Change Careers in the Midst of Chaos

by Vanessa Khan

Transitioning to a new career may seem overwhelming, daunting, and even fear-inducing. It will take confidence, perseverance, and fearlessness to delve into new territory. However, if you are ready to take charge of your own career path, there is no time like the present! There are three main reasons for changing careers; opportunities that come to us, opportunities that we seek out, or changes imposed upon us. What do these scenarios have in common? You. You have the power to shape and control your career path and to construct what success means to you. If you are seeking a career change, here are 3 tips to get you started!

A) Define What You Want

In the age of information and social media, time is the new high-value commodity. When we think about the notion of time as a commodity, the reality is that many of us work at least 40 hours a week. Wouldn’t it be great if those 40 hours could be spent toward a career that you are passionate about? The pandemic presents an opportunity, if we allow ourselves to see it, to change careers and embrace a new path. This is a great opportunity to think about your dream career.

Start by defining the role you want, and the key motivators for switching careers. Are you motivated by salary, innovation, culture, opportunities for career advancement? Do you enjoy working with a team or as an individual? Defining the descriptors of the role will help to identify the type of role that you are seeking. These elements will help build your criteria and career map for your search.

B) Evaluate Your Skillset

Once you have an idea of your ideal role, it’s time to evaluate your skillset. Analyze your career history and identify transferable skills that can be utilized toward the role you are seeking. Do you require additional education, or do you have enough practical career experience to apply to the role? Unless you are seeking a specialized role, it’s unlikely that there will be a requirement for additional credentials. However, if you do require additional credentials, invest in yourself! Empower yourself to learn new skills and experiences that will allow you to bridge the gap to achieving your dream career. Next, it’s time to create a new resume with your transferable skills and analyze how they relate to the job you are seeking.

C) Network

Network! Network! Network! Be fearless when you are networking and ask for what you want. If you know the job you are seeking, then mention it to your existing network and other contacts that are recommended to you. People genuinely want to help, but they need to know what it is that you want.

The value of networking has been proven time and time again. Consider networking as experience to hone your skills toward relationship management. Rekindle your existing network, and ask to speak to contacts who are in the field that you are interested in pursuing. There is a wealth of knowledge in shared experiences and perspectives, not to mention you will be laying the groundwork for joining the community in the job you seek.

Finding a new career can be challenging. However, once you find a job that you truly enjoy, it is an incredibly rewarding experience. If you are having trouble identifying what your ideal job is, there are resources that can help. Career coaches and mentors are wonderful soundboards to help identify, navigate, and structure your career goals. Another tidbit to consider is that your dream job may be closer than you realize in terms of skillset. Your current position may encompass skills that are closely aligned with your dream career, albeit with a different objective. In today’s job market, ideal candidates possess strengths such as effective communication, relationship management, problem solving and analysis. Your dream career may be closer than you think!

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