Happy New Year!
Are you ready to finally take the leap of faith and find your dream job? Taking that first step is an exhilarating moment. That is, until you realise that you don’t know what you’re doing, where you’re going, or how to even start.
This transition doesn’t happen overnight, and you can’t expect to figure it all out right away. So, to help you get on your feet and go after a new career, one step at a time, here are some tips on kicking off your search in 2019…
- Understand why you want a change
Before you dive into your search efforts, it is important to understand what role you are looking for and why you are looking for a change.
After you identify your ideal job, there are several other factors to consider: What size and type of company is appealing to you? What kind of people, environment, workload, and salary are you aiming for? Are you looking for a foot in the door of a new industry, or are you looking for a comparable role in a similar company, but with a different culture? This may sound basic, but it’s something that people often overlook when they’re stressed about their job hunt.
- Assess your interests, values, and skills.
Review past roles, volunteer work and projects to identify preferred responsibilities and skills. Determine whether your core values and skills are addressed through your current career. There are free online tools, such as aptitude tests, that you can use to help assess your strengths.
Take time to list out ideas that spring to mind. Then move to more in-depth research by using the internet to look at career options, and take the opportunity to discuss your core values and skills with friends, family, and networking contacts. It is beneficial to list the pros and cons of each career path, for example more job satisfaction but less work-life balance.
If you’re having difficulty coming up with ideas, consider meeting with a career counsellor and/or Recruitment Consultant in your chosen field for professional advice.
Find out as much as much as you can about those fields and reach out to personal contacts in those sectors for information. A good source of contacts is your LinkedIn network – especially those in relevant sectors of interest.
You could even use your network to set up a job shadow. Spend anywhere from a few hours to a few days job shadowing people who have careers that interest you.
- Take an online course
If you want to remain in full-time employment or simply take a more gradual career transition, why not get a feel for a job area of interest by enrolling in an online or evening course. Investigate educational opportunities that would bridge your background to your new field. Otherwise, you could attend a one day or weekend seminar or contact professional groups in your target field for suggestions.
- Upgrade your skills
Look for ways to develop new skills in your current job which could pave the way for a change e.g. offer to lend a hand on a project of interest or sign up for in-house training opportunities. There are ways you can position yourself for a career change internally or more gradually.
- Consider a new job in the same industry
Consider alternative roles within your current industry which would utilize the industry knowledge you already have e.g. if you are interested in the IT Sector, but not the programming or technical side, why not consider an IT sales or IT Recruitment role. Remember, a career change doesn’t need to be drastic at first, it just needs to be a step in the right direction!