The average person will change careers and not jobs, several times in their lifetime. It could be that you have lost interest in what you have been doing, for many years now. Or that, the company is downsizing and this time around, you weren’t lucky.
Whatever the reason, changing careers is overwhelming. When you look back at the time, energy, money, sweat and sometimes blood, that you invested in being where you are, you are tempted to stall and do nothing about it. The same way you would, when choosing a professional cover letter writing service.
To help you alleviate the stress you will face, and make the transition smoother, below are steps to guide you through this tough period:
• Take a Step back
You have to assess yourself before making a career change. You don’t want to change careers when all you needed was a new job. Evaluate your life from a higher and informed perspective.
Most professionals have no idea of who they are. Understand your values, preferences, style, and non-negotiables. Identify your standards of integrity. The intimate knowledge of yourself will help you build an enjoyable and successful career.
Get external help if you have to, from a mentor, friend, coaching buddy or sponsor.
Through self-assessment, make a list of occupations that you could explore. If you have multiple lists, then note down the commonly occurring career options. Chose those that you consider appealing, in the same manner, you would when looking for a professional letter writer.
One by one, seek practical insight on the particular career path. Find out the requirements for entry. From opportunities, educational needs, challenges, job outlook, to conditions.
Identify the required certifications and qualifications. Are there any transferable skills?
What skills gaps, currently exist?
• Create an Action Plan
Research helps you narrow down your list of options. Probably an occupation that requires an advanced degree may not be ideal, if you don’t plan on spending your time and energy, to prepare for it. Conduct informational interviews with those who have firsthand knowledge of the occupation.
When you finally have one occupation that you would like to pursue, develop a blueprint for successful change. You first have to set goals. Map out the steps that you need to take and their timelines.
Set timeframes that are realistic. You may have to adjust them, along the way. An action plan will guide you to meet your short and long-term goals.
• Training and Education
Before preparation for the new career, find out if you have any transferable skills. It will be needed by the cover letter writing service. What new skills do you require?
You have to get a degree, take an internship position, or specific courses. If you have to broaden your knowledge; ensure that you have interest in the subject matter. Try out one or two classes.
For a degree or certification, check the school’s accreditation, before enrolling. Find out the successes of their placements, too.
• Update Your Resume
Your resume should match what recruiters are looking for in your soon-to-be career. Align your career goals with your resume and cover letter. Don’t assume that the hiring manager will join the dots, from your old resume.
Where you have transferable skills, include them in the resume in a bulleted list of skills or qualifications. In the summary of your qualifications, emphasize on the skills you would like to play up. You can also include your work history and standard skills on your resume.
However, you should ensure that your cover letter gives reasons why you want to venture into that path. Show the recruiters that, though your work experience, may not be extensive; you have the passion and necessary skills, for that position.
• Grow Your Network
The success of changing careers will also depend on your ability to network. Start with your family members, colleagues, and friends. Networking is also an essential tool when conducting informational interviews.
Those in your network can provide you with valuable information about the industry or a particular company. They can also give you job leads. Reach out to the alumni from your college who are in the field of your interest.
Broaden your network by joining the professional organizations in that particular field.
• Gain Experience
You are starting from square one, and your experience may not match what is needed. Volunteer your time in the new area of career, or offer part-time services. Do what it takes to gain the required experience. You may have to consider working at night or sacrificing your weekends.
Since changing careers can be overwhelming, it is essential to get a mentor. He or she will guide you when the times become tough. You may also benefit from their network. It is a life-changing step and needs you to take your time, before making the final leap.