Changing Careers - A Resume Centre Guide

Time for a Change?

Changing your career or job can revitalise your life, giving it new drive and focus. It can also be very daunting, and the fear of change can often prevent people from making important decisions on whether or not to stay in their current job. But with some careful thought and consideration you could find yourself with a job you find much more rewarding.

One of the most effective ways of dealing with potential change is to approach it with a positive attitude and remain focused on your need to improve your daily working life.

"Maybe it would be better if..."

When considering any career or job change, it can be useful to spend some time at the very beginning of the process in trying to determine exactly why you want a new job. If you are not rigorous in finding out exactly what is motivating your desire for change, you run the risk of finding a new job with the same old problems you encountered in the one you left.

There could be very clear-cut reasons for seeking new employment, for example you may simply want to earn more money, or to change your geographical location. However sometimes the reasons aren't so clear. Maybe you feel jaded and fed up with your current position, but are not entirely sure why. Take a close look at your working life to see which aspects you would like to change: is it the actual content of your job and if so why? Have you become so proficient at your job that it has become tedious? Alternatively, are you perhaps struggling with the workload or type of work you undertake? Is there an aspect of the workplace itself which you are finding difficult, perhaps the location, the hours you work, or even your relationship with your colleagues? It can be useful to imagine your ideal working life and environment and then re-examine your current position to see if there are any aspects which you can change in order to achieve your aims. Prepare a list of the benefits of staying in your current role and the potential benefits of leaving and also think carefully about the options available to you within your existing organization. Perhaps it is possible to gain promotion, to move to another department or area, or to receive more training to overcome difficulties in your current job. You may however decide that it is time to change career paths entirely and to look for a job within a different sector. Once you have a clear idea of why you want to change your job you can then select the positions you apply for much more carefully and, in turn, you should stand a better chance of finding a job which will meet your newly defined criteria.

Arm yourself!

If you have decided that a change in job or career is for you, then the next stage is to make sure your applications are of the highest possible quality. In order to give yourself the best chance of obtaining the job you want, your resume and application form need to hit just the right note, to ensure that recruiters can clearly see you have the skills and experience they are searching for.

There are also other ways that you can improve your chances of success when looking for a new job or career and the most important of these is to make sure that your skills and knowledge are up-to-date and reflect your ability to work in the role that you hope to achieve. It is also useful if you develop a range of skills that are suitable for a variety of jobs as this will further enhance your employability.

Once you have handed your notice in to your current employer, it is essential that you continue to perform effectively and manage relationships with your colleagues in a professional manner. Your chances of employment in a new sector or job role may be adversely affected if you develop a poor reputation during this crucial changeover period.

If your decision to change jobs involves moving into a completely new industry sector, it is to your advantage to research your target market to ascertain whether or not you possess the necessary skills. This can help you to decide if you are actually suited to this industry and can also help you to identify any possible training courses that may facilitate your career change. You may benefit from networking within your chosen industry sector to help you establish valuable business contacts who may be prepared to provide you with useful information or even a reference. You also have to be prepared to face objections from potential employers because of your lack of actual experience in the sector. You therefore may be expected to accept an entry level position even though you may have many years experience behind you. However, by completing all training available to you and maximizing your transferable skills, you should be able to enjoy rapid progression in your new career.

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