Higher salary. Better career opportunities. Corporate culture. Boredom. These are some of the reasons why people consider leaving their current job or taking on a totally different path in their professional life.
For young professionals, changing jobs may not be too big of a deal since they see it as part of searching for their ideal workplace or dream job. However, mid-career professionals—especially those who want to shift to a totally different field from their previous one—might find the whole process unsettling.
Here are 7 tips that can help you make that successful mid-career crossover into your desired industry.
1. Be honest with yourself
Take some personal time to understand why you are making your career move. Knowing what you like and what you do not like about your current work can give you clearer insights on how to approach things especially in terms of what jobs to apply to, how to negotiate your contract, etc.
Also, when considering a mid-career change, you should be realistic and ask yourself, for example—are you willing to take a pay cut? Do you have the skills and experience needed for the new job? Are you willing to adjust and get along with younger colleagues? How are you going to deal with the stigma of a mid-career change? Related read: Thinking of Changing Careers? Here are 3 Things to Consider.
2. Match your skills with in-demand jobs
What are the skill sets in demand at the moment? What industries currently have the appropriate job opportunities? Match your current set of skills with those needed in the job market, so that you have a higher chance of landing a new job in the field you want.
Not confident with your current know-how? Why not start your upskilling process by taking related training courses or diploma programmes? Here are some options for part-time programmes.
3. Gather firsthand information
Knowing more about the position, industry or company you are planning to enter can help you make a better decision about your career move especially if the information you know comes from firsthand sources. Don’t hesitate to talk to people who have actual experience or who are working/have worked in the industry or company you are interested in and ask them about their experiences. Use the information they share to decide whether you should pursue your career move.
4. Update your resume and online profile
More head hunters and hiring managers use social media to seek out suitable candidates. Therefore, it pays to keep your resume and online profile updated (e.g. LinkedIn profile, personal site). When job hunting, highlight your technical skills that are sought after in a particular job vacancy or showcase your transferrable skills such as presentation or organising skills.
5. Create a transition plan
Thoroughly discuss with your loved ones or family your timeline for making the transition into your new career. This step is critical as it prepares your family in making the necessary adjustments in terms of lifestyle, spending habits, family priorities and budget.
6. Look within your current company for career opportunities
Your adjustments during your career crossover will be less strenuous when the transition is a lateral move within your current organisation. For one, you will not lose your tenure and benefits. Furthermore, your learning curve is less steep because you are already familiar with the corporate culture as well as organisational policies and systems.
7. Use your professional network to aid your job search
If you are someone who has developed a considerable professional network throughout your career, this is the best time to approach them for recommendations or information about certain job openings. You may also want to reconnect with former colleagues working in companies or industries that interest you.
Making that career change in the middle of your professional life will present challenges. But planning, discussing with your family, keeping in touch with your professional network, and making sure you adopt a “life-long learning” mindset are your best defenses against the uncertainties that lie ahead.
Learn more about the 6 Ways for Mid-Career Professionals to Thrive.All content is produced and published by IMPACT! Brand Communications.