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eng >> Career Centre >> Changing Careers
Changing careers is not often easy. Even if you are equipped with the relevant skills, you’ll need that extra bit of effort to land your perfect job. Here are some tips to help you undertake a successful crossover.
• Identify transferable skills - Do an honest evaluation of your talents and experience and consider which are the ones you can carry over into your new line of work. Your resulting list is what you should use to sell yourself to potential employers. However, if you notice some glaring gaps in your existing skills set and your intended job position, now is the time to seriously consider embarking on a course of study or training in order to gain the required knowledge.
• Gather information - Find out as much as you can about your considered profession. Talk to individuals who are in that line of work, attend industry events (if you can) and read up on the profession. Be sure that you are making the career change for the right reasons for you.
• Extend your links – Use your existing network to connect with people within your new industry. Contact your college or university alumni networks to seek out ex-schoolmates who have volunteered as mentors in their respective fields. The point is to find something in common with these people (a mutual acquaintance or school) even if you don’t know them. Before you call these people, plan what you are going to say to them so as not to waste their time.
• Cold call potential employers – Make cold calls to the companies you would like to work for and sell your skills and experience to the hiring manager. You’ll be demonstrating your patience, perseverance and proactiveness to future employers. You might also end up finding a role that isn’t advertised in the usual channels.
• Get your foot in the door first – Consider a temp or freelance position in the company or industry that you would like to join in order to meet new people and more importantly, give them a chance to evaluate your potential. Who knows, your temp position may eventually turn into a permanent role.
• Talk to strangers – Think different. Use online social networking and join interest groups in order to meet people who can help you in your chosen field.
• Look at your finances - Make sure that your current financial situation is sound. You should have enough money to support yourself and your dependants for at six months or however long it takes you to find another job. Also consider that you might have to take a pay cut or accept a lower position when you finally do find a job in a new industry.
• Seek support - Talk to your family and friends and gain their emotional and moral support in your search. Discuss your plans with them, especially if your career change will affect them.
Good luck in your search!