In today’s article you will learn proven tips from an experienced Career Practitioner for how to set yourself up for a successful career change.
If you are thinking about making a career change – you are not alone! A SEEK study* has revealed that 57% of Australian employees are considering making a career change in the future. The top 3 reasons people wanted to make a career change included more earning potential, want to do something more fulfilling or want to pursue their passion.
Proven Tips to Set Yourself up for a Successful Career Change
Here are my proven tips for how to ensure your career change is a success.
Identify What You Want in Your Next Job
The first step in preparing for a career change is to figure out what you want from your next job. Here are a list of questions I’d like you to write down in a journal and answer. Please take the time to do this as it’s the work you do now that will influence your success in the future.
- 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?
Be Prepared to Play the Long Game
Career change does not happen overnight and you need to focus on playing the long game. If you’re not sure what I mean by ‘the long game’, here’s a great definition from Psychology Today.
“Playing the long game means taking the necessary steps, now, to set yourself up for long-term success. It means not sacrificing long-term gains for short-term wins. Unless something unexpected happens, you’re looking at anywhere from a 30-50 year career.”
In the future, when you look back on the steps you’ve taken to make the change you desire, it will feel more like a career transition. There’s really no one point in time when things will change. It’s gradual and you need to be patient. It’s therefore important you ‘adjust your settings’ and develop a long-term plan.
Successfully transitioning careers can be a daunting task. To be successful, here are some things that you have to keep in mind:
- Understand your motivations and take advantage of the opportunity.
- Be resilient and persistent when it comes to overcoming challenges and setbacks.
- Create your own opportunities.
Set Specific Goals
Balanced with this idea of ‘the long game’ is the need for you to set specific goals for yourself. This will help you focus and stay motivated as you build momentum. Here’s an example of goals you may set for yourself.
- Buy a journal and pen dedicated to capturing your action plan for career change.
- Allocate at least 1-2 hours per week to working on the steps in this article.
- Make a list of the people I know who currently work in the jobs or industries I am exploring.
- Arrange a coffee catch up each fortnight with someone on this list.
- Research the qualifications required for the jobs I am considering changing to.
- Follow me on LinkedIn for regular career updates.
Do Your Research
Spend some time researching the new industries you are considering changing to. This report from LinkedIn is great resource to help you identify potential jobs or industries that interest you. It details the 15 Australian roles that are growing in demand. LinkedIn states that:
“No matter what stage of your career you’re in, this list provides insight into where the workforce is heading and where long-term opportunity lies — whether you’re looking to make a career pivot, get back into the workforce or invest in skills that will prepare you for the future.”
LinkedIn is also an incredible source of industry information. I recommend you follow the LinkedIn company pages of relevant industry peak bodies and companies you’d like to work for to stay informed about industry news and potential job opportunities. Connect with leaders in the industry and ask their advice on what attributes they’re looking for. You’d be surprised how helpful people can be!
This research step is essential to help you find ways to start gaining experience in your new field before you actually make the jump. Consider voluntary, as well as paid roles. SEEK Volunteer provides an extensive list of voluntary opportunities.
Check For Values Alignment
It’s also important to make sure that the new industry aligns with your values and what makes you tick. Take the time to identify your values. Write them down. Spend some time journaling why these are important to you and how this translates to the type of role, industry and environment you’d like to be in.
One of the reasons you’re planning to make a career change is similar to what the SEEK study revealed. You want to do something more fulfilling, or something that is more aligned with what’s important to you. The more time you spend considering your values and what’s important to you, the greater your success will be in making the right move in your career change.
Build a Compelling Personal Brand
Your professional reputation matters and it’s therefore essential that you focus on building your professional relationships in real life and via online professional networking tools like LinkedIn. Once you’ve started to develop a sense of which types of roles and industries you’re exploring, I recommend you attend networking events for these industries. It’s a great way for you to make important connections and explore how to position your skill set.
If you’d like some help identifying your transferrable skills and having these networking conversations, I can help!
It’s also important you’re presenting the best version of you on LinkedIn, so make sure your profile is up to date and includes all the relevant information about your skills and experience. Update your photo, headline and contact information and spend time engaging in conversations via your LinkedIn newsfeed. You may even like to activate the Open to Work feature and notify recruiters of the types of roles you are looking for. To find out more about this LinkedIn feature please visit LinkedIn Help here.
Commit Time to Your Action Plan
By committing time to taking action you will build momentum faster and make the incremental changes needed for a successful career change. The clients who I have helped make a successful career change have included the following activities in their action plan:
- Look for and identify opportunities that interest me.
- Start communicating with my employer about what I am thinking of transitioning to.
- Get educated about my new field of interest – learn skills on my own time or take courses that are relevant to that field.
- Try interning or volunteering in the new field for a couple months to get more experience before making the final decision to switch careers completely.
- Start networking with people in the new industry.
- Read blogs, listen to podcasts and watch videos by industry experts.
- Ask for advice from friends who have made similar transitions successfully.
It’s my hope that these proven tips and examples of activities from clients who’ve successfully made a career change will also help you achieve the success you deserve. If you would like a confidential and obligation free conversation about your plans for career change, please contact me today!
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.