It’s really common for young professionals to start working in an industry and then realise that they may not have chosen the best career for them. What do you do when you want to branch into a different career path? Here are some tips.
Get to know yourself
Although being interested in a specific field of work doesn’t guarantee that you’ll enjoy working in it, it does help. You’re most likely to feel content doing work that interests you and gives you the opportunity to explore your strengths and grow. Take some time to really look into your interests and explore what you’re good at, as well as which industries and jobs may correlate to them. Need help finding careers linked to your personality? Take our Career Interest Test for help. One mistake that people often make is wanting to go into a career because of perceived benefits like social status and money. While these are great to have, they don’t guarantee job satisfaction, which is actually really important in the long run.
Do your research
Once you’ve listed careers that are of interest to you, it’s important to do a bit of research to find out what exactly the roles you’re interested in entail. You can gather your info online, talk to people you know in that industry, or contact someone on LinkedIn and see if they’re willing to answer a few questions. If this is a position in your current company, speak to someone from that department about their work and what they had to do to get there. Although you’ll only have a real understanding of what the work entails once you’re in the industry, it does help to have a bit of insight before making the move.
Once you’ve done your research and decided on which career path(s) you think would be most suited to you, make a list of all your options. Have about 3 possible positions that you’d be interested in (in order of priority) and then draw up a plan of action. Do you need to study further? How can you tailor your current CV to suit each position? Lastly, how can you build enough experience to get you a foot in the door?
Changing jobs, industries, or even just working your way up in your chosen field, is going to take some real effort, so be prepared. You’re going to need to take initiative - take up a course to help you up-skill, ask for extra work that’s related to that department, and even volunteer your time over the weekend to learn the ropes if necessary. Waiting for opportunities to arise isn’t going to help you here, you need to create your own opportunities by knocking on doors and trying different things. Prepare yourself for rejection, but be willing to do whatever it takes to get to where you want to be.
We’re always talking about the importance of networking and building your professional network, and that’s because it really comes in handy. Networking means you’re putting yourself out there, getting to know other professionals in various industries and creating a list of contacts that you can call on once you’re ready to make your move. If you’re networking effectively, you’re likely to be one of the first people your contacts refer when there’s a new project or position that they think is right up your alley.
Unless you’ve acquired tons of related experience already, moving into a new career can be quite difficult. Be patient with yourself and be willing to take on some new challenges in order to get to your goal. For more help with making career moves and setting realistic career goals and expectations, take our free Online Course. It’ll help you discover your path and give you all the tools you need to make this career move.