Career introspection is the most effective reality check of where your professional journey is headed. There are millions of professionals who, after working for almost a decade in a particular industry start feeling that they have learned whatever is to learn out there. That they have accomplished enough. Some feel that the industry is nearing a stagnation. A strategic and objective career change can revive their chances of growth.
But changing careers is not a cake-walk especially for experienced candidates. Below are 5 key steps which you need to take for making an effective career change.
1. Target your Industry and Companies well.
An ideal career switch is the one where there far more challenges for to overcome, there is humungous scope for learning and a lot of opportunities to thrive on. But at the same time one should also consider how well your current skills could be applied in your new role.
Having industry experience is always a big plus, but in case of switching industries, you should make sure that at least you have the right general skill set which your desired company/industry is looking for. Below is the list of industries that hire outside their industries.
There are many examples where companies hire a candidate with a totally diverse experience. This is possible because of a common skill set. Many a times it is a personality trait which is inculcated into the hires by their previous job roles which is essential for their new but staggeringly diverse work profile. Below are few examples:
|Skills & Competencies||Specialization||Profiles|
|Extrovert, Networking skills, Tech Savvy, Excellent Communicator||Marketing||Most of the profiles like Sales, Branding & Advertising, Market Research, and Product Management would require these skills to excel.|
|Problem Solver, Analytical skills, Ambitious and Self-motivated, Knack on numbers, Logic & Reasoning||Finance||Cash & Credit management, Risk and Insurance Management, Investment Banking, Finance Management, Financial Analysis are the hot profiles for Finance students that call for these skills.|
|People Oriented, Excellent Listeners, Change Enablers, Change Managers, Oral and Verbal Communication, Convincing Skills.||HR||Recruitment, Industrial Relations, HR Development, Personnel Management, Compensation and Payroll management, Job Analysis, Performance Appraisals. Most of these profiles mostly require to factor in human preferences and needs which is tricky but always in-demand.|
|Attention to Detail, Negotiation Skills, Business Process Understanding, Zero-Error Efficiency, Technical Knowhow||Operations||Supply Chain management, Quality Control, Logistics. Inventory Control are some of the evergreen profiles in Operations.|
|IT Process Understanding, Technically Adept, Coding Experience||Information Technology||An MBA in IT can open up gates for software engineers to ambitious profiles like ERP Solutions Designer, Functional Consultant, Project Management, IT Sales and Solutions, IT Business Development|
2. Try to get the taste of your desired profile.
It’s always a clever strategy to look for an intern-ship into your desired role/company before starting as full time. This will provide you with the best possible exposure of your target profile. As pressure would be less while you are interning or volunteering, you could test your skills better and analyse your performance with a cool and relaxed mindset.
For people who look to switch towards entrepreneurship, try free lancing alongside your current job before taking the plunge.
3. Seek out for Industry related skills
If you are aiming at the same job where more experienced candidates are competing against you, a valued certification proves indispensable to stand a chance. Don’t hesitate to join a classroom training if need be. Sometimes the old school strategy is the only one effective.
4. Start Networking
This is the time to get into enriched industry related discussions with experienced professionals. Try reaching them via all channels – Social Media, LinkedIn, alumni network etc. If you do not get enough chances to converse, the least you can do is follow them on professional platforms and stay updated on their career initiatives.
5. Prepare Well for the Interview
A very famous quote by Charlotte Bronte – “True enthusiasm is a fine feeling whose flash I admire where-ever I see it.” The interviewer would already know that you are making a career switch. And it is not easy for anyone at any stage of one’s career.
You just need to communicate that this move is well-planned and you have the required enthusiasm to go through this transition. If you are taking the risk, you are responsible enough to get the appropriate return that would also benefit your employer.