If you’re ready for a career change, you’re probably looking for a new position in a completely different industry. But have you ever considered finding an alternative career in the sector you know? If you like the idea of making a sideways shift read on, as we show you how to take control of your career change.
1. Know Your Value
Self-confidence plays a major part in any successful career change, so it’s important to understand your value. If you’ve worked in the same industry for a while, you’ll have plenty of experience and a solid understanding of that particular sector.
Take time to reflect on the responsibilities of your current career and your achievements so far. Perhaps you’ve managed a number of projects, taken part in a mentoring scheme or used your initiative to improve things at work? How has the role developed over time? Thinking about these things at this stage will boost your confidence and give you plenty of ideas when it comes to updating your CV.
You’ll also find that working has helped you to develop many transferable skills, which are the personal and social skills you need to be able to do most jobs. These complement your academic qualifications, enable you to interact with others more effectively and have a positive impact on your career.
These are crucial when it comes to meetings, work presentations and conversations with colleagues or clients.
The ability to resolve conflicts is highly valued because every workplace experiences them. To be good at this you’ll need self-awareness, confidence, tact and patience!
This is the key to managing time and workloads. With remote working on the increase, managers value employees who can stay motivated without constant supervision.
Effective problem solvers can prioritise under pressure, process data quickly and approach issues analytically.
Confident employees have a solid sense of self-worth, are resilient in the face of criticism and see mistakes as an opportunity to grow.
The willingness to learn new skills, switch roles, work late and take on extra work during tricky times is highly appreciated by employers.
2. Research Your Options
To narrow down your choices, begin by exploring the different kinds of careers your industry has to offer. It’s worth doing this even if you already have a new job in mind, as there may be career options you’re not aware of. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our careers blog, where you’ll find articles about a variety of industries, including the environmental sector, STEM industries and the health sector.
We also recommend paying a visit to the National Careers Service website, which features a comprehensive guide to numerous jobs. Simply click on the industry you work in and you’ll be presented with a list of roles within that sector. For example, if you choose the construction industry, you’ll find that there’s a list of over 80 related jobs including architectural technician, quantity surveyor and civil engineer. Clicking on a job you’re interested in will take you to a detailed overview that covers entry requirements, salary information, working hours, daily responsibilities and career progression.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the variety of careers on offer and you can’t decide which one would be the best fit, why not check out our career quiz? This comes up with a selection of job titles based on your personality and career goals.
3. Consider Your Qualifications
Don’t be put off if you haven’t got the qualifications your chosen career requires, as there are a usually a variety training options available. Upskilling could be as simple as attending a one day workshop, a weekly class or an online course. If you’re keen to change careers but stay with your current company, it’s also worth asking your HR team whether any in-house training is on offer.
Before you apply for any courses, make sure that you’ve taken your lifestyle and current commitments into account. Being realistic about the time you can spare means that you’re much more likely to stick to your studies and achieve your career goal, so try to find a course that suits your home life. We have a great range of online and blended courses available, so why not visit the coursesonline.co.uk website to check them out? You might be surprised by the variety of careers that can be accessed via online learning!
Careers You Can Train For Online
The kind of networking you’ll do depends on whether you’re staying with your current company. If you love working there and you know that jobs are available, you’ll need to make most of any opportunities to network internally. For example, you could begin by identifying someone who already does the job you want and inviting them for coffee. This would give you the chance to chat about the realities of the role and enable you to find out what your future manager is like.
It’s also worth telling your present manager about your career aspirations, as they may be able to introduce you to relevant staff. Look for company projects, socials and fundraisers that allow you to engage with your potential colleagues and showcase your skills.
If changing your career means changing company, you’ll need to build up an external network of contacts whose knowledge and connections will help you to find a job. Include anyone with a link to the career you’ve picked, including friends and family members.
Getting to grips with social media is also crucial. We recommend following every company you aspire to work for, as this can give you valuable insight into their culture as well as keeping you up to date with developments. While Facebook is a useful starting point, LinkedIn is the place to be if you’re keen to network. As well as posting your CV, you can build connections, search for jobs and join industry specific groups.
To make most of LinkedIn, make sure you complete your profile. We suggest uploading a professional but friendly profile picture and adding a headline that captures any relevant skills. When it comes to completing your job description, try to write with personality and include detailed information about your experience and achievements.
Social media can also be handy if you decide to attend a physical networking event. Checking out the attendee list beforehand will enable you to make connections, pick people to engage with and think of a few conversation starters. There may also be a twitter hashtag for the event, so use this to your advantage.
5. Tailor Your CV
The average recruiter spends ten seconds reviewing a CV.
You’re nearly ready to begin your job search, but first it’s time to make sure that your CV is up to scratch. Simply adding a few sentences to your current CV isn’t enough when you’re changing careers, so set aside enough time to carry out a complete overhaul.
To start with, we recommend looking at a few typical job specifications and underlining the qualities, skills and qualifications you’d need to apply. As well as showing that you meet the basic requirements of your new career, your CV should demonstrate the relevance of your current job. Do this from the start by writing an opening paragraph that highlights the connections between your past achievements and your future career.
An effective career change CV should also:
Moving towards a career change can be tough, particularly if it involves studying while you work. But if you stay focused and follow the steps we’ve suggested, you have every chance of achieving your ambitions. Good luck!