Career changes can and do work out but there are a number of considerations when contemplating a career change.
- Plan for a longer job search. Changing industries requires research and time. Assess your financial situation and make realistic decisions. This could even mean that you may have to consider an interim position or part-time work to bridge to your new career. But don’t be side tracked by short-term issues.
- Stay grounded in reality. Successful career change is based on setting realistic goals and making an honest assessment of your skills, then matching those against the current market situation and conditions.
- Network, network, network. Networking is the key to any successful job search, especially in the case of a career change. The most effective way to transfer skills to a new field or new career is by using your contacts. Companies are more willing to take risks on people who are referred to them by individuals who can account for the candidates’ abilities and potential.
- Learn the language. Every field has its own culture and language. Having assessed your skills align them with industry needs and then translate your skills into language that resonates within that industry. This is a powerful way to demonstrate your knowledge of that industry as well as your understanding of how to apply your skills to it.
- Learn the business. Professionals today are expected to have an understanding of their industry – current issues and challenges faced. Read every article you can find on the industry, so that you can leverage your skills in offering solutions to industry challenges and demonstrate the value you would add to an organisation.
Making an industry or career change is not impossible, but it will increase your job search time and the amount of research you have to do to be successful.
Walt Disney was apparently fired for lacking creativity and imagination so don’t let others put you off but be realistic in your goals.