Remember in the film Sliding Doors, when life changed within a fleeting moment? Job searches can be like that, especially in cases where you are looking to take a complete change of direction. So how do you branch out and land a job in a new field? Here are three important things to consider.
1. Inventory time
Assess the skills you have acquired in your current role and aspects of your current job that you enjoy. What is it about those skills/experiences that you like? How can you best use those skills going forward? This is the time to take a deep look inside and see what aspects of the professional world make you truly happy.
Make a list comparing the skills that your current job allows with the aspects of your job that are not as fulfilling. Once you have an idea of the skills you are hoping to use going forward, what sorts of job titles are out there that match those skills? Are they at a consultant or manager level? Is there a distinction between the depth of your skills and potential titles? Look at those postings and try to spot the match.
2. Market evaluation
Now that you have an area of focus, what is the availability of opportunities in line with your wish list? Besides looking on job boards for this information, take a look at companies that are of interest to you. This research will give you insight into where things are headed – as well as potential market rates – and will be critical in your new job search.
Consider your contacts. Do you know someone who is doing your dream job? Mine that referral. Let him/her know that you are looking for a change, and ask for any insight that he/she can provide – including the benefits and challenges of the role.
3. Creative writing
It’s time for you to write your history. Focus on the aspects of your role that will serve as transferrable skills for your new position, but remember that truth is key. Formulate a gripping CV that lists your relevant accomplishments and describes where you want to be professionally.
If you are using social media sites, ensure that your profile remains consistent across them. Mention that you are looking to use your transferrable skills in a new position and don’t be apologetic about it. Be prepared to confidently answer questions about your change in direction.
These points provide a starting position for a career change. Looking for a job takes work. More challenging are the instances when you’re seeking work that is not a duplicate of your current role. The reality is that your dream job may not pay as well as you would like right now, but in time it could become profitable. Face the challenge head on, and be prepared for what you may find. Don’t be afraid to walk through that door…