improve in. This self-evaluation will reflect well in the interview process and support you in your career shift.
Upgrade your skills
In whichever job you are in, it is important to consistently be learning. When you are looking to make a career change, it is important to upgrade your skills and especially hone in on desirable skills for the industry or career path you are shifting to. The best part is that you can start developing new skills whenever, and you don’t need to wait until you leave your current position to do so. For example, a secondary language is a desirable skill for many companies.
If you want to work for a company that has headquarters abroad, it would be beneficial to learn the language of the country. Even if you don’t have much time, language apps like Babbel can be a great help: for example, they have many courses even ones for learning the German language and also offer the possibility to practice anywhere at any time. Newly acquired skills will show that you have taken the initiative to be more successful in a new career, and will also look great on your resume and in conversation with potential employers.
Check out job options and study the market you want to go into
When you take the initiative to move to a new role, you want to know what your options are. Compare roles at different companies, as each company tends to have their own unique approach to roles with the same ‘title’.
Learn to market yourself
When you are shifting to a job that is more aligned with what you enjoy and what you want to do, you will naturally speak more passionately. So make connections, market yourself, and remember to not speak negatively about your previous experience. Even when you leave your current job it is very important to leave on good terms and always remain amicable. It is very common for employers to do a background check on new prospects and to ask the previous employer feedback on the applicant.
If you’re going through a major career jump, it is always a good idea to address the change when applying for a job or going into an interview. It’s important to acknowledge it in your resume and cover letter and explain a potential new employer what led you to seek a new career.