When I first see my clients they are absolutely adamant that they want to make a career change. It seems to be a decision that is set in stone even though the majority of them are, at that time, unable to articulate exactly what they are hoping to do instead.
This decision has often been made because of one particular change in their circumstances. It could be caused by something sudden that is quite traumatic, like a badly handled redundancy, or a slow insidious erosion of values and job satisfaction. For example: an element being added to the role that doesn’t fit (i.e. sales), or a takeover which means the culture is not what it used to be, or being managed in a way that is wrong for you ……. the list goes on.
This one issue may not mean you need to completely change your career. Pivoting your skills into a different industry or even looking for something similar but in a company with a very different culture may be a better fit, and far easier to achieve.
If you have been in a career for some time and have, until recently, quite enjoyed it, the likelihood is that you have been using your skills and doing something that you are good at. So, what exactly has changed? Can you address just that one thing to reclaim that sense of job satisfaction?
So don’t jump into a complete change without thinking things through.
You Career Change Options are:
Stay in the same type of role within a similar organisation or industry: This is the easiest transition (basically a straight Job Search activity). You will find you already know what skills, knowledge and experience are needed and will have most of them; you will also have a CV that should not need too much time to update it; and, you may well already have a good network within the field.
Stay in the same type of role but change industries: This is the next choice for ease. Again you know the role, have a reasonable CV from an experiential point of view but you will have to work to break into a new area and make sure you adapt the language and choose relevant examples from your CV for the new industry.
Change what you do but stay in a similar organisation or industry: This is actually quite tricky for several reasons – you will already have a network of people who have known you for a while and they will be pigeon-holing you as you were, so you will need to work hard to re-brand yourself and get your network used to that. Also, your CV will need a lot of careful work to showcase your experience in a way that is meaningful to your new market. Sometimes clients find it easier to go for a similar role in a similar organisation but one that they have identified as being flexible and providing the opportunity for personal growth and training, so you can cross functions from within – worth thinking about!
Finally, you might want to make a complete change: This is the hardest to achieve, but if it is right for you then you will need to make sure you are very clear on what you have to offer, who you want to offer it to and how they would need your experience to be demonstrated and marketed. After than you have to plan a strategy, with a major part of that being organisation, preparation, research and networking. If you can tackle this like a project it will be a massive help.
I’ve made career change sound daunting, but if it is the right move for you and you work on your career vision, it can be inspirational, motivational and massively rewarding.
I remember the total awe I felt on my first day of earning money after I have managed a total career change – it was amazing and worth every second of stress and uncertainty along the journey – if its right for you go for it.