You’ve thought about it many times. Should you stick with what you know or take the jump towards something new? A career change and the thought of starting all over can be overwhelming, but those two ideas don’t have to be mutually exclusive. There are ways to move into a new role without starting from nothing. By analyzing your employment history, pinpointing your transferable skills, and reaching out to your connections, you’ll be able to build on what you’ve already done.
1 - Change Your Narrative
If you want to successfully change careers, you’ll have to frame your experience in a way that resonates with the hiring manager and company. At this point, it’s no longer about showing all your experience. Now, it’s about highlighting the most relevant aspects that you bring as a worker, including your expertise and qualifications that will make you an asset to your new company and role.
This is change in narrative is imperative when changing careers because accomplishments, terminology, clients, and skills you used in your current industry may not be worth anything in your new one. If you can emphasize your value, match the company culture, and showcase the unique perspective that you bring from your previous roles and industry, a company will be more willing to bring you on and train you on the necessary skills.
2 - Identify Your Transferable Skills
Crafting your narrative based on your transferable skills is one way to demonstrate your value. Before you even start actively looking for work, you should think of the skills you have that can be transferred to your desired role. These can be soft skills such as communication, critical thinking, and leadership or more job-based skills such as data entry or welding.
With these skills in mind, your communication with prospective employers should be based around it. By shaping your story around your skills, you’ll have the employer engaged more in a conversation of what you can do instead of what you have done.
3 - Use Your Connections
After working in an industry for a while, you’ll gain contacts not only at your own company but other organizations as well, either through your work with clients or attendance at local events. These contacts may not look especially valuable when you’re looking to make a complete change in what you do; however, you’ll have to consider the other people that each individual contact may know. They may have a friend or family member that knows someone in your desired industry. By having someone that can refer you and speak to your abilities, you’ll improve your chances against job seekers who may have more experience.
If you don’t have a strong network in place, start attending events related to your new field. You’ll not only be able to meet people but you’ll also learn information on relevant topics. If the events are limited in your area, connecting on LinkedIn with top industry leaders is another way to develop those relationships.
These networking activities are just the beginning. At this stage, you shouldn’t be asking for a job, you should be asking for advice. There has to be someone else who’s made the change you’re looking to make. By being around individuals who have done the things that you want to achieve, you’ll feel inspired that you can accomplish it too.
Want to find your new career today? Apply at your nearest QPS branch!