It’s never too late to think about a career change

young interview

It’s never too late to think about a career change. Throughout your education and work experiences, you will have developed key skills, many of which are transferable to other roles.

With interview preparation and practice, it is possible to promote your transferable skills and motivation for the new role.

Changing career direction might sound daunting, but it doesn’t necessarily mean switching from one profession to another, it might be moving to a new sector or industry, it could be driven by a need or desire to relocate to a country you want to live in, or simply changing your role to accommodate a desired lifestyle.

Whatever the reason, it should be viewed as an exciting opportunity and challenge to do something which interests you and that you are naturally good at. Here are 12 steps to get you started:

Set a credible timeframe

Set a sensible timeline which is reasonable and realistic for the magnitude of change you are planning. That way you will not be putting yourself under pressure. Whatever your horizon, decide when and how much time you must allocate, often returning to double check your assumptions.

Think of your successes

List out your skills and strengths of past and current roles. Craft examples and stories from your career, which are good demonstrations of these, for example where you have demonstrated leadership, good communication, working with teams, being organized and efficient, being an innovator. You will be using these in the search and interview phases.

List what you enjoy

What have you really been interested in? Think about what you have enjoyed from your career or roles you have seen which have caught your eye and ask yourself why they were interesting to you. We generally become good at what we enjoy doing so reflect on your career highlights and decide what you were good at, what you enjoyed doing and what you might want to do more of. Think about what you haven’t yet tried and that would be good to pursue.

Dream roles

It’s OK to dream. Compile your dream list of roles, think about what’s required to make these a reality by identifying ideal job descriptions and then see what skills, knowledge, and experience they are asking for.

Identify the skills gap

What do you need to learn in order to be a strong contender—is it skills, knowledge or more experience?

Create an action plan

What steps are you going to take in order to close the skills and knowledge gap, when are you going to achieve this, and when do you need to be sending out applications? List which companies and job sites you will be tracking.

Craft your sales pitch

You must ensure your CV, LinkedIn, and cover letters are able to satisfy the requirements of the roles you are targeting, take time to research the company, scrutinize the role requirements and match your stories and examples of these.

Test and learn

Start to test your CV, identify useful contacts, apply for roles and speak to recruitment firms, asking for feedback

Keep your resume updated

Updating your resume is crucial if you want to apply for a different position or job niche. You have to align your objectives with the offered position and ensure that you have the necessary skills and experience to perform the job description. Take a look at the best tips when creating a career change resume:

  • Make sure to add your most recent work experiences to your resume.
  • Include seminars attended and recently gained certificates and other credentials.
  • Ensure that your resume layout is easy on the eyes, and the content is easy to understand. Use bullet points or numbering instead of lengthy sentences.
  • Remove unnecessary information not relevant to the position you’re applying for.
  • Update your character references, including your contact numbers, to ensure the recruiter or HR can verify your information or for a smoother background check.

Take advantage of free online education

When it comes to a career change, you need a new set of skills. However, there’s no need to worry about spending too much money just to learn new skills and expand your knowledge because you can take advantage of free online education.

Here are the reasons why you should:

  • Cost-Effective: Free online classes save you money from expensive registration and tuition. Paid courses usually provide accreditation and certificates that are also important in building your credentials.
  • Convenience: Online education is a convenient way to learn new topics and concepts. Invest in reliable computer and communications app or software.
  • Plenty of Options: There are different online classes available, depending on the skill or knowledge you want to master. For instance, social media networks offer free online short courses to increase awareness of social media marketing and related skills.

Seek clarity on your future

Be clear about where you want your career to take you, revisit the timeline, keep revising the plan, and be able to clearly articulate to others why you made this change and why you are ready.

Continuous Research

Research the companies you are applying to—you must know them well, practice your examples for the interviews and believe in your examples, why you are a strong fit for the role and what value you can bring?