What did you want to be when you grew up? Maybe it’s exactly what you’re doing now. But for many, the question of what might have been, had they chosen a different path, springs to mind from time to time, and we daydream about changing careers. But there are often factors in play that stop us making those dreams a reality. Financial and family responsibility, security in our current job - these are all things that can keep us where we are. This isn’t a problem if we’re happy in our current role, but what if we’re not? Well, if this is the situation you’re in, you may just be in luck. Because, as it turns out, there may never have been a better time for a career change. Read on to find out more.
In our August blog, we talked about the current candidate shortage in the UK, and the way that this has led a lot of companies to reevaluate their requirements for potential candidates. Peruse a few job ads today, and you may notice that some of the focus has shifted from previous experience, instead focusing on transferable soft skills and the right attitude.
The fact that many people have had time over the past 18 months to reflect on the things they really want from their work lives has also led to a surge of people changing industries and roles. These two elements combined have created a perfect storm of conditions for a climate of career change.
Why should I change career?
There are a number of reasons people might change career, and the fact that it might be your dream role is just one of them. Often the desire to move role and/or industry might come from a need for better career progression and earning potential, because of personal values, or for a better work/life balance.
But it’s important to note that there can be downsides to changing careers. If you have been in the same career for a while, you may have worked up to a senior position, higher salary and notable reputation. Starting from the beginning in another industry can be tough, so it’s essential to have enough passion for the change to see you through this. It may also mean a huge learning curve and a cut in salary, so you may also need to factor in whether the change is compatible with your financial situation.
Know your values
So, how can we tell if a career change is going to be worth it in the long run? The best thing to do is to start by thinking about your values, and what makes you happiest in your current role and your personal life. Be realistic about this too. For example, if you’re attracted to the potential acclaim that would come from running a successful restaurant, but in reality you would hate the day to day hard work that came with it - then chances are this should probably stay as a daydream. Once you’re looked at this objectively and worked out what your values are, you can start to understand what you would really want to gain from a career change.
Do your research
The next step is to do your research on the industry and the sort of role you would like. Follow dream companies on social media. If you can, speak to people who already work in that industry or in roles similar to the one you want.
Dust off your skills
If you need to brush up on any existing knowledge or learn something new, there are some great online resources to use. The National Careers service lists a number of online courses, most of them free, that you can use to strengthen your skill set. Places like LinkedIn Learning and Udemy are also great for picking up the basics needed for an entry level role.
Search for the right role
When you’re searching for a job, don’t be put off if you come across several adverts where previous experience is required. Entry level jobs can be a bit rarer, but they do show up. And they’re increasingly common in the current climate. When reading the candidate specification, think about your own transferrable skills and how you can use these to meet the requirements in areas where you may not necessarily have any direct experience.
At interview, again, focus on your transferrable skills and your attitude and enthusiasm for the role. If you feel it’s appropriate, you can even address your lack of experience, by saying something like “I know that there may be some concerns around my experience levels, but I believe that my natural drive and determination to succeed in this role will ensure I learn quickly and contribute positively to the team from the start”.
It’s a well known fact that the average person spends a third of their life at work. So it’s important to do something you find fulfilling. If changing careers will have a positive impact on your wellbeing, motivation and job satisfaction, then go for it - it’s a great time to do so.
For help finding your dream role, give us a call today on 01332 638035.