Today the traditional idea of a ‘job for life’ is no longer the norm as the majority of us will work in a variety of career roles, and even entirely different professions.
More and more people are increasingly changing careers as technology revolutionises how, when and where we work. And at any age.
On average people in Australia are likely to change their careers around 7 times throughout their entire working life. The average is set to increase as further technological advances continue to rapidly change the face of the modern workplace.
This increasingly dynamic way of working, along with improved access to new learning opportunities, and the modern view a fulfilling career is one of the keys to a happy life, means a career change offers many potential benefits and unlimited possibilities.
So how do you successfully change careers and keep your sanity? Firstly, keep calm and give yourself plenty of time to prepare your career transition with these top tips.
Identify your new career path with an action plan
Ask yourself, where do I want to go next? Defining the vision of what your ideal new career path looks like can be the most challenging aspect when making a career change of this magnitude. Ask yourself, what is it you truly like doing? Be honest with what inspires and motivates you.
Consider the things you most enjoy about your current role. Which daily tasks and job responsibilities come easily and bring you the most satisfaction. As most organisations have regular performance reviews your core strengths and skills should be easily identifiable.
You might also reflect on other areas in your life like your hobbies and interests. Do you actively participate in volunteer work or are you involved with any special interest groups, like sporting or professional organisations? What makes you leap out of bed on a weekend? As you ask yourself these questions you may be pleasantly surprised to notice a range of job ideas coming to mind.
As you begin to clearly identify your new career path, an important next step is to form an action plan. Think about the steps needed to reach your ideal new job role and set yourself specific goals that support that goal.
Focus on your skills and experience
If you feel that changing roles could be similar to pushing a boulder uphill, especially if you have been with one organisation, or in the same role for an extended period of time, don’t let that initial feeling stop you from taking the first steps.
You will have multiple skills and experience that are transferable to other roles outside your current career and ideally this is the time to reflect on and compile a list of required skills and experience your new ‘ideal’ role would require.
For example, in this scenario, a person’s ideal role is to work with the State Fire Department however they don’t want to be a firefighter. As they are currently working as a counsellor for a large media corporation, they could easily seek a role in this capacity.
Have a side project
Moving into an industry we are more passionate about can be daunting, especially if we believe our career pathway hasn’t given us the knowledge and experience, we need to land the ideal role.
Create your own opportunities through a side project that moves you closer to your goal. As it can be difficult to land a job in an unrelated field that you haven’t worked in previously, by doing something on your own, it will give you the experience and knowledge you need to show prospective new employers you are motivated.
Side projects can be as simple as volunteering with an organization aligned with your interests, or you could start a blog on the industry you wish to work in.
Your career is a marathon, not a sprint
Making major life changes, particularly in a change as significant as your livelihood, is usually filled with lots of speed bumps. When you hit a hurdle, think it about as a checkpoint and not a roadblock. Understand each step forward is one step closer to your end goal.
Maybe you land a job role that doesn’t quite meet all your new career ideals but it is in the industry you wish to work in, or the job is within the company that you identified meets your values. These types of scenarios can help you discover more about your ideal profession.
An area many of us can find daunting when we first start exploring a career change is knowing how to build a bridge to our new chosen line of work.
There are many ways you can do this. You could volunteer or stay in your current role taking on extra work projects. Part-time work may even be an option. Reach out to your network already working the field you want to get into. Ask for introductions to prospective employers.
Update your resume. Seek out professional advice from career counsellors and advisors. There are numerous resources available online to help you build your bridge.
Don’t give up on your dream career
Should your career transition not go as smoothly as planned, remind yourself of all the reasons you are making this major life change for yourself.
If something isn’t working out, look for another way to unlock doors. Join a class, read a book, meet another connection for coffee, join a business networking group or industry associations.
Remember finding the right career for you is a very personal journey so there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Moving from one field to another may also present its own set of challenges initially but don’t be deterred, as the impossible is always possible.
As they say at Nike, ‘Just Do It’.
What you should do next
Take your time. Think seriously about the type of career that you can best use your experience, skills, values, and interests. Ideally choosing another industry or role within the same or similar field can make your career transition easier.
Ask your friends and family, or a career coach to support you as you make this exciting change in your life. Reach out to recruitment firms specialising in your preferred field of expertise who can help you land the job of your dreams.
Centastaff can help! We recruit and represent a large network of talented candidates to satisfy the demands of our clients and their businesses. We offer a range of professional roles within the aviation sector, and welcome driven and enthusiastic candidates to join our growing service. Registering with Centastaff is easy! Simply complete the “Apply Now” application form on our website today and you will be on your way.