Do you feel stuck in your job but are not sure what to do next? Have you been reflecting on your career recently and realised that you don’t find fulfilment anymore? Are you thinking of changing the industry, but you are not sure if you have skills?
Deciding on a significant career change can be a rocky road. You might be someone who recently graduated and looking for a first job or someone who wants to pursue a new path. Perhaps you want to grow your career in your current field but change the industry? How to be sure when is the right moment for change? How to know what to do next?
Career Change is a process, and there is no shortcut there. I went through it myself, and I have definitely learned valuable lessons as I went through the relaunch of my career.
Knowing yourself, taking time to reflect on your interest, passions, skills, and experience, understanding the fundamentals of your future job are the most important elements of the career change process.
Are you ready for the career change?
Fear of something new, leaving something that we know for something new and unstable, is why people are afraid of making a career change. Objectively review your current situation and evaluate if you are ready for a move:
What makes you unhappy in your current place? Is it a seasonal lack of motivation?
Is it the right time to make a career change?
Is your life stable enough to make a change?
Deciding on your career
Take a matter in your own hands and reassess what path is right for you. It’s a golden opportunity to clarify what a perfect career should look like and truly understand yourself.
Career Change Reflection - reflect on the components of your current job and how do you feel about them. What are the elements that you like? What are the elements that you don’t enjoy? What are the activities that energise you at work, and what drains you? What is the definition of success to you? Think about the career ideas that are appealing to you and reflect on what you like about them? Go ahead with the search, look at the opportunities in the targeted areas, talk to people in the industry, research roles.
Personal values assessment - research shows an increase in job satisfaction if your values are aligned with the company values. What do you stand for? If there is anything that you could change in the world, what would that be? There are plenty of personal value assessments available online if you are not sure about your values. Identify what really matters to you.
Identify your top skills and talents - reflect back to your childhood and the subjects you were particularly good at? Is anything that you are particularly unique at? Talk to your friends and colleagues and ask them what they think your 3 top skills are? What are you really good at?
Personality assessment - investigate your personality type. You will gain more clarity on your purpose in life and natural strengths.
Your achievements - things you are good at and proud of regardless of the opinion of others. Anything that you did when your motivation was high, and you enjoyed doing it. Think about both your achievements at work and outside your work.
Passions and interests - often, we decide to pursue a career based on the influence of others without cultivating our true interests or passions. Think about what you really love to do and how could you include that in your professional career?
Work Environment - think about all the elements of a successful career environment. Use the linked exercise to discover those elements that are most important to you.
Trust your instinct and make a decision - after doing the logical analysis, pulling clues from all the reflection and exercises collectively, it is time to make your decision. It is both an art and a science, and there has to be an alignment between your skills and what feels right.
From a dream to an action plan
Planning for financial flexibility - before you make an actual movie, you have to spend some time getting organised. A big part of it is financial planning and financial security during transition time. Consider compensation upfront. It’s important to know how much you spend each month and how much you need to earn your future job to meet your financial goals.
What skills can you transfer to a new career? Think about both soft and hard skills to have a healthy combination of both. Reflect on skills that you are lacking and look for ways how you can acquire them. Perhaps you can find a mentor or network with someone in the industry that you are targeting. There are plenty of free online courses available. Start networking with people and scheduling informal interviews to build your contacts.
SEO of your own brand - every industry speaks its own jargon, and you have to learn to speak that language. Your resume and LinkedIn profile need to include industry-specific keywords to get attention from recruiters and hiring managers. Craft your CV for a career change that will sell all your skills and experience to the new role.
Change won’t happen overnight! Build your plan and take small, daily steps to execute it.