Changing jobs is never easy and changing career paths can be an even bigger challenge. Regardless of where you are in your life, having to adapt to a new role, team, culture, etc. can be a challenge. It can feel like you’re starting over. Additionally, you now have to update a resume you probably haven’t look at in months or possibly years. You now have to brush up on interviewing skills, pull out that suit you keep in the back of your closet (or get a new one) and adjust to new interview styles every new grad is familiar with but you’ve never heard of. It can be frustrating, time consuming and discouraging. It’s easy to become turned off by it however by keeping a few key things in mind, you’ll be able to manage the process.
Number 1: Market trends
The job market is a living thing that’s always moving forward. It is ever changing. The wise job seeker remembers this. The way we learn about new job openings, apply, interview and are hired changes with every new piece of data, technology, etc. In order to be successful, you need to stay plugged in.
Do you know how today’s jobs are advertised? Do you know how best to connect with recruiters and hiring managers? Are you comfortable with the various methods of applying? How much do you know about current interview styles and screening processes? Which industries or companies are experiencing growth and which ones aren’t?
The answers to these questions could easily spell success or disaster for any job seeker so do your homework.
Number 2: Transferable skills (this includes Education)
When changing career paths one of your biggest challenges will include identifying your transferable skills then selling them to your interviewer. Employers tend to have one track minds when seeking talent to fill their hiring needs and may overlook you if it doesn’t seem like your skills are a match for what they’re looking for. Make it easy for them to see you as the natural fit for their needs.
Most job descriptions will list a range of educational requirements and may even mention being interested in “related” disciplines. This can work to your advantage. Evaluate your background (work and education) in detail. Recognize any similarities between you and what the position you’ve got your eye on requires and connect the dots in your application, cover letter (Yes, you still need cover letters) and interview.
Number 3: Compensation (and I’m not just talking about money)
It’s impossible to consider changing jobs or career paths without considering your paycheck.
Making the switch usually come with changes in pay, benefits and/or perks. In some cases you may have to consider a pay-cut so evaluate your finances to determine whether or not you can realistically handle that. Also, take a closer look at the opportunity you’re considering. Familiarize yourself with their benefit options. Perhaps the salary may be lower but the benefits package stronger than what you currently have.
In short, know what you deserve. Know what they can afford to pay you. Make the most intelligent decision. Most importantly, make sure it’s one you won’t regret 6 months from now.
Number 4: Remember that it takes time
The ideal role isn’t something that one finds overnight. It takes time to find the opportunity that meets more than salary needs alone. Additionally, once you’ve begun interviewing, the process can take weeks, months – up to a year. Have patience and don’t get flustered if you’ve reviewed what seems like a ton of job postings and nothing grabs your attention or if you’ve sent out your resume and haven’t gotten a response.
If you’re currently employed, plan your exit before you need to make a move.
Be persistent. You will see the response you’re looking for and you will be able to revel in your job seeking success if you stick it out and refuse to settle.
Now, put it all together! Educate yourself on current market trends, identify your transferable skills, know your worth and negotiate accordingly and be patient.