For the past two months, the world has been confronted with the huge economic crisis. Many people in the UK have been furloughed, some made redundant and others have had working hours reduced.
With more time on our hands and a work life looking a little bleak, now is a great opportunity to think about the bigger picture and work/life plans. Whether that is investing time and thought into a side hustle, planning a promotion or general career direction, the thought of changing direction can be daunting.
I recently jumped from Recruitment Consultant to Project Coordinator. It was not easy and I had to battle a lot of self doubt along the way. Here are my tips if you think a career change is on the cards or are in need of some inspiration.
The first and most important thing to do before changing career is to research the area you are looking to go in to. What are the industry trends? What is the history of the sector? Is there a particular organisation you want to join? It is good to speak to people who are currently working in the role you want or have done it before – they can give you the best insight into their world.
Not only do you need to think about the industry but also the job. What skills do you need? What salaries/day rates are paid on average? Are there any qualifications you need to consider?
The next step you’d need to take is getting yourself qualified in the area you want to enter. For me, I had to pursue a PRINCE 2 course in order to stand a chance of entering the Project Management space. The quickest and cheapest way for me to do this was an online course and exam that I funded with my salary and savings from my current job. It may be that the career you want to do means going (back) to university or creating a portfolio. Again, do your research and find the best route in.
Find a Mentor
Wherever we are in life, we are never alone in our journey. An important part of immersing yourself in your desired career is to network as much as possible be it online or in networking groups. The more people you know, the better. Out of those people, there will likely be a couple who you develop a great relationship with. Why not ask them to mentor you? If you don’t have the network, there are plenty of coaches and mentors out there who can guide you in the right direction, give you some top tips and boost your self confidence.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If you really you want to take the jump and change your career you’ll need to put a solid but realistic timeline on the move. For example, I gave myself 6 months to study, pass my exams, apply for jobs and secure a role. Once you have the bigger picture, break it down into smaller achievable chunks to give you something to celebrate. Tell people about your plans too – it makes you slightly more accountable and the whole process feel a lot more “real”.
Believe in Yo’Self!
One of the most daunting aspects of starting a new career is the self doubt and negative voices convincing you that it’s too difficult or that someone won’t take a chance on you. Believe in yourself as much as you can and everything will work out.
This is not a fully comprehensive guide on changing into any career you want – I’m sure there are many variances and nuances. I hope the above can help some of you or even inspire you to take the step towards the career you’re looking for. More posts to come on interview technique and how to land the right job for you.