I've navigated multiple career transitions in the past, beginning with my move from academia to the corporate world, followed by a switch into the field of recruitment. I can still recall the skepticism of friends who believed I'd loathe the transition to recruitment! More recently, I made the daring shift from being an employee to becoming an entrepreneur. Each of these changes was potentially risky and could have had adverse effects on my career, yet I've never regretted them. In fact, these shifts have not only broadened my skill set but have also been deeply gratifying.
It is crucial to underscore that these changes weren't made haphazardly. They were meticulously analysed, with much time spent weighing up the associated risks and benefits. So far, so good as they've proven to be wise decisions.
Making a career change isn't merely about finding another job; it often entails a substantial shift in the trajectory of your professional life, whether it means entering a new industry or adopting a new profession.
For some, serendipity may occasionally pave the way for unforeseen opportunities, while others may require additional qualifications, training, or the maximisation of transferable skills. At Merritt Recruitment we've witnessed our clients, candidates, and even our own consultants benefit from career changes. This article explores if you should contemplate a career change, how to approach it, and when it might be best to stay on your current career path."
1.Why make a change?
Reasons are many and varied; lack of progression, obsolete technology, redundancy, financial freedom, relocation, dissatisfaction with your current role, the business values are not aligned with your own, the desire for a new challenge, a need to increase your earnings etc.
2.When not to make a change?
If you are having a bad day, you’ve only just started a role, it’s an unstable job market, you have financial commitments, these are just a few examples, however this list too is long. My recommendation is not to make any rushed decisions, instead carefully consider the risks and rewards and have a strategic plan in place.
Here's a breakdown of the risks, rewards, and steps to go about making a career change:
Financial Uncertainty: Switching careers often involves a period of lower income or additional training/education, which can put a strain on your finances.
Skills Gap: You may lack the necessary skills and experience in your new field, making it challenging to secure a job or perform effectively.
Starting Over: You may need to start at a lower position or lower salary, which can be emotionally challenging, especially if you were successful in your previous career.
Job Market Competitiveness: Some industries are highly competitive, and breaking into them can be tough without relevant experience or connections.
Emotional Stress: Career change can be emotionally taxing, leading to stress and self-doubt.
Increased Job Satisfaction: Pursuing a career you are passionate about can lead to greater job satisfaction and overall happiness.
Personal Growth: It provides an opportunity to learn and grow, both personally and professionally.
New Opportunities: A different career path can open up new opportunities, including higher earning potential in the long run.
Alignment with Values: You can choose a career that aligns better with your personal values and beliefs.
Diverse Experience: Your prior experience can bring a unique perspective to your new field, potentially making you more valuable to employers.
7 Steps to make the change:
Identify your interests, skills, values, and long-term career goals. Understand why you want to make a change.
Thoroughly research your desired industry or field. What are the job prospects, salary ranges, and skill requirements? Network with professionals in the field to gain insights.
If there's a skills gap, consider further education, certifications, or workshops to acquire the necessary skills.
Build a network in your new field. Attend industry events, join online forums, and connect with professionals on platforms like LinkedIn.
5.CV/Resume and Cover Letter:
Tailor your CV/resume and cover letter to highlight your transferable skills and experiences. Emphasisse how your past experiences make you a valuable candidate.
Start applying for positions in your desired field. Be prepared for rejections, and don't get discouraged.
Prepare for interviews by researching common questions in your new field and practicing your responses.
Sometimes you need to go backwards to go forward
Transition Plan: Consider a gradual transition if possible. Part-time work, volunteering or freelancing can help bridge the financial gap.
Mentorship: Seek guidance from someone who has successfully made a similar career change. Their insights can be invaluable.
Persistence: Making a career change can be challenging, but persistence is key. Stay committed to your goals and keep refining your approach.
When to stay?
Since none of us can predict the future, remember Covid, its important to weigh up if it’s the right time to make a change? Carefully evaluate that your career expectations are realistic in terms of time frame and finances.
Remember that making a career change is a process that takes time and effort. It's essential to have a support system in place, including friends, family, and mentors, to help you navigate the challenges.
Take that leap
If you’ve done a thorough evaluation and the time is right for you now, ulltimately, the rewards of finding a career that aligns with your passion and values can make the journey worthwhile. I have changed careers several times and each step has been a challenge but the rewards have been worth it.
Believe in yourself, good luck and make a change now!