Many people will at some point in their lives, start having second thoughts about their career, promptly starting a touch of job soul searching. The result of this ruminating might feature amazing opportunities, a large pay check, the ability to work with a certain audience or sheer renown, but whatever the ideal career is, there’s no sense in simply dreaming about it.
Using these useful tips, career-seekers can find out just what steps they can take to change careers and get the job they deserve.
Do your research
Researching the industry and sector that your chosen career lies in is incredibly important. Not only will you get a great idea of what the day-to-day role actually involves, it’ll give you valuable knowledge that you can then use when you find a role. For job profiles see totaljobs’s list, or the large bank of profiles offered by Prospects.
Talking to people is a far better way to get hold of the career advice you desire, though. Talk to friends, ex-colleagues, acquaintances – anyone and everyone you know – and find out if they have any contacts who are in your dream business. Get in touch with them via social media (in particular LinkedIn) or over the phone – networking is a big part of many jobs these days, so it makes sense to start collating contacts early on.
If you don’t know the person at all – say, if you were trying to get in touch with the boss of a company you’d like to work for – then take a look at this handy HubSpot guide to writing impressive networking emails. Researching the individual’s tastes, contacting them via social media before the email is sent, using the correct formatting – it all makes a difference!
It’s very important not to get discouraged during the research phase. Jobs might not match up with how you first imagined them, you may have to work your way up from the bottom, and there may be a number of hurdles to surmount or lifestyle changes to enact along the way. Just remember: if you’re in a career that you love, these issues will be insignificant.
Learn new skills
If you haven’t got the qualifications or skills to enter your chosen career, there are all sorts of ways you can ensure that you’re correctly trained. Buy books covering the job description, industry and discipline, and devote your free time to learning about and immersing yourself in your future career. Jobs that require manual skills should be practiced in the same manner – practice really does make perfect.
Of course, in many cases, learning independently isn’t going to be enough – only a qualification will suffice. There are all manner of undergraduate and postgraduate courses available for adult learners, although you should think carefully before embarking on a particular path.
If your chosen career requires a certain qualification – those wanting to work in the air travel industry would likely benefit from a course in Galileo Computerised Reservation Systems, for instance – then take a narrowed approach to searching for courses. The more in-depth experience you have for these sorts of careers, the easier you may find the post-learning recruitment process.
Other courses have a far wider scope. Law, business, marketing or economics, for example, will be of benefit to anyone wishing to enter a business setting or start their own business – skills learnt in these sorts of courses are transferrable, and recruiters know this, holding adaptability in very high esteem.
If you’re not sure which route of learning would work best for you, talk to recruiters and those in the industry for information that should point you in the right direction.
Work your way up
For many career-changers, jumping into that perfect role isn’t going to happen overnight. Starting at the bottom of the company you’d like to work for, or in a position lower than the one that you’re wanting to occupy, should always be viewed through the lens of learning.
You’ll get to understand the trials and tribulations of those working at the heart of the company, and both this and the simple bottom-up understanding of the business gained will pay huge dividends when you’ve risen higher up the ladder. You’ll be better able to identify issues down below, and your own performance will be bolstered enormously.
While you’re working hard, try and gain a mentor, using them as a learning resource and a sounding board. Get feedback whenever you can and internalise it – any opportunity for growth is a step forward. Finally, actively seek out work, lessening the load on the team as a whole and improving the company’s processes so as to position yourself as an invaluable asset.
Your dream career doesn’t have to live in the realm of make-believe. By working hard and taking the correct steps, you can live the life you want to lead and go to bed on Sunday looking forward to the week ahead.