Posted on 26/06/2019 by Beck Sanderson
The why and the how
Some people say change is as good as a holiday. But what about a career change? Many of the candidates we see here at Entrée Recruitment come in seeking a career change, and seek advice from our Consultants on how to switch from one career path to another. This may seem like a daunting, scary and somewhat impossible feat, but changing your career is not as uncommon as you think.
In fact, a study by the Australian College of Applied Psychology has shown that the average Australian will experience 5-7 major career changes in their lifetime. Looking within the Entrée office, over 70% of our staff have altered their career pathway within their career to end up here at Entrée Recruitment. Take a look at where some of our team commenced their careers compared to where they are now:
Gym Sales Representative > European Tour Guide > Recruitment Support Officer
Manager within Fast Food Industry > Manager within Travel Industry > Senior Recruitment Consultant
Radio Sales Representative > Senior Recruitment Consultant
Hospitality/Hotel Management > Senior Recruitment Consultant
Hairdresser > Operations Manager
The one common thing that unites these employees is their drive to change and evolve their careers. But what drives people to seek a career change? Below are just some of the reasons you may seek a career change:
Wanting a new challenge
You may be content with your job, but who wants to settle for just being content? If everything has become routine and maybe a little bit boring, then you may seek opportunities within another role or field to further challenge you.
Your job may stress you out, you may be experiencing job insecurity, you may feel unappreciated or you may even worry about the automation of your job in the future. All of these things may lead you to reassess your happiness in your role and chosen career. If you are unhappy in your work environment, it will inevitably seep into your home life and if it is affecting you on a personal level than maybe it is time for a change.
A change in values or focus
Your current career might require longer hours than you can afford, or you may want to scale back and focus on your family or that Spanish class you’ve wanted to take for years. This change of focus or values may lead you to consider changing to a career that could afford you more flexibility or achieve greater work life balance.
A new passion emerges
When you were younger you might have had your heart set on being a Veterinarian. After school you wanted to be a Journalist. And now maybe when you hit 30 your love of indoor plants has gotten out of control and you want to become a Horticulturalist! Our passions and interests change as we grow and as we experience new things. It’s only natural that this will lead our career compass to the next role. “Do what you love” is the perfect sentiment to describe this.
Whatever your reason for a career change, it helps to arm yourself with the tools and support necessary to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Know your “why”
The more you know why you want to move, the more motivation you will have when things get tough or stressful, it gives meaning to the move – and it’s also going to be a question asked at a job interview. Why have you chosen this particular new role or industry, what appeals to you, what paths could it open? Create a clear plan and have conviction.
Sometimes all you really need to do is get to know the right people. LinkedIn is a great tool for this. Start following the people in your dream jobs. See what they are posting, who they are connecting with and follow the companies you are aiming to work for. Often you will get a better idea of their culture, lifestyle and team AND many of the companies and stakeholders will post jobs on LinkedIn.
Mentors can provide value to those who aren’t quite certain what the next phase of their career should look like. The interpersonal communication and resulting internal assessment can facilitate brainstorming and consolidating ideas.
Temporary work, volunteer work or unpaid work experience may provide you with an opportunity to explore new industries and assist in solidifying (or breaking!) your industry desires.
Enhance your job application
Your resume and cover letter will need to reflect more than just your past experience and existing skill set. What will need to shine through is your passion and desire for the new industry or role you are applying for. You may also identify transferable skills from previous roles and highlight any interaction or exposure through volunteer work or extra-curricular activities that is relevant to your newly chosen role.
The more you know and can demonstrate you understand the role/industry you are looking to move into, the more likely it is that you will be hired. There are many short courses available at TAFE or through independent organisations. LinkedIn also have a feature where you can sign up and pay monthly fees for online courses. There also a plethora of free courses and information out there on the internet and in books.
Learn from Failure
You may not be able to land a role in your new field or job after your first application. But Rome wasn’t built in a day! You need to learn from these failures and re-brand them as lessons. You might make it to interview but not get through to the next stage. Ask for feedback, call the hiring manager and ask them to let you know what you can do better. Every rejection is an opportunity to learn and better yourself. Good Hiring Managers and Recruiters have the ability to read beyond the resume and look at your skills rather than your job titles. Your varied and out of the box experience is your strength.
Whatever your reason for seeking a career change, stick with it! It may prove challenging. It may seem daunting. It may be risky or scary, unfamiliar and unknown. But ultimately, it will be worthwhile. Follow your heart.
Recruitment Support Officer
Recruitment & Marketing Specialist