If a career change is a matter, it is essential to prepare for this “new start” and to make an informed and well-considered commitment to it. HireYourTalent offers 6 tips to help you make the most of this decision.
1. Take a step back.
Before rushing headlong towards the next opportunity, an assessment of the current situation is essential: is a reorientation really the right solution? “Are you dissatisfied with your work? Would working for a company that offers better recognition to its employees, or clearer opportunities for development, be enough to motivate you?” It’s imperative to be sure you’re motivated before taking the plunge.
2. Do not rush
If you feel that your career currently lacks promise, you can quickly convince yourself that any other option is preferable. But make no mistake, this is not always the case. Accepting a position in a struggling industry or region, for example, can be a career regression. This requires a regular reading of the trade press, online research and discussions with members of your network to learn more about the field and its future prospects. “Also find out about possible obstacles before you make your decision. You may find that there is a lot of competition or that you will need to do some training before you can make a successful decision. It’s best to find out as much information as possible as early as possible,” adds Jon Smith.
3. Seek advice
There is a particularly suitable process for this, says Jon Smith: “Try to meet a person practicing the trade you are aiming for or working in the field you are interested in, in order to get a concrete point of view on the realities of the trade. If you don’t have contacts, your network can help you get them. Once you have identified the right person, contact them and make an informal appointment to tell them you are not looking for a job, but that you would like to use them to give an update on the current situation in the field you are interested in, and possibly find out more about their job”. This interview could also be an opportunity to talk with the interviewer about his or her professional beginnings and the potential challenges to be faced in the context of a career reorientation, without forgetting to ask him or her what advice he or she might have for getting a foothold in this activity today?
4. Getting to know each other better
Once the range of possibilities is known, an assessment of his current skills and experience, and an analysis of his qualifications, is essential. For example, communication, organisational and management skills may be useful in all areas, but other skills, such as mastery of a specific software program, may not necessarily be, so a ‘screening’ will be necessary. “The more transferable your skills are, the quicker your career change will be. Also think about what skills or qualifications you may need to develop. Does this involve training? Do you need to obtain certification or a diploma for the use of a specific software program, or mastery of a particular procedure? To assess the level of difficulty of your career change, also take into account the time and costs involved,” Jon Smith points out.
5. Take your time
Perhaps this project of a new career deserves a “trial period,”. How to do it? “Depending on the sector concerned, you might start with an internship or a temporary or fixed-term assignment to see if this new professional context suits you,” suggests Jon Smith.
6. Be realistic
Regardless of economic conditions, a transformation cannot usually be made overnight. The transition period can be long, especially if new skills are needed. In addition, this transition may require gaining experience and accepting a new start at a lower status.
Whatever the final decision that will be taken, Jon Smith concludes on the importance of reflection and its benefits: “If a reorientation does not result immediately in a new job, it allows you to reflect on your objectives, and possibly to discover a new path and thus to obtain greater job satisfaction.”