There are a lot of people who feel stuck and unfulfilled in their present career, and are considering a career change. While I feel some may not necessarily need a change (I wrote about that here), I also feel some do need a career change, not just a job change.
Here are some things you need to know to help you make that long desired change:
Talk to people in your desired career field
There are some people who fell in love with a career path just because of some TV shows, or because someone made it look glamorous on social media. However, that path may not be the right one for you, and may make you more miserable. Look for at least three people, and inquire what the career entails to know if it’s really the one. Also, know the basic and technical skills required, as well as other related requirements. I advise you list the questions you want to ask the specialist clearly; this will aid better analysis.
Be willing to start from the bottom
It may be difficult, but it’s possible if you’re really passionate about a particular career. Companies may not be willing to hire someone without an in-depth experience for a senior role, they would rather take someone who started from the field and has grown. Please, be willing and open to a pay cut to actualise that vision if the opportunity arises.
Network your way into your chosen field
The traditional way of sending out unsolicited applications may not work if you’re making a career change. Networking exposes you to potential employers. You can network by attending professional events, setting up meetings, joining professional groups (WhatsApp groups) and being active. Make friends with people who will be willing to take a chance on you. For that to happen, they will have to be comfortable around you, and this is possible only through various professional engagements. Also, talk to everyone within your network, tell them about your interest in another field. Consider even freelancing and volunteering with a desired mentor.
Consider getting a certification or masters degree in your desired field
Asides the fact that it teaches you more about the field, it also gives an employer confidence in your capabilities. I see it more as paying the price for that change. However, you need to be careful to invest in the right certification or course. I would advise you to ask an experienced person in that field to make the right decision
Identify transferable skills
There are some basic soft skills that are required for success in any role. Skills like communication, organisational skills, problem-solving skills, report writing, etc. These can be useful in the desired career, and that’s why it’s important you identify and include them in your cover letter and LinkedIn summary. Express your desire in your specific career path, share what you have done in the past (volunteering), skills acquired (transferable), and relate it logically to your desired role in your cover letter.
That career change may not happen as fast as you think. Please, give it time and take it one step at a time. With diligence, persistence and perseverance, you will get that desired career. Don’t let anyone make it seem impossible. Thousands of people have done it and are successful at it, so you can also do it and succeed.
I sincerely wish you the best on your career journey.
Join my next Twitter Mentoring Session for young professionals by following @careerlifeng on Twitter. We’ll be discussing “Interview Phobias.”