Preparing for a Career Change
Changing careers mid-life can be daunting. There are so many unknown factors, and then when you add to the fact that you now have many more responsibilities than you did ten years ago, those changes can be quite overwhelming. Rather than let yourself get overwhelmed, there are things you can do to make a career move work for you at any point in your life. We’ve put together some tips to help make this happen more easily for you.
Your first goal in all of this transitioning is to identify the skills that transfer from your previous career choice to your future one. This is where your researching skills will come into play. You have skills and expertise, now the trick is to identify industries where those skills will be most applicable. Next, from your list of industries, choose the ones that both interest you and have potential for growth. This shouldn’t be too difficult, but it will take some time.
The next step is to start transferring those applicable skills. Start learning more about your goal industry, specifically within the role that you wish to fill. Subscribe to professional publications so that you can see the latest and greatest when it comes to trends and advancements within the field. Attending or watching conferences online may be helpful, too. Finally, do not rest your hopes on your application and your resume alone. These are helpful, of course, and they are required parts of the job application process. However, you have other resources, namely your professional network. Use it to your advantage when appropriate.
If you have transitioned careers in the past, be sure to mention this in your resume. Having a once successful transition is a good mark for you, as long as you can justify the next career change in your interview. Nobody wants to hire someone who is going to keep moving from job to job and never stick around to make it worthwhile to the employer. As long as you have a good reason for wanting to change careers again, you should have no problem making this distinction.
Finding a new career can be intimidating, and it can be difficult to start. It can also be tough to keep going after applying for several jobs and hearing nothing. One easy way to overcome this is to look at former coworkers who have moved to new industries. Where are they now working? In what positions? This information can be used as a sort of cheat sheet to let you know what has worked for others in the past. If it’s been done once, it can be done again. A transition is possible in other fields, too, but having the encouragement of seeing what people have already accomplished, especially those that you know and are able to honestly compare your skillsets to, is an easy way to give yourself a realistic expectation of what you should be aiming for, too.
It’s very unlikely that you will have met all of the necessary requirements for your prospective job. That’s okay. Honestly, most people, even the top candidates in the industry, rarely can meet all of these things. However, because you do have experience and because you do have areas that you are an expert in, the goal is to let these things shine through as you apply, and then hopefully, interview.