It is not uncommon for many persons after they have studied and graduated that you may want to change your career once you entered the workplace.
Even successful leaders make career changes. Businessman Lee Iacocca, transitioned his career from student engineer to salesman before rising to the President of Ford Motor Company.
Richard Nelson Bolles in his best-selling book ‘What Color is your Parachute’ recommended 7 rules that one must following when changing careers.
Hereunder are these 7 rules discussed in detail:
Do informational interviews
Bolles recommends that persons should consider careers that are fascinating. However, this must be done first by talking to persons who are actually doing the job.
This will help you clarify whether your expectations of what the job is like matches the reality of the role. The process that you can use to gather information about a role is called informational interviewing.
Bolles explained that the purpose of informational interviewing is four fold:
To screen careers before you change to them.
To screen jobs before you take them.
To screen places before you decide that you want to work there.
To obtain answers to specific questions that you may find while job searching.
Some useful questions to ask to get a clear picture of what the role is about include:
What do you like the best about this job?
What do you like the least about this job?
How did you get into this line of work?
What qualifications is an individual who does this line of work required to have?
I have written a post that goes in depth on informational interviewing. Feel free to read this article to get insight on how to conduct an informational interview effectively.
Balance Consistency and Change
While changing careers, do not change everything in your life at the same time. As an example, if you are changing your career then starting a degree simultaneously may not be the wisest idea.
The demands of starting a new role coupled with starting a degree may result in little success in both of these areas. Therefore, spend some time and reflect to ensure that you can effectively balance the change.
Bolles states that when considering a career change, start with yourself and what you want rather than the job market or particular roles that are trending.
A statement that is often made by career counselors is “the clearer your vision of what you seek, the closer you are to finding it.”
Therefore spend some time and reflect on what exactly you want to achieve in the next chapter of your career. Once you have completed this only then should you begin your job search.
Perform a Self Inventory
In changing your job, spend some time and do a self- inventory. This entails asking yourself some tough questions so that you find the role that is right for you.
Some of these questions include:
What skills do you have that you can transfer from one industry to the other?
What are your favourite subject areas?
Where would you like to work?
What fields or industry fascinate you?
What job aligns with your personal career goals, life goals and values?
What is your preferred working conditions?
What salary and other job benefits would you want to receive?
What is your preferred working conditions?
What is your preferred people environments?
Give it Time
The more time you give it, the better the opportunity that you will find something that matches what you are looking for.
While this must be considered within your personal financial situation, if you take a job that you not happy with you may end up leaving quickly which could result in bad relationship with previous employers.
If this happens many times, you may appear as a serial job hopper. So plan for a long search, give it time and you are more likely to get a job that is in line with your expectations.
Don’t be afraid to pivot
Don’t be afraid to fail. There are several persons who have started at a job and realized that they not like the role and had to pivot.
Regardless of your age, you will have to time to correct it as usually most individuals have several careers during their lifetime.
Bolles indicated that the more fun that you are having, the more you are doing the search correctly. So try to stay positive during the process.
If you are unemployed try to find activities to utilize your time. Free time does not come around everyday so ensure and maximize it to the fullest.
A career change is a season of transition. It is important to approach and remain in this season prayerful and positive.
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