Career changes are scary regardless of whether you’re looking for new opportunities within your own sector or thinking about a new direction altogether.
It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone, but a new challenge can be just the impetus you need to grow and develop, put different skills to good use or widen your horizons.
So, where do you start:
Why are you thinking of changing jobs? Is the one you have not stretching you enough, or are you unhappy with the company you work for or the people you work with? Would you like a complete change of direction, and if so, what would you like to do?
Analyse your strengths and skills, and your ambitions – if there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, now might be the right time to take the plunge. Make a list of your strengths – that might be work-related or personal. Are your people skills and natural creativity wasted in what you’re doing now?
Then focus on the things you don’t enjoy about your current job – that could be the actual work, the hours, the culture, your boss. If you don’t work out what’s making you unhappy, how are you going to change it?
Take advice from those closest to you. They will often see things in you that you don’t see yourself – good and bad. Tell them you want an honest conversation and find out what they think.
Embarking on any career change means it’s time to take a good look at your CV. Make sure it is fully up to date, and if you’re looking for a complete change of direction, see if you can amend your CV to highlight some of the points that will be relevant to your new plans.
Do some more research on the area you want to get into and pick out any experience or training you’ve had in the past that might be important in finding a new role. If it’s something you’ve always been passionate about you might have done voluntary work, or it might have fed into your hobbies. Anything that shows it’s not just a spur of the moment decision will strengthen your chances.
Job seekers who are keen to find a new role can often make the error of applying for positions that are unsuitable in the sense that they are either under or over-qualified for the job. Delving deeper into the requirements of a new role can sometimes bring clarity. It might become obvious from an early stage that you’re not sufficiently experienced or don’t have the relevant skills to make the change you want.
Don’t be disheartened. If you don’t get an interview for a role, or if you get an interview but don’t get the job, ask for feedback. Take it on board and set about working on any areas that need to be stronger.
Apply for training courses that build up your skills base, or see if there’s something within your current role that could be developed or expanded to increase your experience and skills base.
Discussing your situation with an experienced recruitment consultant will help you gain clarity and be realistic about the options available to you. They will know where opportunities are likely to exist, how to find out about them and how to approach applying for them.
An honest appraisal of your CV will help you to see where your strengths lie and what your next steps, if any, should be before you go for that dream job.
Anyone can achieve what they want if they put their mind to it. The important thing is to be prepared, show commitment to your chosen career path and, if you’re not quite there yet, be realistic about gaining the skills and experience you need to make sure that one day, you get to where you want to be.
If you’re looking for a new job or want to switch careers, ACS Staffing Solutions can help! Contact us online or give us a call on 01604 704058.
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