In this article I explore the 3 crucial factors that will affect your career change and show you how to prepare a career change plan.
Prior to making a career change, it’s important to understand the changes that might take place in your lifestyle and how you will adjust. It is also important to understand the benefits that will come from making such a change. It is this preparation, both in the form of specific actions you can take, as well as subtle shifts in your mindset, that will help you prepare your career change plan.
Victoria, where I live, is one of the most fire-prone areas in the world. Fortunately, I live close to Melbourne CBD and do not live near dense forests, where the fire risk is highest. For those who do live in higher risk areas, having a fire plan is a crucial factor that will reduce the impact of the potential dangers of fire and damage to property.
Just like preparing for a fire, every decision you make in your career will have some consequences – both good and bad. How you navigate your career change therefore requires careful consideration so that you are in control of the elements you are able to influence. Being prepared is the best way for you to ensure you achieve the success you deserve. You need a career change plan.
3 Crucial Factors That Will Affect Your Career Change and How to Prepare
There are three crucial factors that will affect your career change – and how you prepare for them by developing a career change plan.
1. Know Thyself
The first crucial factor that will affect your career change is how well you know yourself and understand what skills, experience and character strengths you offer or can develop further.
The preparation required is to conduct some self assessments, including the following:
- Make a list of your core skills – what is is that you are good at?
- Make a list of your developing skills – what are the areas you enjoy but could work on further?
- Update your resume and LinkedIn profile and ensure they capture all of your relevant work experience, describing the breadth and scope of each role and any key achievements specific to these roles. Also make sure you’ve documented relevant education, certifications, voluntary experience and awards.
- Understand your character traits. This free Character Strengths survey thanks by Via is an excellent way to do this.
You are now MUCH better equipped to tackle the first crucial factor that will affect your career change – knowing thyself.
2. Understand What You Want
The second crucial factor that will affect your career change is understanding what you want. LinkedIn’s Jobs on the Rise 2022 report identifies 15 roles you could explore right now in Australia. However, you must do the work in terms of understanding what it is that you want before diving into roles that are popular or in demand.
To prepare for this in your career change plan you need to figure out what you want from your next job. Here are a list of questions to help you determine what you want:
- Do you want to work remotely?
- Do you want more flexibility in your schedule?
- What particular elements of your skill do you feel will be helpful in the long run?
- What is it that you want out of your next job?
- Do you want to work on something more creative?
- Do you want to move up the ladder and have more responsibility?
3. Know How the World Works
The third crucial factor that will affect your career change is understanding how the world works and realising that you can’t just hope for change. You need to really understand the employment landscape for the role and industries you are considering changing to.
The Secret was a best selling book a number of years ago. The premise of the book was that you need to visualise your goals clearly in order to attract what you want. While I am a big believer in visualisation, I also know that to be successful in a career change, you need to consider the following factors:
- Financial and personal stability – what are the financial parameters you need to consider for future roles? What type of responsibilities do you have outside of work and how can you ensure your career change helps you incorporate these to create a better work / life balance?
- Ability and skills – the self assessments will enable you to develop a clear picture of where you are now and where you may need retraining to up-skill for certain roles.
- Network and connections – the people who know and trust you are the ones who can open doors for you in new roles and new industries. Rather than ask for a job, seek their advice and opinions – you will get a much warmer response.
- Understanding and adapting to a new work culture and environment – by identifying your top character traits in the self assessment you can uncover some of your preferences. Carefully consider the type of work culture and environment that will bring out the best in you. Some people love the challenge of working in demanding and fast paced environments. Others prefer a slower pace. You need to explore organisations and opportunities that are best suited to your preferences.
Key Actions To Prepare for Your Career Change
Taking all of this into consideration, to properly prepare for any possible changes as part of your career change plan, you need to:
A. Investigate the labor market and find out what skills are in demand at the moment
Reviewing LinkedIn’s Jobs on the Rise 2022 report is a good start, along with setting up job alerts on LinkedIn, SEEK, Ethical Jobs and any specific industry based job sites. I also recommend you speak to friends and colleagues who already work in the industry you are exploring. You may also like to reach out to specialist recruiters who are currently advertising roles you’re potentially interested in doing in the future.
B. Get feedback from people who have done similar career changes
By speaking with people in your network who’ve made similar changes, you will get the most reliable assessment of what’s really going to be involved. Before doing this, carefully assess what you know about this individual’s values and character traits, as they may not view the world in the same way you do. This does not mean their advice isn’t helpful, it just means you need to understand the lens with which they view the world. Something they may have experienced as being difficult or challenging may be a welcome change for you. What’s important is that you remain curious and understand what their experience has been and what insight you can draw from this for your own circumstances.
C. Talk to an expert
It’s essential that you stay up-to-date with the latest information that’s relevant to your career change. If you’re exploring specific re-training or up-skilling, always seek out the industry’s peak body for the required standards. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how helpful people can be when you ask for their advice.
If you are moving into active job search, seek the support of a Career Practitioner who can help you set up your job search tools and prepare you for the job application and interviewing process.
If you’ve taken the time to consider these three crucial factors and the key actions to prepare for your career change you are well on the way to achieving the success you deserve.
And if you have any questions along the way, I’m here to help. Book a complimentary 15 minute Career Chat to ask your questions.
I am a passionate Career Coach who works with individuals in the explore and search phase of their career journey, helping you realise your strengths through my career coaching and training programs. I enjoy showing people the path to greater career satisfaction and providing insight and tools to help you make your next career move.