1. Discover What You Truly Enjoy
The last thing you want is to go through the process of switching careers just to get into an industry you don’t like.
List your likes, dislikes, values and interests. Identify exactly what it is about your current job that’s making you want to leave — and make sure to avoid career paths that could have the same obstacles.
For some people, this could be the toughest step. Figuring out what you truly enjoy and are passionate about after ignoring it for years isn’t a simple task.
Ask yourself, “What do I get excited about doing?” or “What’s something I spend my free time thinking about or doing?” Choose a career related to your answers to those questions.
2. List Careers That Satisfy Your Passions
Once you’ve keyed in on some of your passions and interests, search for careers that would encompass those things.
For example, if you spend a lot of your time thinking about or hanging out with your dog, consider a career that has to do with animals.
The important part about this step is keeping your skills in mind, as well. Just because you like dogs doesn’t mean you have the expertise or skills required to be a veterinarian.
However, if your skills include marketing, writing and designing, you could consider working as a marketing specialist for an animal protection agency or dog kennel.
The trick is to combine your skills with your passion to create your ideal position, and go from there.
3. Research the Careers That Made Your List
Once you’ve come up with your list of dream careers, start researching. The bigger the industry change you’re making, the more research you should do. If you want to make a worthwhile, informed decision, this might be the most important step.
Think about the years of research and education you had before going into your current position — can you imagine how difficult it would’ve been to adjust without all that information?
Set yourself up for success by learning as much as you can before you start applying to jobs.
4. Make the Decision
You’ve brainstormed your interests, listed careers that relate to them and researched them all — now it’s time to decide.
Making a decision is important because it will frame the way the rest of your career change process goes. You need to pinpoint a specific industry or career you’re trying to break into in order to achieve that goal.
5. Develop an Action Plan
Once you’ve decided on the path you’re going to take next, develop a specific plan with measurable goals, action items and a timeline.
There are probably new skills you need to learn, professionals you should meet and work to wrap up at your current job. You might even have a few personal goals you’d like to work on while making this shift.
Leaping from career to career isn’t a casual move — you don’t want to take it lightly. The more detailed your plan is, the better chance you’ll have at finding your dream job quickly.
6. Adjust Your Personal Brand
When you hand someone your business card or invite them to check out your online portfolio, they should be able to tell which industry you belong to now — not your past field.
This step includes adjusting your resume, cover letter and portfolio as much as possible so potential employers know you’re all in. When you edit your own professional brand to be more related to the new industry, they’ll see your dedication in that aspect.
You can consider creating a functional or skills-based resume using Resumonk. Highlight what transferable skills you have learnt in your previous profession and how they apply to the new industry.
7. Start Networking in Your Desired Field
In any career field, it’s not only about what you know, it’s also about who you know.
Start attending networking events for your industry and meeting as many people as you can. Introduce yourself and say you’re starting to break into the field now.
This is a great opportunity to ask seasoned professionals for their tips or advice on how to get into the industry and be successful — people love talking about themselves, their stories and their success, so they’ll remember you for asking.
8. Update Your Training
As you learn more about your new field, you might discover you need to significantly broaden your horizons.
Start slowly, taking only a course or two at a time. Not only will this be difficult to juggle with your current position, but it’ll also help you confirm you’re truly interested in the field.
If it’s not required to get a job in the field, you might not feel the need to get a new degree or certification for your career switch — that’s OK. Taking a few courses could be enough to give you the jump start you need and catch you up to people who’ve been in the field for years.
9. Find a Mentor
While you’re making this transition, you’re going to be stressed and uncertain at times. A mentor can help keep you on track and remind you of the bigger picture.
They don’t have to be an incredibly successful, rich or powerful person to be an adequate guide for you during this time. However, it certainly wouldn’t hurt if they’re experienced in your new industry.
10. Begin the Job Hunt
Recall all those skills you learned about job hunting during your senior year of college. Dig out your cover letter templates, interviewing tips and negotiation strategies.
Remember the importance of researching companies thoroughly before applying, interviewing and especially before accepting a position.
It’s also important to remember that the job hunt is truly a hunt — it’s not going to happen overnight. Try not to think about it too much and trust that the right position for you will come along.
11. Continue Learning About Your New Field
To keep yourself distracted while you wait to hear back from the seemingly endless amount of applications you’ve filled out, keep learning about your new career.
As we mentioned earlier, knowledge is power when it comes to breaking into a new industry. The more you know going into your new job, the less you’ll have to adjust to on that first day.
Firstly, Negotiation Skills
Secondly, Team Building Skills
And then Decision-Making Skills
Plus, Leadership Skills
And next, Communication Skills
Finally, Creative Thinking
Test questions asking about previous working and life history facts. Biodata questions can include personal attitudes, values, beliefs. There are therefore both autographical and biographical perspectives. For example, how effective previous working relationships were with managers and/or colleagues.
Biodata Face validity
Whilst biodata was popular in the 1970’s/80’s in the UK, it fell out of fashion due to concerns about face validity. Face validity is how job relevant a test’s questions appear to be. This is difficult to show with biodata’s indirect approach; posing biodata fit questions about past behaviours which can seem intrusive.
Application blanks are a statistical oriented approach is based on the notion that each piece of information has a potential to predict later performance.
Biodata Part II
The biographic data are evaluated in the same way as test scores. The most predictive biographical items are chosen. Each one discriminates between success and failure. A good item is one in which the ratio of successes in one level of the item differs from the successes ratio in another level of the same item.
In our opinion, construct validity studies of biodata scores are mainly based on the notion that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour. Some attempts were concerned with an internal analysis of the biodata components. Also, a degree of success in previous life stages is a good predictor of success in later stages regardless of the context of the success.
Biodata Part III
Firstly in our opinion, these suggestions cannot explain the predictive power of some biographical items.
Secondly, consider another extreme example. A significant correlation between attendance at a circus show and success as a door-to-door sales-person. Thus, there is a need for a distinction between items that measure past achievement, and those that indicate interest, motivation towards a particular activity, or even social status.
Thirdly, there is no theory behind the relationships between an item and the criterion; theoretically, everything goes. Any item that can discriminate between successes and failures can be used. No attention is paid to the reasons for the discriminative strength of items.