As the festive season approaches, many of us use this as a time to reflect on the past year and what we’ve achieved.
Considering that most of us spend the majority of our time at work, our careers play a big part in our personal success measure.
If you feel that you’re not quite where you’d like to be in your career, perhaps it’s time for a change. Maybe, looking forward, the New Year is an opportunity for a change in your career.
Be assured, though, that if change is what you want, it’s up to you to make it happen. Start thinking and preparing yourself now so that you can make the most of opportunities that may come your way in 2018.
Five Tips for Getting Ready for a Career Change
1. Know What You Want
It’s not enough to say you want something different. You need to know what that is, so that the change you make is in the right direction.
It’s useful to sit down and do some brainstorming, writing down what comes to mind when you think of the following:
- What type of role am I interested in?
- Will it be a permanent post, contract or an interim role?
- What type of organisation do I want to work for – a global multinational, a vibrant start-up or a boutique type?
- Do I want something that is close to home or do I want to gain work experience overseas?
- Will travel or commuting be a plus or a minus?
- What do I expect in terms of a remuneration package?
Think of the salary you want or need and any other benefits that are important to you, such as leave or health insurance.
2. Do Your Research
Once you know what you want, it’s much easier to narrow down your search and focus your efforts on something that will be a positive career change for you. However, what you want may not align with what’s on offer in the job market.
So, with your wish list in mind, start researching potential companies. Find out what their culture is like, what positions are available and what salaries are on offer for the type of role you’re looking for. Look for what’ll be the closest fit in line with what you want and make a shortlist of potential employers.
While you’re at it, connect with potential hiring managers on LinkedIn and starting building connections.
3. Get Match Fit
Find out more about what’s happening in the industry or sector you want to work in. What opportunities or challenges are relevant to the role you’re looking for?
Online research is valuable, but often you can get even better insider news by attending industry events, seminars and trade shows. It’s also a valuable opportunity to network and get some potential leads for new roles.
4. Get the Presentation Right
Update your CV and make sure it’s the right format and length for your industry. Also, write it in a way that reflects your skills and experience that are most relevant for the roles you want to apply for.
Style your LinkedIn profile so that it reflects how you want to be perceived in the industry. And use the groups on LinkedIn to start conversations with people in the industry and don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and opinions.
When using LinkedIn, activate the ‘open to new opportunities’ tab. This will be visible to recruiters and widen your prospects.
5. Make the Right Connections
Find out which recruitment firms specialise in the type of roles you’re interested in. Get in touch with them and arrange an interview.
Most importantly, be easy to work with, by being available for interviews or promptly answering correspondence. This will keep you in the forefront of their minds when they are looking for potential candidates to fill specific roles.
Finally, when evaluating opportunities, be positive and have an open mind. You may not always find the role that is the exact fit for what you want, but it could still be a great opportunity that grows into the role you want.
Companies are looking for people who are adaptable and eager to take on new challenges, because companies nowadays have to be agile themselves.
Often, hiring managers will look at a person’s willingness or aptitude for learning over having the exact skills and experience, because a person who is willing to learn can often gain some of the skills they need on the job.
Employees who have a positive and creative mindset can be a valuable asset to an organisation. The marketplace is full of exciting opportunities and a new year is a good time to make a change.
Get yourself ready not just for a new year but also for a new career!