By 30, the reality of your current career choice has set in.
It’s also a time when you realise the career decisions you made in their 20’s don’t necessarily match your natural talent, abilities and passions.
If you are thinking about a career change, at any age – you’re not alone.
Changing careers is a big life decision and requires a lot of consideration. If you are considering a career change, then here are 30 essential steps to help guide you through:
- Admit to yourself that you need a change
Admitting that you need to consider other career options is the first step you need to take. If you constantly feel unmotivated and worn out, or that the money you earn no longer makes up for the boredom you feel, then it’s time to think about changing things.
- Dedicate some time
Don’t change careers suddenly without giving it the thinking time such a big decision deserves. Think about creating a ‘career change plan’ (outlined in the steps below) to help guide you through the process of making the switch.
- Call in the SWOT team
Start by undertaking some personal reflection. Ever heard of a SWOT analysis at work? Now it’s time to do one on you. Think about and list all your strengths and weaknesses, as well as any opportunities or threats to change you may face.
- Consider the really important stuff
Don’t forget to spend time evaluating the other aspects of your life outside of work – family time, friends, mental and physical health considerations and your financial circumstances.
- What’s the real problem?
Be clear on whether it’s the job and career you don’t like, or just your place of work. You may find that it’s not your career / job that is the problem.
- Make the most of the experience
Formalise your previous experience with ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ (RPL). RPL gives you credit for any skills, knowledge or experience gained in your current and previous roles and can reduce the time it takes to gain any new qualifications.
- Opportunities for improvement
Use an RPL evaluation as an opportunity to highlight any gaps in your skills and look to identify how you could fill those gaps.
- Talk to the career experts
Career advice isn’t just for school leavers – get some professional advice. Contact a ‘career practitioner’ for their advice on options available to you.
- Train and gain
Identify and research the training or qualifications you may need in your new career.
- Seek experience and advice
Check the accreditation of the training provider and look for any previous student testimonials or past student successes. Speaking to students who have decided to change their careers can help to reassure you in your decision.
- Get networking
Work on building up your professional network with relevant industry contacts. Don’t forget to utilise the relationships you already have within your existing network.
- Work shadowing
Consider asking people if you can shadow them at their jobs, or meet them for a coffee outside to ask questions about their day-to-day roles and responsibilities. Get new experience wherever you can – just because you are looking to change career at 30 doesn’t mean you are above shadowing people.
- What do you like?
Create a list of your likes and dislikes – in and out of work. This can help you to identify what you want out of a career.
- Changing in, or changing out?
Are you looking to change organisations completely – or is there an opportunity to change careers within your organisation? Speak to your internal HR team.
- Keep an open mind
Don’t narrow yourself to a specific career option – keep your mind open throughout the process and investigate several career options.
- Demonstrate your passion
Start thinking about how you can demonstrate your passion – could you start a blog, or create a portfolio? Or are there any volunteering opportunities where you could gain new skills?
- Find a mentor
Changing careers can be daunting, and stressful – it’s a big life decision. Find someone who can help you through.
- Be flexible
Don’t make the mistake of sticking rigidly to a plan and missing out on, or considering, other good opportunities because you don’t think it fits in your plan.\
- Resume upgrade
Don’t forget to give your resume an overhaul. Before you apply for any new role consider re-writing your resume from scratch.
- Make your career clear
Make sure your new career objective is clearly highlighted in the summary statement. Leave people in no doubt of what direction you are heading in now.
- Be relevant
Revamp your resume to include skills and experience that are most relevant to your new career and make sure they are at the very top of your resume.
- Show your skills
Draw emphasis to the skills you have gained – not the job titles you have previously held.
- Show ‘em everything
Make sure you show a full breadth of skills – operations, management, leadership, creativity and communication. Anything that is relevant to your new career choice.
- Clear cover letter
Consider your covering letter carefully. Make sure you clearly communicate why you are looking to change careers and what you can bring to the organisation and role.
- Don’t forget the other experience
Don’t forget to highlight any non-work related experience on your resume – this includes part-time consulting or volunteering work.
- Your personal commitment
Highlight any courses you have taken or qualifications you have gained.
This helps to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of a topic and shows personal commitment to investing in your career and yourself.
- Speak their language
Make sure you change your resume to include terms or terminology used by your new industry, for example: ‘lifecycle management’ to ‘pipeline management’.
- Have an elevator pitch at the ready
It can be difficult to explain the reasons why you are changing careers, so consider preparing a 30 second – 1 minute intro for yourself that gets your points across clearly and concisely.
- Don’t rush in
If any point in this process you feel like you might be going down the wrong track, then don’t rush into anything. Write a list of your concerns and evaluate them. You can always start the process again.
- Embrace new opportunities
This is a big life decision and it’s completely natural to feel apprehensive. It’s likely that you may have several career changes over the duration of your working life so take your time, weigh up the pros and cons and when you are feeling confident – go for it.
If you are looking for a career change then consider speaking to Capital Training Institute, they offer a wide range of courses and qualifications in Australia, from Project Management and Building and Construction to Health and Fitness.
They also recognise prior learning (RPL), to make sure your previous experience is taken into consideration. Visit the website today for more information on qualifications.