Posted on 1/03/2016 by Abigail Chang
Bad bosses, bad work environment, unhelpful colleagues, lack of career growth, retrenchment and the list can go on and on. These are just some of the reasons that make people think about making a career change. Most studies show that people think about making a career (not job) change at least 3 times in their lives. Do you find yourself standing at the crossroad and not sure what to do?
How do you know if you are ready to take the plunge? The key is to take your time.
Step 1: Know Yourself
Be true to yourself and assess what you really like and dislike. People often think about changing jobs because of something they dislike, hence answering this question for yourself is often the quintessential step to taking that plunge. Take professional help in doing a self-assessment if you are not sure how to go about doing this.
Step 2: Research
Once you have identified your likes and dislikes, start researching that particular function or industry. Track your own research and plot your progress on time scale. The more time invested in obtaining in-depth market-intel proves that you are committed to making a change. If you have an exponential graph or close to a vertical graph, skip all the following steps below; you are ready to make that change NOW.
Take baby steps – walk GINGERLY
Step 3: Network
Start by telling your friends and people in your professional network about your plans. These people can often give you advice or direct you to someone they know that can help. Better still, they will notify you of suitable openings when they come along. If you have a good relationship with your boss discuss your plans with him/ her. This is often the most difficult but crucial step; do not keep your boss guessing!
Step 4: Connect with Expert Recruiters
Start connecting with recruiters (yes, people like me). Recruiters are paid to comb the market for job openings and it is our job to identify suitable talent for these jobs. To ensure that you are the first in the market to hear about job opportunities connect with us; it makes every sense to use our services to your own benefit.
Step 5: Leverage
Leverage on what you have. Do not discard the skills and knowledge that you have amassed in your current job just because you are taking a plunge in an entirely different field or industry. There are many skills (such as leadership, communication, business development) that you can easily incorporate into your new job.
Step 6: What is Missing?
Start amassing what you do not have. If you do not have the necessary skills or connections for your new job, start by volunteering in suitable organisations. This gives you the right exposure to know the right people. Another options is to take a course if you need certain qualifications for your next career change.
Step 7: Be Flexible
Yes, be very flexible. Do not expect your new job to bring you the same benefits and pay as what you were drawing before. Most people make a successful career change by starting at an entry level job in a new industry. Therefore you should think twice about making that plunge if you have heavy financial commitments.
Keep in mind what our Mathematics teacher taught us: If a = b, b = c, therefore a = c. Also remember, one step leads to another; One cannot happen without the other. Always take your time and weigh-up your options before making a decision.
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