Changing careers doesn’t need to be a leap of faith. Sure, it’s uncharted territory, but it’s been done by others before, so you can do it, too. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a road map to making that change:
1. Answer the Question, “Why?”
Find out the reasons behind the current state of unhappiness in your career. Are your values misaligned with your company’s direction? If those changed, would you stay? Can you afford to switch careers at this point in your life? Which of your skills can you consider transferrable to a different profession? Do your research on your next move, what it entails on both your professional and personal life, and continue to question whether the prospective career would be a good fit.
2. Find People First, Then a Job
Consider browsing Jobstreet, Kalibrr, and LinkedIn as research. Don’t just jump into applying for a job off a classified ad. If you can’t speak with a recruiter or headhunter, what you really need to do is network. Why? Making connections to literally and figuratively bridge the gap on the career ladder is important. People can turn into references, endorsers, and mentors in a new industry. “It’s much harder to establish a relationship than to click buttons to submit a resume,” says career coach Li Lin, “but that’s also why people who build relationships get jobs faster.”
3. Submit a Resume, Not a CV
When the opportunity starts knocking, figure out how best to present yourself. Should you present a CV or curriculum vitae, which is a record that includes each and every position you’ve held over the years? Or, a resume, which is a tailor-fitted document that highlights your skills, experiences, and achievements? More often than not, resumes suit career-changers since the format focuses on only the most relevant information for the position you are applying for.
4. Start Over
In the event that you’re called in for an interview, bring a balance of confidence and modesty. You are fitting yourself into a new role, so don’t act like you’ve done it before. According to Business Insider, “Decide one or two things you want to be remembered for, but stop rehearsing [your answers].” This takes you all the way back to the first step, wherein you should know your core values, best skills, and reason for changing careers. Now, take a deep breath. Be prepared. Smile. You’re on the right track!