Are you thinking about changing your career path? Making such a big decision isn’t easy, but when passion and initiative come calling maybe it’s time to take the leap.
It’s clear that the first step in this process is conquering your fears. You are after all moving out of your comfort zone to face something completely new. You may feel intimidated by the unknown, and in some cases, it means taking a step down on the career ladder and landing a lower-level job. However, if you are really passionate about the role, it will always shine through.
At Planet Expat we’ve worked with many clients who were looking to switch career, many of them felt lost and didn’t know where to begin. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve searched for a job or you’re not sure about how you can break into the industry. Here are a few tips to help get you started!
Before quitting your job, you should start researching your new position. Study the skills and requirements of the role you would ideally like to have. Keep your options open though, if you are switching industries it may be necessary to begin in other roles in order to reach the one you have in mind.
Next, study your own skills and abilities. How do they match up to the ones in the job descriptions? They don’t have to be exact, look for skills that are easily transferable. In most cases, these are soft skills, such as interpersonal skills and stress management. Use these to your advantage, remember that you aren’t starting from the beginning and many of your past experiences will be valuable to your new employer.
If some of the skills required for your new role aren’t transferable, then it’s time to start looking into how you can train and learn those new skills. If your profile really isn’t compatible yet with the job description, it’s a good indication of whether you should be applying or not. Wasting your time applying for roles you aren’t compatible with is never a good idea.
Put effort into creating a brand new CV. Especially if you are changing industries! Adapt it to the role you would like to achieve, then you can just tweak it for each job post you apply for. Take advantage of the summary section of your CV, this is where you can emphasize why you are changing career and express your passion for the role. It’s also a good opportunity to explain how you will use your past work experiences to bring value to the position based on previous knowledge.
The next step would be to write a new cover letter. It can be key in your job applications since it’s the place where you can express your passion and interest in the role. As with the summary, it’s a platform to underline the benefits your past experiences have and how you will apply them to the new position.
Never underestimate your network. It’s the best place to start looking. Do you have any connections related to the career path you would like to take? Reach out to them, they are likely to have insightful advice and perhaps new opportunities.
Another networking option is to attend events related to the industry or field you are interested in. You never know what kind of opportunities you might encounter, or how helpful it is to have connections.
Don’t forget to take into consideration your skills and hobbies. Are they related to your new field? Your hobbies are the best demonstration of your personality and what it is that you love doing. Don’t underestimate them, they can show off skills and knowledge just as well as work experience. If your hobbies are related to the industry you are targeting its pretty much essential information to bring up, it means you are aware of trends and what’s going on, without even trying!
Learn to accept rejection
Changing career path isn’t an easy task. It will certainly come with the usual ups and downs of a job search. It may not go exactly how you planned it to and you’ll find yourself facing a string of setbacks along the way. However, it’ll all be worth it once you find yourself in a job you love. It’s also nice to remember we’ve all been there!
It takes time to make a break in a new field or find a role that’s your perfect fit, persistence is key. However, remember that every step you take is towards doing something you love, keep your main goal in mind.
For personalized advice from our very own experts, take a look at our career coaching services here.