Many of us are keen to try our hand at more than one thing throughout our lives. The generation that had a job for life are long gone. Some people nowadays are keen to have two, three or even four careers throughout their working lives. Millennials have even chosen to embark on two or three mini careers at once, taking two or three different part time jobs and side hustles.
If you are in a career that doesn’t float your boat any more, don’t be too scared of switching. You might be stuck behind a desk and keen to spread your wings. A new career could be just what you need. Leaving a comfortable position might give you a mild panic attack, but you won’t be leaping from your current job into the world of unemployment. You need to find a new job before you leave your current one. Switching careers may involve some retraining, courses and a whole lot of resilience and courage but it can be worth it. Take a look at these simple ways to help make your career transition easier.
Evaluate Your Skills And Likes
Every job has its good bits and not so good bits. You need to aim for a job where the days are usually fun, thrilling and exciting for you, where you get a chance to flex your impactful muscles. If your days are dragging on and you dread heading into work every morning then it’s time to move on. Make a list of the skills that you have in the bag. What can you really show off through your experience and resume? Perhaps you work well in a team, maybe you have excellent leadership skills, and maybe your oral presentation skills are persuasive and engaging. Think about the sorts of jobs that match this skill set.
At the same time, a new career shouldn’t just fulfill your skill set, it should allow you to follow a passion or a love. If you have been stuck chained to a laptop, maybe you want to work outside in a conservation role or with children in a school setting. Alternatively, if you have had your fill of work on building sites, you might want a more corporate career. This may require some new skills being learned. Check out the courses at Northeastern University if you fancy a role within the financial sector. Or think about undertaking an MBA if you want a senior leadership position. There are ways to follow your dreams and upskill yourself.
When you make your job applications, be as specific as possible. By this point, you should have upskilled and taken into account your interests. Think about the sort of company you want to work for. You might fancy working for a large conglomerate or you may prefer working for a smaller, more niche firm. Do your research and apply to a named individual.
In your cover letter, ensure that you talk about what you can bring to a company rather than what they can do for you. Be enthusiastic and engaging with your tone. Talk about specific scenarios that demonstrate your experience. Ensure that you read the person specification and that you show how you meet this through your letter of application. It can be tough when applying for a new job within a new sector. You may have to learn to take a trip down the career ladder before you begin scaling it again. However, this can be worthwhile if you can escape the current career that is leaving you miserable.
If you are seeking a new career, you will be competing against candidates who are already well established veterans of a sector. This means you need to try and get a head start. Do this by getting in touch with some professionals that you aspire to be like. Send some speculative letters asking to shadow them. Many professionals will be flattered and eager to take you under their wing. See it as an opportunity to shine and flex your muscles. Do as you are asked and complete work to a high standard. Ensure that you use the opportunity to take in as much as you can and take on as much responsibility as possible. You never know when new job opportunities will arise and they will think back to that person who shadows them for a few weeks.
Shadowing allows you to learn new skills and will give you some real life job experience. If, after the shadowing opportunity, you are still fired up, you can apply for roles related to that sector.
If shadowing opportunities don’t arise readily, go a step further and volunteer. Any unpaid position will be welcomed by smaller firms. This can give you invaluable experience and help you to enhance your resume. If you want to work in conservation, volunteer with a local park group. If you want to work with children, volunteer at a local nursery.
Go It Alone
For some people, a career switch may not mean moving to more full time employment. Going it alone can also be a viable way of earning a living. If you have done well in your current profession, you may want to continue but in a freelance or self employed capacity. Consider constructing a business plan detailing your funding, investment and any cash flow that you need to begin your venture. Launching a startup is expensive so funding needs to be in place. Your business plan can help you secure a loan from the bank or investment from a business angel. These individuals will be looking to invest their own money in profitable ventures. When pitching, make sure that you know your gross from your net, and ensure that you can be interrogated on your figures.
Going it alone may be scary, but if you are sticking to the same profession or sector, you can take some contacts with you to hit the ground running. Your reputation means everything, so if you are already well known in your chosen industry, you may find that your startup has a head start.
Forget about working in the same career because it’s easy. Do something more with your life and follow your passion.