5 Steps to Prepare for a Career Change
According to the latest findings from the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI), 75% of UK employees have applied for a new job in the past year. Even those who are happy in their current roles are regularly looking for new opportunities, whether in their current industry or in a completely new field. Is it time for you to join them?
In a majority of cases, it is the prospect of tackling new challenges that attracts us, rather than the prospect of making more money or having more flexible working hours. The truth is that most of us want to feel like we are advancing, growing and learning new things. If we can’t achieve that in our current career, what’s to stop us from moving on to pastures new?
But looking for a new job isn’t easy, and requires the right amount of preparation as well as dedication. The last thing you want to do is to spend a lot of time looking in the wrong place, or to make the big move only to find that you are even more unsatisfied than before. Though nothing is forever, it is worth taking the time to go through a few key steps to make sure that you have all of the tools and ammunition needed to succeed.
Think about what you really want to do.
Are you in entirely the wrong industry or do you just need to fine-tune your specialism and steer your career in a slightly different direction?
Be open and set aside your prejudices.
Dare to consider different options and find out more about careers you may not be familiar with by talking with others who have experience in different areas that may potentially interest you. Perhaps your dream job is actually in a field that you’ve never even thought about before?
Look for jobs in sectors with skill or personnel shortages.
There are quite a few sectors that are officially recognised as having skill shortages in the UK, and these include professions as diverse as civil engineering, construction, software development, games design and social work. These sectors are in dire need of new entrants, meaning that they provide better chances for employment. In addition, if you are lucky, the positions advertised will include on-the-job training so that you can develop skills and gain qualifications as you become familiar with the new industry and your role in it.
Check your Internet presence.
If 77% of recruiters were already using search engines to learn about candidates in 2006, the figure today must be close to 100%. Does your name bring up results that are not particularly relevant or that are likely to put off potential employers? Make sure to do all the clean-up you can, which includes checking your privacy settings on Facebook and other social media to avoid HR getting their hands on inopportune pictures or status updates.
Afraid to take the jump?
So you’re scared about what can happen and what the future may hold – it’s normal to be. Take a few moments to write up a good old pros and cons list. In the first column, write down the worst thing(s) that can happen if you change job. In the second, write down the best things. Finally, ask yourself: is staying in your current position better than the best thing that could happen? Then you have your answer.