30 Steps To Take When Changing Careers at 30

Posted on December 18, 2014 by

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.

How To Search For A Job Effectively

Posted on December 9, 2014 by

search for a job effectively

Job searching these days is more overwhelming than ever before with online employment sites in abundance, LinkedIn a never-ending network pool and job apps and social media at every turn. It’s easy to see why people are daunted by the prospect. 

However, there are techniques and strategies to narrow your stream of focus and find only the areas most appropriate to you, so that you can use your time and energy wisely, and not waste it on roles you were never born to perform.

It sounds old fashioned, but devising a plan for yourself can save a lot of time, and give you increased clarity and focus. Without one, you are diving in to an abyss of information, directionless and with no end in sight. Perhaps you already know exactly which jobs you’re suited to. Or perhaps there are alternate options you hadn’t previously thought about.

In either case, allow yourself a fresh approach and take a calculated look at your qualifications and experience. Choose from that list the areas you enjoy most and feel you’re best at. Discard those you dislike.

Then, think about the types of jobs and industries these positive areas could be applied to, and also any additional types of jobs you feel generally interested in, which sit within or close to the realm of your existing experience.

From here, the idea is to produce a list of specific companies or establishments to which your skills and interests could be applied. So rather than waiting for random organisations that you’ve never heard of to advertise a position, you are being proactive and choosing exactly where you want to work and then approaching each particular organisation.

What you’re also able to do is network using online tools such as LinkedIn or even everyday social media. You can research who works at your target place of employment, introduce yourself to them and strike up conversations. You never know, you might find it’s the perfect way to hear about upcoming opportunities or to be introduced to the right person.

This kind of approach, however, rarely works instantly. It takes patience, determination and persistence. It could be months before an opportunity presents itself, but in the mean time, continue to network in your desired circles, and don’t stop at just one or two options.

Keep a larger pool of places to target, and continue to do so (within reason) and eventually you will more than likely be tipped off about a relevant opportunity somewhere of interest.

By tailoring your job search in this way, you will also more easily recognise when appropriate advertised positions crop up, and you will learn where to search for them with ease. As such, you’ll have the best of every approach at work.

How To Develop Work Relationships

Posted on December 1, 2014 by

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It is one thing doing your work while surrounded by colleagues minding their own business, offering only the briefest of interactions. It’s quite another to operate as part of a team of fully fledged relationships which encourage, inspire and grow together.

Yet the fact is, far too many employees work autonomously when they could and should be working in teams or partnerships and building strength in numbers.

Workers need to be supportive and understanding of their fellow colleagues in order to get the best business results. All parties should be reliable and trustworthy and strive to bring the best out of each other.

However, such conditions take time to develop, and require dedicated, willing attitudes.

Firstly, it is vital that a team mentality is established. A manager or leader ideally needs to introduce the team and ensure everyone is familiar and aware of all positions within it.

From here, individuals should be encouraged to meet one another and become familiarised with who does what.

However, it cannot be guaranteed that this will transpire on it’s own. As such, it is important to take the reigns and make the effort yourself to interact with your teammates and not only get to know them, but allow them to get to know you.

Aside from discussing one another’s previous jobs and training, asking questions about the company are a good idea and opening up a dialogue about current and recent projects, clients and events can all help in initiating a work relationship, while at the same time revealing related feelings, thoughts and ideas.

It’s all about showing a genuine interest, asking relevant questions, taking the initiative to offer or ask for help and assistance, being involved and also involving others.

Similar techniques can be applied to other types of working relationships such as stakeholders, clients, business equals and to a lesser extent, customers.

Remember that time is essential in nurturing any relationship, and as time goes by along with your efforts, the trust and support will strengthen, and so long as you remain inclusive of everyone and stay open and communicative, your work and your relationships will continue to flourish.

Surprising Celebrity Jobs Before They Were Famous

Posted on November 25, 2014 by

By Chloe Abotomey

As children we all answered the question, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’, with things like, a doctor, an astronaut, a princess or an actor. But as we grew up these answers changed. Its important to find a career that you are passionate about, and just to show that you not always find this first go, you might be surprised by what these celebrities did before they were famous.

Patrick-Dempsey-American-Actor

 

Patrick Dempsey, most well known for playing Derek (McDreamy) on hit TV drama Grey’s Anatomy, as well as starring in various romantic comedies, started his adult career as a champion juggler.

 

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Before her modelling career skyrocketed, Cindy Crawford was enrolled in a chemical engineering degree on a scholarship at Northwestern University in America. She dropped out soon after winning “Look of the Year” contest in 1982 and appearing on the cover of Vogue.

 

Mayim Bialik

 

Mayim Bialik, who plays a Amy on ‘The Big Bang Theory has a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Ironically she is a neurobiologist so at least her knowledge must can help her get into character.

JohnnyDeppApr2011

 

 Johnny Depp, acclaimed actor famous for his ability to portray a variety of personalities, sold ballpoint pens over the phone, showing that no matter where you start off, a little persistence could land you.

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Dr Oz is one of the most accomplished cardiothoracic surgeons of his generation. A well as featuring on Oprah, Dr Oz has his own talk show and co host’s ‘The Doctors’. This is in addition to performing more than 100 heart surgeries a year.

Lisa_Kudrow_at_TIFF_2009

 

Before rising to fame as the loveable Phoebe Buffay, on 90’s classic TV  show Friends, Lisa Kudrow conducted clinical research on headaches with her father.

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Jerry Springer, BritishAmerican television presenter, best known as host of the tabloid talk show Jerry Springer was a campaign advisor to Robert F. Kennedy and dabbled in politics.

ken jeong

 

 

Ken Jeongcomedic actor who is most well known for playing Asian gangster, Leslie Chow in the Hangover trilogy is actually a licensed obstetrician.

 

Lisa_Kudrow_at_TIFF_2009

Tips For Effective Networking

Posted on November 11, 2014 by

iStock_000019535606_Large-1024x682 network

For some, networking is a dirty word. It’s commonly associated with being fake, obnoxious and overly competitive and can be seen to involve a whole lot of kissing up to satisfy ulterior motives.

However, this stereotype shouldn’t deter your thinking. Networking generally isn’t shallow and one-sided. In fact, when used in good measure with the right approach, it can and does consistently aid and strengthen businesses and organisations every day.

While stereotypical networkers might shamelessly throw themselves around at every opportunity with little purpose other than to be seen and heard, quality professional networkers have specific motivations and are skillful and appropriate in their approach.

Essentially, networking is about forming and nurturing beneficial relationships. Therefore, like any relationship, it’s important to develop bonds which foster trust, confidence and respect. It’s not a one way street as some stereotypes would have you believe and is equally about what you can offer to others.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to begin by showing a genuine interest in the other party first.  A ‘get to know you’ type liaison, if you will. Asking informed questions to trigger relevant and intelligent conversations will, with any luck, mean your efforts are reciprocated with an organic dialogue, giving you ample opportunity to discuss mutual interests.

You should be approachable when in a networking situation as well as confident yet not pushy or forceful. You should talk to anyone and everyone, as you never know who someone might be or who they might know. It comes down to being a good listener, and remaining open and upfront about who you are, what you do and how you can help.  

Keep in mind that harbouring relationships takes time and is often most effective when done gradually. So don’t shoot for every target on your first meet. Sometimes, it’s most appropriate to simply exchange contact information initially (a slick looking business card can go a long way) and then follow up with a friendly email or phone call. The following up part, however, is vital. It doesn’t matter how you follow up – just as long as you do.

How To Make A Good First Impression

Posted on October 28, 2014 by

hand shake

Making a good first impression is vital in most areas of life, but it is arguably never more important than where job interviews and the workplace are concerned.

Not only is the amount of time to impress limited, there are usually others around you competing for that time; and where there is competition, there are nerves – and nerves are your worst enemy when trying to impress.

Don’t panic, however! While giving a less than favourable first impression can mean missing out on that job opportunity you so desperately wanted, being conscious and prepared can seriously help you avoid such a fate and put you in good stead to make an impression to remember.

For instance, when people are nervous they often forget to smile. They can come across as tense and serious, which, although probably untrue, can seem as if they are dull, unhappy or lacking in personality.

The trick is to be aware of it, and smile anyway. There’s no need to to go overboard with insane bubbliness, but a decent smile along with direct eye contact is enough to suggest you are friendly, open and confident, in spite of any nerves.

Don’t forget to listen. Some people trip themselves up by talking too much and failing to listen to others properly. Waffling on and on will only irritate and bore your audience so get to the point and stay there, but also ask intelligent questions and be open and ready for the answers.

Body language also counts. Fidgeting is to be avoided as it suggests you are not relaxed, and a slouched or hunched posture creates the impression you are unconfident, sloppy or even lazy.

Remember to do your research. Know your facts and background about the company or position as it shows you are a genuinely interested and serious candidate.

A first impression can never be undone. However, if you can keep all these areas in check and ensure you dress to impress, remain willing and enthusiastic and use your best manners, you’re well on the way to creating a striking, likeable and professional first impression.

Tips for finding the right job

Posted on October 14, 2014 by

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Finding a job these days is possibly more difficult than ever. Competition is rife, vacancies are scarce and funding is often low.

In our desperation to secure work, we therefore tend to feel obliged to accept the first job on offer.

It’s an understandable temptation, but one we should certainly try to resist if we want to feel confident about taking on a job that is just right.

Many a position may seem appropriate at first glance, but gaining a glimpse into the company culture is highly recommended for a real taste of what life might be like behind closed company doors.

This can be as simple as talking to staff, past or present, about the culture of the organisation or their personal experiences within it. It may seem off the wall to approach strangers in this manner, however, a casual chat to a receptionist or a call-out on social media about contacts familiar with the company in question can unearth a surprising amount of information.

Perhaps management is known for it’s unorthodox approaches. It could be that the company is in financial trouble or maybe they are thriving and at the top of their game. Knowing such information will contribute to an informed decision about whether you see yourself as part of the team.

You might find that online research reveals further helpful insight including the low down on company policies, staff profiles, business history, client relationships and reputation.

The frequency of staff turnover can be a significant indication of workplace contentment, security and stability where employees are concerned. Companies who are continually having to replace staff are to be avoided, as this generally infers that conditions are not favourable.

What some candidates tend to forget is the opportunity the job interview presents. It is a two-way street after all, where questions should be asked from both sides. It is the perfect time to find out more specific company and team details that otherwise may not be apparent.

Remember – the position needs to be sold to you as much as you need to be sold to the position.

How to Improve your Chances of Getting a Job

Posted on October 7, 2014 by

Have you been sending your CV out religiously with few leads? Whether you’re trying to land your first job, have been unemployed for some time, or are thinking about switching careers, it’s tough to stand out in the current economic climate. It’s not uncommon to spend months on a job search, but you can boost your chances of a swift and fruitful hunt by keeping the following tips in mind.

job search

Image Source: Julie Walraven/Flickr

1. Write original cover letters. 

When you’re applying for multiple jobs a week, it’s hard to make each application stand out from the others. However, you’ll greatly improve your chances of getting the job by taking the time to research each company and think about why you might actually be a good fit. Generic cover letters and CVs are a big turnoff to recruiters, because they don’t show that you are willing to go the extra mile and put in the effort to introduce yourself. Your cover letter is particularly important, because it’s your chance to show just why you’re different from other candidates. Templates are tempting when you’re just starting out, but use them sparingly.

2. Upgrade your skills. 

If you’re interested in switching careers or are new to the work force, it’s a good idea to get the basic training that will help you show you can handle the job. This may involve online courses or continuing education that work into your schedule before you start your hunt. You can find a wide range of courses at NowLearning AU, which may fit your career goals. Boosting your education level shows recruiters that you’re a self-starter who’s willing to take initiative.

3. Build your personal brand online.  

It’s essential to have a strong digital presence these days, as many hiring managers look at your social media profiles and blog along with your CV. Curate your online presence carefully with this in mind. Your digital footprint allows you to show off your talents, interests, and background. Be sure to take a careful look at what your profiles say about you. Online networking through sites like LinkedIn can also yield new job leads.

4. Don’t let rejections discourage you. 

Even the most qualified candidates for the job are going to get rejected a few times along the way. Rejection is part of the job search process, so don’t get discouraged when it happens to you. It simply means that an employer didn’t think that you would be a good fit for the company, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a good fit out there for you.

5. Consider temporary work or internships. 

When you’re breaking into an industry, a good first step to get your foot in the door is through an internship or temp job. Temp work is often seen as a last resort, but it allows you to earn money while you learn new skills. Many temp jobs and internships eventually turn into full-time positions, because the employer has seen what you’re capable of.

The key is to look at your job search as a full-time job in itself. Follow every lead, carefully craft every cover letter individually, and upgrade your qualifications if necessary. Give your all and you’ll be certain to find an employer who’s the best fit for you.

Welcome To Adzuna

Posted on October 3, 2014 by

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Fairfax Media is transitioning its MyCareer online jobs board to Adzuna (www.adzuna.com.au), a leading international job search engine.

Earlier this year Fairfax Media announced a joint venture in Australia with leading international job search engine Adzuna. Together we are providing a new online platform for job seekers at www.adzuna.com.au. Adzuna is now Fairfax’s primary online job listings brand in Australia.

From 17 October 2014, the job search and alert functionality provided at www.mycareer.com.au will be migrated to Adzuna.

Adzuna is a job search engine which makes it easier to find the right job for you. Adzuna searches thousands of websites and brings together hundreds of thousands of ads so you can find them all in one place. Adzuna has powerful search, insightful market data and social connections and offers a superior user experience.

We look forward to you finding your next job on www.adzuna.com.au

How Do You Know When It’s Time To Leave Your Job?

Posted on September 30, 2014 by

quit job

So, you can do most of your work in your sleep, you’re bored beyond all reason and you know all the office jokes before they’ve even been uttered? Could it be time to leave your job?

Getting to the top of your game in what you do is the ultimate goal for most people. Yet, no matter how hard you’ve worked to master your position or how long you’ve spent getting there, it’s very rare that you should stay put from then on, stagnating for years to come.

This is not to say you should bolt for the door the moment you feel comfortable. After all, there are always more unexpected lessons to be learned and potential curly events to unfold, so you need to give yourself the chance to breathe and to experience some longevity.

However, if you’re noticing it’s months since you’ve been challenged in any respect and you’re actually bored by what you are doing, then it might be time to start thinking about moving on.

You might find your ideas aren’t being noticed anymore – or the contrary – they are used no matter how predictable and flat they seem to you.

Perhaps you are starting to feel that you’re taken for granted, no longer being heard, expected to do others jobs for them or work ridiculous hours without compensation.

One particular giveaway that it’s time to jump ship is when bad habits have formed within the organisation whereby cliques are rife, gossiping is the norm and games are being played. It’s a sign most others are also bored and that their focus is not where it should be. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself become entangled in such inane behaviour as it will put your work and professional image at risk.

In any case, trust your instincts. You’ll know when work has become a drag or the environment is toxic. Just don’t quit prematurely. You’ve earned the right to bask in some of the glory of being great at what you’re doing – you should at least enjoy it for as long as is healthy.