Do you know that accordling to statistic, the average person makes around 3-5 career changes during their professional career?
But sometimes, it can be hard knowing when to make a change or not and how to do it sucessfully.
So we seek out to help you answer one of your burning career change question "How do you make a successful career change?"
In order to help us achieve this, we reached out to 11 career experts and ask them to share their best tips for making a successful career change.
Below you will see their answers to this question but first, let's discuss what a career change is.
A career change is the process of taking on a role that differs from your recent work experience. This includes involuntary changes driven by circumstances and changes that are pursued to improve quality of life, job satisfaction or remuneration.
Name: Austin Belcak
If you're ready for a career change, the best thing you can do is get out there and talk to people in other fields!
Start with a small group of people who are doing something you find interesting. Send them an email and ask them if they'd be up to chat about their journey and their role. Ask them about the skills, projects, and certifications they would focus on if they were starting from scratch.
Most importantly, ask them if they know of anyone else you can chat with!
Having 15-20 of these conversations will help you get a clear sense of what their role looks like and what skills are transferable / what skills you'd need to build. That will give you some clarity around what next step is the right one for you.
Name: Erin Kennedy
If you’re looking to make a career change, start with introspection. Don’t waste time applying to roles that aren’t a good fit.
Name: Tami Cannizzaro
Here are 4 tips I share with clients who are considering a career change:
Name: Matt Krumrie
Think about what is important to you. Is it money? Is it the opportunity to make a difference? Do you want to shorten your commute or work remotely? Do you want more work/life balance? Then try and find jobs and/or companies that provide these opportunities. Search their company web pages for jobs. Do you find any matches? Also, always go back to what you dream about doing. You would be surprised at how well skills transfer across industries. It may take more work, time, and effort, but it's worth it if you find a career that truly makes you happy.
Name: Nicole Booz
If you are looking to change careers, my best advice is to focus on the skills you want to be using in your career and let that guide your search for industries. From there, reach out to people who work in those industries and do informational interviews to get a better sense of where your talents will shine.
Name: Brian Kruger
Do your research. Start by reading career info online to narrow down your choices, then talk to others currently working in these select careers. Ask these four key questions: 1) What do you like about your career? 2) What do you not like about your career? 3) What are the typical entry requirements? 4) How did you get started? And if you don’t know anyone working in the career, ask others in your personal network to help you connect to those they know. Remember, it’s not about who you know, it’s who they know
Name: Neil Faragher
My best tip would be to focus a portion of your job search strategy on networking, both traditional and online. By networking with decision-makers of companies, you can present your transferable skills without fear of being passed on by recruiters because you don't possess the necessary experience, which is a common occurrence during job applications for those pursuing career changes.
Name: Debra Wheatman
I would first suggest doing some self-directed research for someone who needs a career change but doesn’t know what to do. No path can be appropriately set without something of a plan – even a loose plan. If you feel like you need a career change, consider the things that you enjoy doing and write them down. Also important is to take inventory of the things that you don’t enjoy. When it comes time to draft a résumé, you will want to avoid discussing what you did in the past that was not an enjoyable part of your role. Only highlight things on the résumé that position you in a positive manner and things that you liked to do.
Speak to your network. Part of the exploration process requires that you step outside of your comfort zone to have conversations with others. You never know what you might hear that can serve as inspiration. You should also arrange for networking meetings with people to whom you have been introduced. These types of meetings can be very informative, allowing you to learn about the work that other people do and gain insights into the business. Conducting research and expanding your network will enable you to explore things that you might not have considered otherwise.
Finally, consider taking some classes to help keep you engaged and learning new things. Before long, you will be on a new path!
Name: Lea McLeod
Start with going back to basics, and dive deep into self-awareness. A lot of people start a career pivot with “looking at job postings” or “applying on line.” I’d suggest you “Start With You.”
Get clear on who you are, your personality type, your strengths.
Once you get familiar with how you show up in the world, develop a list of qualities that you want in your next job and employer, that leverage your strengths, your preferred work style, and target the type of work that’s a good match for you.
By starting with you, you pivot from the inside out, rather than the outside in. And that’s way better for you.
Name: Duncan Muguku
The first step would be to ask yourself why you need the change. Specify a couple of compelling reasons and identify the new career that you want.
Next, while you are still in your current career, start reading and researching about the new career including looking at potential job opportunities/descriptions to get a feel of the position requirements. Similarly, identify companies that you would like to work for.
Work on updating your resume with an eye towards highlighting transferable skills and experience and also showcasing your accomplishments.
If there are opportunities to test drive the new career such as volunteer opportunities, that can be helpful. In addition, seek out and speak to someone who is in the career you desire.
If you identify some skills gaps, you could also take courses or additional training.
Name: Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter
Do the introspective work to identify your 3-4 key areas of value, and then research the companies and jobs that leverage that value. From there, make sure you have a thoughtful, rich and compelling story to tell--via resume, cover letter, e-notes, LinkedIn profile, email conversations, pitches, biography, etc. that resonates with the people hiring for those jobs and companies.
Make sure your stories are laden with more than results - they should bend and flow with reasoning (why, how, troubles you faced amid the process of achieving metrics and outcomes). This is what makes your story vibrant vs. vacuous. Sell, don't tell.
Name: Dana Manciagli
What do you Want to Be When You Grow Up?
During my years of coaching job-seekers, the #1 hardest thing for each candidate to answer was, “What is your job or career goal? Simply put, “What are you hunting for as your next position?”
It’s hard; I get it. You are afraid of being too niched and, therefore, want to have a broad description. Or you don’t want to be a jack-of-all-trades, so you define your goal very narrowly.
Over 60% of those looking answer, “I’m not really sure,” when asked about what they want in their next job. Or they disguise their lack of clarity as, “Well, I’m thinking about a number of things,” or “There are so many things I’m qualified to do.” Do you ever find yourself saying, “I know what I want, but it’s not out there,” or “I will know it when I see it.” Believe me, I’ve heard them all!
I am more concerned about those job-seekers who describe their next job in squishy terms that mean absolutely nothing. Do any of these vague goals sound familiar?
Below, I provide my favorite FREE resources for being clear with your job search goal. Our U.S. Military transitioning service members, Veterans, and their spouses, can be unfamiliar with how companies are organized in the “civilian” world, and these resources will be extra helpful for them.
There you have it. The best tips for making a successful career change. Thanks to our experts. If you find this post useful, please take a minute to share or follow them for more amazing advice
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