Knowing how to make a career change is just as important as the day when you finally realize you need to make a career change. Few things can make you feel more miserable than being stuck in your career and dreading going into work. A career should be something more than simply financially supporting yourself or you and your family. Without challenges in what you do, there is no incentive, motivation or fulfillment when doing it. Making a career move can be a challenge. It takes clarity, assessment, and old-fashioned networking and just may be in your best interest to visit a career counseling firm to help you achieve your goals.
Being receptive to learning how to start the career change process in a way that will prove successful is a good first step. Here are a few tips and recommendations to help you move in the direction you want:
Clarity and Purpose
Nearly every self-help guide for getting what you want out of life begins with defining what exactly it is that you want. In other words, you need to be able to precisely articulate your goals in order to achieve them. The same holds true for a meaningful and fulfilling career. Many people make the mistake of not defining their goals before a career change. Simply applying for another job in your newly chosen profession will likely land you back where you began—unhappy and looking for a new job.
A career change is a process that requires clarity and purpose in planning and implementing from the very beginning. More than looking for a job, be very clear what it is you are looking for, what it is you want and, above all, why. The clarity in what you want is much like writing the final chapter of your story first before you even write the book. It will help you focus on the outcome and navigate a successful search.
Instrumental to a successful outcome in a career change is making a realistic career assessment of your skill set. Skill assessment tests are available at career counseling firms or can be found on the web. They will help show your strengths and weaknesses in a particular field. Such assessments are in many ways a reality check. They will show whether the goal you have set for yourself is realistic, whether you’re ready, or if it means a little more training, experience, or further classes are necessary to get to where you want to be. Do not make the mistake of applying for a position you may want but have no skills or insufficient training in.
After you have assessed your skillset, it’s time to prepare a résumé. Though your overall experiences in the field you wish to enter may not be extensive, many of the skills you have learned along the way may be transferable. These skills are what many employers look for in their employees—how well can you manage change? Do you communicate well with others and get along? Can you solve complex problems? Career experts say a functional résumé is more beneficial than a traditional chronological one. A functional résumé will list your skills first, at the top, followed by a chronological list of your past work experience. A common mistake people make in preparing their résumé is overlooking the transferable skills that could prove valuable to a company.
Opportunity is as much about who you know as who knows you. This really is at the core of networking. It’s like having your own personal advocacy group. In truth, you are less likely to land a job in a new industry by simply applying for it. A company hiring is viewed as an investment by the company—in you as much as for the company itself. The more assured they are that your hire will prove beneficial for the company the more likely you are to be hired. Having an advocate is one such positive way to assure the company of your hire.
Networking then means putting your career change intent out there among friends, acquaintances, and former colleagues who are in the field you are aspiring to enter can have a positive impact on the outcome. These people know you to a degree and are familiar with either your skill set, work ethic or character, or all of the above. Let them be your advocates and put a good word in for you. Networking is a mutually beneficial relationship. If you look good, they look even better.
Finally, you need to be selective and tactful when networking. It’s not a good idea to assert yourself with someone you just met through a friend and ask them for a job or a reference. Your network should be cultivated and not forced.
Leverage a Career Counseling Firm
Never underestimate the importance of leveraging a reputable career counseling firm to your advantage. A reputable firm can be exceptionally helpful in the career change process. Career change counselors will provide the necessary guidance and assist you in developing strategies to fulfill your goals. They can help you with clarity and purpose, focusing on what you wish to achieve, identify interests, perform career assessments, and self-reflect to help you make ideal career decisions. In doing so, they will match your strengths with your career goals.
Core Themes offers a comprehensive four-phase methodology designed to bring meaning and purpose to the lives of people dissatisfied with their jobs, who feel their careers are going nowhere, or who are just starting out and wish to find the right fit. If you wish to be a part of something bigger, have a positive impact and create change, or who want to create change and make a broader impact in the world.