There comes a time in every adult life when a career change seems inevitable. Sometimes, it can be due to a change of heart. The course you studied for in university is no longer what you wish to pursue as a career. Other times, it comes from a place of necessity. If you got laid off from a job within an industry full of rapid change, you might need to find a different and more lucrative career path. You may also get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where you need to switch locations.
However, switching jobs isn’t always so seamless. A survey found that most people who switch jobs experience regret and try to return to their old positions. This is known as “shift shock”. After the pandemic, many people switched jobs because they no longer wanted unfulfilling positions. But resigning from your position to look for a new job can cause you to dip into your savings. You can follow some basic principles to avoid too much disruption to keep your transition stress-free.
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1. There are no shortcuts
Changing careers will always be slow-going. The change will take time unless you directly connect to where you want to pivot. It may require re-enrolling in school. Overnight success isn’t a possibility. Changing from a career to entrepreneurship can be especially challenging because there is no breakthrough. The change is more of a marathon than a sprint.
2. Structure your decisions
When given an offer by a company with a job description different from what you’ve been doing, it’s important to consider how it will benefit your long-term career. Remaining objective without a plan will be difficult. Due to the cost of living and other capitalist demands, you must outline your career goals and the parameters the new job should meet before you accept it. This helps you avoid dwelling on certain aspects while overlooking others.
3. Take small steps
Having an actionable plan can show you what to do, but it can also be binding. Taking any steps outside the plan can seem daunting. With no background in what you intend to pursue, setting off on your new dreams can feel scary. You may be less likely to take risks if you have a master plan. However, if you take risks by taking small steps, you can end up with vast rewards.
4. Lower your expectations
It’s important to be cautious. In addition, you shouldn’t expect success on the first try. When you mistake desperation for conviction, it can be easy to succumb to frustration and give up before giving the job switch a real chance. When approaching the transition, a sober mentality helps temper disappointments and handle small wins with grace.
5. Redo your CV
When you’ve chosen your new career path, you need to change your CV to match the new job description. For example, changing from marketing to nursing, you can recraft your skills to suit the new role better. Reframe the narrative to let recruiters better understand who you are and your professional journey.
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6. Network outside your usual circles
Networking among people outside your usual circles can feel awkward. Being an older beginner in an industry can also be intimidating. However, spending more time around people in the industry you’re about to join can give you great insight into what to expect. Surrounding yourself with a new network can inspire you better than those in your old circles.
7. Choose the exact point to walk away
A job switch may seem gradual but still needs a jumping-off point. When you choose to pivot, you need to identify when to do it. If it’s after one last project, commit to that date. Organising when to change helps you let go of your old career and embrace the journey ahead.
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8. Follow your intuition
If you have a passion or something that energises you, this can be what guides you on your job switch. Many industries have multiple specialities that you may struggle to choose. However, if you feel that a specific branch will suit you, it’s best to pursue it. This helps you remain energised and not struggle for motivation. For example, if you’re switching from a job in sales to computing, you can see what you gravitate toward in coding, hardware management, data science, or web design. Looking at your core strengths and innate skills can help you pinpoint which specialisation best suits you.
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