by Sellick Partnership | 15 February 2016
Maybe you’ve lost interest in what you do, perhaps you’re looking for a more challenging role, or you could simply be looking for better work-life balance. These are just some of the reasons you might want to leave your comfort zone and venture into a change of career.
With today's professional averaging a career change of five to seven occupations in their lifetime, this number looks likely to increase. Recent research suggests the challenges and opportunities that a rise in technology has provided is also prompting candidates to seek new career paths.
If a career change has been on your mind and you’re looking for advice on how to prepare, keep these three tips in mind:
1. Research to understand what employers want
The expectations in your previous occupation are likely to be completely different for your new role. Do lots of research to get an insight and understanding into what may be expected:
- Browse job boards such as Reed and Monster for job descriptions, to get an insight into what the role might look like
- Read LinkedIn profiles of others in your desired industry to discover the terminology they use and training they've had to get to their current role
- Speak to acquantainces in the industry to discover what a daily schedule looks like
2. Don’t go it alone
Find people who can help you on your journey and network with them to discover mutual benefits. Networking is often perceived as a negative word but the premise is that you are making beneficial connections that could serve you down the line, and vice versa.
- Get involved with LinkedIn groups, and join the conversation to make yourself known
- Look into if there are community or interest groups in your area, such as those on Meetup.com, where you could meet people who could help or advise you on your journey
The more you can be around like-minded people, the more likely you will find solutions and opportunities easier and faster. Having a strong network will help you cope with the changes positively, and know what to do in an unfamiliar industry.
3. Ensure your online brand is relevant
74% of recruiters and employers use social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter to assess potential candidates before inviting them in for an interview (protecting.co.uk, 2016). Ensure your social presence provides a strong first impression and reflects your desired industry to increase your change of success.
- Use the right terminology - check on LinkedIn that you’re utilising the same, or similar, language
- Post content and thought-leadership articles from your desired field to indicate your knowledge of the sector to potential employers
- Make sure you’re on LinkedIn, and don’t be afraid of connecting with people you’ve only had a brief encounter with – opportunities will present themselves further down the line
Once you’ve made the first step – joined that group, scheduled that coffee meeting, updated your LinkedIn profile, you’ve made a commitment and the momentum will carry you further into your transition.
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