Not everyone remains in the same industry for their entire life. In fact, there are many reasons why someone might eventually leave their field and explore a different career. Some people grow dissatisfied with their current line of work, while others relish the opportunity to learn and apply new skills. Still others see promising opportunities for professional advancement or higher earnings in other industries.
Whatever someone’s reasons for considering a career shift might be, there’s no denying that the idea of leaving behind what you know and starting over again in a new field can be daunting for anyone. But there’s no need for you to navigate this major life change on your own. These tips can help you make your planned career change as smooth as possible:
Reflect on Your Goals and Motivation
If you find yourself wanting to switch careers, and especially if these thoughts and feelings have been brewing for quite some time, then some self-reflection is probably in order. You’ll have a clearer idea of what to do, when to take action and where to apply for jobs if you’re fully aware of why you want a career change at all. Clarifying your motivation will also help you identify the long-term goals that you’d like to work towards when you start your new career.
It will definitely help you to ask yourself thoughtful questions about your current role and about where you’d like to be professionally. Some useful points to reflect upon include the following:
- What you like and dislike about your current and past professions
- What motivates you at your current job
- What kinds of growth opportunities you want to explore throughout your career
- What skills you have that you’d like to continue using throughout your career
- What skills you’d like to learn and utilise in your career going forward
- What kind of tasks or projects you want to be involved in
- What kind of organisation you want to work for, including its size, culture, values, industry and offered products and services
- What kind of lifestyle you want to have going forward, including workplace flexibility and work-life balance
Understanding what you want out of your career shift will help you identify the concrete actions you need to take to get it. For example, if you’re unsatisfied with your current skill set and how it’s being applied at your current job, you may want to look into learning new skills or refining the ones you already know. There’s no shortage of seminars, online courses and certificate courses in Singapore that can serve as valuable upskilling opportunities for you. Then, with new skills and knowledge under your belt, you’ll be well-prepared to apply for more personally and professionally fulfilling roles.
Investigate Potential Careers
Once you’ve gotten clear on your motivations and objectives, it’s time to start researching compatible careers. Before you start your investigation, you may want to draw up a checklist of criteria for your ideal career so that you can quickly check if a certain career path aligns with your desired outcomes.
You may also find it helpful to define what a career change means to you. Do you want to start over in an industry adjacent to your previous one or enter a whole new sector? Are you perhaps seeking a new role or occupation within your current industry? Refer back to your prior thoughts and reflections in order to identify the industries and jobs that might be able to satisfy your needs.
If you’re having difficulty pinpointing potential careers, you can try the following steps to help yourself along:
- Search online for the roles and skills recruiters are currently looking for in industries you’re interested in joining
- Ask other people in your professional network for advice
- Seek help from a professional career counsellor
- Hold informational interviews with experts and professionals in your fields of interest
Narrow Down Your Options
Narrowing your prospective careers down to a few specific job types will help you do more in-depth research. Consider the information you’ve learned and the advice you’ve received about industries you’d like to enter. From there, choose a handful of potential jobs to learn more about and possibly apply for. Gather as much information as you can about the jobs you’re interested in, including the average salary, the general trajectory of job growth, the typical educational requirements and so on.
Reading job listings is an especially helpful way to prepare yourself for the job hunting and application processes down the line. Peruse job descriptions carefully to get a sense of what employers want and expect from employees in that particular role. What skills, knowledge and qualifications come up more often than not? Which of these qualifications do you actually have, and how can you use them to present yourself as an ideal job candidate in your application materials and during interviews?
Craft an Action Plan
A good action plan for your career shift has a well-defined goal and concrete milestones for you to achieve in your pursuit of that goal. Ask yourself what it will take to land the job you want and start building your ideal career.
There’s no need to jump straight to applying, either. This is the perfect time to consider taking short courses, working toward industry-specific certifications, attending networking events and participating in other similar activities. These opportunities will equip you with even more qualifications to make you a good fit for the new roles you’ll eventually pursue.
Though a career change can be stressful to contemplate, lots of research and careful preparation will make it more manageable. Thinking carefully about where you’d like to be and what steps to take can help you navigate the transition into a new role with ease.