Your Plan for a Successful Career Change
Do an honest assessment of your current situation
Before you start thinking about what kind of job you might want to do for the next ten years, consider what you don’t like about your current job. Take some time every day to journal about your feelings toward your job and what might be causing you to consider changing careers.
- Is there an issue with your co-workers or manager?
- Do you feel underappreciated or are constantly getting passed over for a promotion?
- Are you waking up every morning with a sense of dread because you have to go into the office?
- Can you not imagine yourself doing your current line of work five years from now and being happy?
- Do you feel that your job will not be around anymore near the future?
These are all feelings and concerns that you should consider and assess as you determine whether it’s time to move on. In some cases, a career change might not be necessary, and all you need is a change in responsibility or discussion with your manager about career progression. In other cases, though, a career change is exactly what you need.
So, how ready are you to change careers?
Review your skills, qualifications, and experience
If you dream of being a personal trainer or nutritionist but your background is in accounting, you’re going to need to do some work before you’re ready to change careers. You may need to go back to school part-time or full-time, earn certifications, or get volunteer experience before you can be seen as a promising candidate for hiring managers.
As you look at potential careers, we would encourage you to look at job post descriptions to get a better understanding of what companies are looking for in candidates. This will help you determine what you need to make the transition. If you need to go back to school or spend considerable time learning a new craft, you will need to consult your family on possible sacrifices to see if they are manageable.
Consider ways to get your foot in the door
Ask ten people how they got the job they’re working in, and we guarantee you that most of the answers will be different. Looking for listings on job boards and posting application after application is one way, but it very rarely works. Many successful candidates get the job offer because they networked well, started as an intern, or figured out how to stand out among other candidates. Here are some ways people get their foot in the door:
- Set up a job shadow: Your high school guidance counselors or college career office can be great resources to find people who will allow you to shadow what they do daily. Job shadowing is a great way to see firsthand what someone does in your desired field. You can see if your skills match up to the responsibilities of the position and get a feel for whether this is something you could see yourself doing. Here is a good resource that shows how job shadowing works and howÂ you set up an appointment.
- Ask to take on additional responsibilities: If you are still employed, one way to acquire new skills and experience is by speaking with your manager and indicating you would like to try different tasks. Many companies offer in-house training to identify talent and retain high-quality employees so take advantage of these programs if available. You will learn new skills, which will help you decide to move on or seek a new role within the company.
- Volunteer or freelance: Expand your portfolio or beef up your resume by taking on volunteer or freelance opportunities. If you belong to a church or any other organization, chances are they are in need of unpaid help to support their organization. These opportunities are a great way to build up your skills and test your interest before applying for jobs in a new field.
- Speak with a staffing agency representative: Staffing agencies, like J&J Staffing, offer job seekers opportunities to get placed fast in new roles. They work closely with companies to identify candidates that will be a good fit for the role. If you have been recently laid off, we encourage you to seek out an agency that can help you find a job in a new field. We update our job listings every day with new opportunities in a wide variety of industries.