For many people, the first steps that you take on your career path are not your ideal choices. Sometimes, we do the things that we need to do, rather than the things that we would like to be doing. That can lead you to climb the wrong ladder. Years can go by, and you may have abandoned your original dreams in favor of a job that pays and food on the table.
Years down the line, you may stop and take a look at your life and realize that the job that you spend all of your time in is not making you happy. And when we generally spend a third of our day at work, we need to feel some kind of positivity towards it.
This is a very real predicament that so many people find themselves in. The dissatisfaction in your career can also spill over into the rest of your life. Problems in the workplace can become issues in your relationship or family life. The knock-on can be catastrophic and can have severe effects on your overall general health.
With that in mind, it is important to get into a career that you feel happy in. You deserve to feel good about yourself, and it can be impossible to do that when you are giving all of your time and energy over to something that you greatly dislike.
But, it is not that easy to just jump from one career path to the next. You will have built up your skills and experiences in one industry, and you may need to start over elsewhere completely. This may not be an option for you. If you have a family and own your home, then these financial commitments may not allow you to jump to a lesser paid job. And that dilemma has probably forced you to resign yourself to doing a job that you don’t enjoy until you retire.
It does not have to be that way. There are ways of shifting careers gradually so that you don’t cause too much disruption to the rest of your life. It has to be worth looking at because your happiness and health should be your priority.
Research All Of The Available Options
There are a couple of ways that you can progress. If you know exactly the career path that you would like to be on, start researching the job options in that sector. You may need to get some qualifications in order to land a job, and they may want at least a bit of work experience in that area.
Think about doing an evening class or an online course. For example, if you wanted to work in nursing, you could do an ADN to BSN online course that will prepare you for a role within 14 months There are often options for you to gain skills and experience alongside your current role, and you should look at all of the options.
The next thing that you should do is to research the jobs that are actually available right now. See who is employing, what they need from you as an applicant, and how much you are likely to earn. Knowing what the market is going to be like for jobs within this sector is essential.
Your Transferable Skills
Getting a job in a new sector may not be as hard as you think. You may feel as though you do not have the correct experiences to help you along your way. However, you will have gained a lot of skills within your current role that you probably do not realize that you have.
Make a list of everything that you do in your job. Don’t just focus on the tasks that you complete. Think about the things that you need in order to complete that task. If you do something that requires you to painstakingly check the smallest elements to make sure that they are correct, you will most likely have a high degree of attention to detail.
If you have been used to delivering customer service at quite a high level, then you will have some great interpersonal skills. As a salesperson, you may well have had to use some quite persuasive language and a series of psychological techniques in order to make the sale. If you have had to deal with difficult customers or lots of aggressive people with complaints, then you will know how to handle these personality traits. You will have developed a skill in handling people.
If you have managed a team, you will have needed to motivate them and check-in on their performance with them. There may be times when you have had to have difficult conversations when a team member has not been doing their job to the desired standard. You may have had to act as a counselor to some when they have faced life problems that are affecting their ability to work.
These are all excellent examples of things that you should be, including in your transferable skill set. They would all demonstrate confidence in dealing with other people that you may need for a large number of roles. When you come to think about what you are good at, think on those sorts of lines.
Applying For Your New Career
The first rule about your application for your new role is that you should ensure that you are being completely honest in your application. It may seem as though by applying for your new career, you are putting yourself out there without the right skills for the job.
However, you need to say why you are applying for this career now. Talk about what has motivated you to make a change in your career. This will help the hiring manager to understand you better. It may well prompt them to look deeper into the roles that you have had that don’t appear relevant and look for information in there that might be useful in you obtaining a new role.
In your resume and on applications, talk about your actions and skills rather than the tasks that you have completed. You will have some amazing qualities that you should be very proud of. Talk about these. Tasks can easily be taught, personal qualities cannot. Sell yourself on these instead.
All being well, you will eventually land yourself an interview. This may be pretty scary, particularly if you have spent many years working in the same career. You may not have been in an interview situation for some time.
Don’t panic! With the right effort, research, and preparation, you will be fine. Firstly, find out as much about the company that you are interviewing with as possible. What is their history? How big are they? Who are the notable people? Who owns the company? What are their plans for the future? Try and find out about workplace culture. Read reviews of the company online from former, or current employees. Try and get a sense of how they deal with business, and what type of people they like to work with. This can be useful, as you will be able to get your tone and approach right in the interview.
The next area to research is potential interview questions. You can go back to the job advert and see what the criteria for the position were. If there is a description of the ideal candidate there, this is great. You need to read this thoroughly and find ways that you can make yourself relevant to these criteria. Again, don’t lie or exaggerate. But think about ways that you tick each box. There will be examples from over your years that can be used. You just need to take the time now to recall them. It is much better to spend time considering this now than in your interview.
Research online into frequently asked interview questions. Many questions may feel as though they are fairly closed questions. However, you should always look to elaborate on everything that you are asked. Your interviewers will be looking for you to give relevant examples of times when you have demonstrated that ability.
Imagine that each question is there to provide you with the opportunity to tell a story. Think about how in a story, there is always a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning is the set up which talks about why something is happening. You can talk about what the situation was. Then, you will go on to talk about what you did in this situation. You may want to give reasons for your choices to help the interviewer understand your thought processes and motivations. Then the end of the story would be what you achieved through your actions.
Try to answer as clearly as possible. Avoid repeating yourself too much and make sure you are engaging when you speak with the interviewer. They will be looking for you to display confidence and to sell yourself for the role.