A career change (as opposed to job change) is one of the biggest decisions you may need to make. Deciding to move from one job to another within the same industry is often tough enough, however it is usually made easier by the fact that at least you know exactly what is involved in your field and you hopefully enjoy whatever it is that you do. And besides the grass may not necessarily be greener by simply moving to another organisation.
It is important not to make the mistake of hating your current job as opposed to hating your current career. There is a big difference. Only you can decide whether you are in fact running away from (for example) a problem in your current workplace, or whether you are running towards a new career challenge because you are feeling bored or lost in your current one.
Whilst you should never underestimate your ability to market yourself outside the sphere of what you do now, you must understand how much preparation and research is required before you can successfully embark on a career transition.
Never attempt to make a career change without a plan, as it is only through ample preparation that your transferable skills can become your competitive edge. A successful career transition can take months to accomplish, even with a carefully thought through strategy.
If you rely solely on your previous position descriptions or present a résumé which categorises you based on your former job titles alone, you will not convince anyone. You are just re-enforcing your former work life. It may take time, but you need to craft the perfect career objective and design a competency and achievement based document that highlights all the valuable and transferable skills you have gathered not only through work, but also through extra-curricular hobbies, further study, and general life experiences such as travel or community involvement.
Consider some of these transferable skills…
- communication skills
- leadership skills
- negotiation skills
- a proven ability to motivate others
- people skills
…or perhaps even personal qualities such as initiative, drive, independence, confidence, creativity, or self-discipline.
These skills and qualities are by no means limited to the career or industry in which you may have gained the majority of your experience to date. You know your own values and interests well enough to determine what other industry or career could potentially allow you to best utilise these skills.
Explore all your options and choose a new career that will challenge you and one in which you will be satisfied.