Are you tired of your low-salary job, and are interested in switching careers?
People seek to change careers for many different reasons. It may have been due to career goals, values, or new interests, or you may wish to make more money, or have more flexible hours, just to name a few.
If you’re considering switching careers, you may want to research professional options as well as why you want to make a change.
In this article, we discuss what a career switch is and provide a comprehensive list of steps and guides to switching careers.
What is a career switch?
Switching careers is the act of pursuing an occupation outside of your current position. For example, you may begin your career in the healthcare industry and then decide to move into government, perhaps due to the low salary or reasons best known to you.
Switching does not always mean changing industries. You might also switch to a job in the same field if you think a different company culture or management style will help you accomplish your career goals.
You may switch careers if you:
- aim to earn a higher salary
- expect to have a more flexible work schedule
- wish to advance within an organization
- resolve to travel more or less for work
- want to work under a different leadership team
- hope to reduce stress
- desire to feel appreciated
9 Effective Guides to Switching Careers
Remember, your qualifications, skills, and career history might be the perfect fit for the role, but how you communicate give an accurate picture of the employee you could be to the recruiter.
Review these step-by-step guides to switching careers to a role that matches your core values:
Table of Contents
Assess your level of satisfaction in your current role
It is important to assess your job satisfaction in order to decide whether it is time for a move. Keep a journal to help you track how you feel about your job each day. This will give you a clearer picture of the kind of workplace you desire, how much you enjoy your daily tasks, and whether the management style is suitable for your professional development.
Review your skills, core values, and areas of interest
Examine the various areas of your academic and professional experience where you have excelled. Your success may have occurred during volunteer work, paid employment, or academic assignments, depending on your background.
Reviewing these details will help you both determine what interests you and also how you might use highlight them in a CV for a new career. Look at free online tools to expand your career options and reflect on your core values to align your motivations with your career trajectory.
Consider careers in other industries
Create a list of careers you’d consider outside of your current industry. You can check our website to discover the fastest-growing job fields and browse top-paying jobs and companies by industry.
To acquire an unbiased opinion of the professions you’re considering, talk to your friends, family, and colleagues. Ask them if they can picture you in a different capacity, such as a teacher rather than a company manager. If you’re still considering potential career choices, a staffing agency recruiter or a career counselor might be a useful resource.
Create an action plan
Setting up an action plan entails deciding on a specific objective and the deadlines for achieving it. Since you’ve done all the research, you should be able to focus your career move on a single profession at this point. Now is the time to think about how to get there.
Consider prospects for professional growth, education and certification, skill acquisition, and employment in a particular area or subject. Create a timeline and the stages you intend to take in writing.
You might need to go through a personal repackaging and rebranding process before you begin searching for new employment. Use tools like a CV/Resume, cover letter, and social accounts to build a personal brand that appeals to potential employers if you’re looking for a shift. This may be even more crucial when changing careers because, without some thought and planning, your prior experience might not line up with your current objectives.
Make a personal statement outlining how your prior experiences make you a stronger candidate for the position you may be seeking. Make use of this topic in your cover letter, CV/Resume, and online profiles for business networking. Don’t forget to change your contact information, personal websites, and business cards to suit your new identity.
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Follow a few workers from various companies
If you have narrowed your primary career interest, take time to shadow professionals to get hands-on experience in their workplace. Shadowing can last a few hours or days depending on how long an employer allows you to do so. Check with career websites like ours and ask if they know about any job shadowing opportunities in your area.
Look for freelancing and volunteer opportunities in relevant fields
Another way to advance your career change is to obtain direct work experience through freelance or volunteer opportunities. This can be helpful if you’re looking for creative opportunities where there is in demand for freelancers. You can also volunteer at local nonprofit organizations to help feed the homeless, pack school lunches, or help at an animal shelter.
Consider online classes
If you need additional education to pursue a new career, consider a night or online classes to complete a degree program or certification. You can also attend local seminars, workshops, or webinars if you’re looking to earn skills in a certain area. Another option is to attend a professional development conference with keynote speakers and interactive courses to improve your knowledge of industry topics.
Enhance your skills
Many times, skills can be improved upon and transferred from one career to another. You may think about talking to your professional network and mentors to find out how they may have improved their skill sets in order to decide which abilities you should concentrate on. If you’ve decided to continue with your current employer but switch roles, discuss your desire in picking up new skills or carrying out different duties with your manager.
When you’re ready to begin applying for jobs in your new industry, be sure to draft a CV that is focused based on your new objectives and a cover letter that expresses your aims. Here are tips for writing a powerful career change CV and a sample career change cover letter with writing advice.
Remember that shifting into a new career can take time. With consistent self-reflection and diligent research, you can discover many new opportunities.
For additional tips on changing careers at different points in your journey, read our career advice tips.
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