Many of our new clients call us having already made attempts to change career and report feeling so frustrated and downtrodden, at their inability to be viewed differently by recruiters. Feeling it’s impossible to change direction now unless they do something really drastic, like go back to the bottom of another industry or go back to university.
What we commonly find, is most people view career change as a one-step process and get frustrated when they can’t just take that leap and be in a new career. Here we discuss 7 tips and the importance of thinking of career change as more of a pivoting, multi-step process.
Never fear, something that drastic is very rarely needed, what we focus on is helping people to switch their mindset first and foremost and upgrade their approach to a more creative, strategic and pro-active one.
If you’re finding it difficult to change industries, I bet your main job-finding route is recruitment agencies? We hear from people each and every day who are frustrated with being pigeon-holed by their past role or experience and can’t seem to get even a bite of interest from other industries. Almost exclusively, we hear this from people using recruitment agencies as their main source of job-finding.
Recruitment industry rule number 1, recruitment agencies are driven by targets, targets, targets and all you are to them is whatever you’ve done in the past, the easiest role they can place you in, to hit their target! I’ve worked with quite a few ex-recruitment consultants, and it is this black and white, it’s essentially a sales-job, not a career advisor position. Taking your career back into your hands is key!
The answer to changing your career successfully, is more to do with imaginative strategy than anything else. If you continue doing the same actions, you’ll keep getting the same results. Simply put, change your actions, engage your brain, think independently and strategically work our your course of alternative action and pivot your way to a new career. Here’s our top 7 tips:
1. Clarify what is it you’re trying to achieve.
Do you want more work life balance, more development, progression, stimulation, less? A more suited culture. A career more in line with your core values? Really do the ground work here to help you be very clear on what your objectives are. What’s worked, what hasn’t, why the change?
Outline what you want this change to be in 3 years time, 5 years time, 10 years time. And work back to a year from now, 6 months from now to identify the steps you need to take now to get to these milestones and align with your larger goals. The more you can break this down, the easier it is to have clear actionable steps to achieve your goals.
2. Outline what resources you have to achieve this.
Contacts, network, experience, funds, time, the support of a partner, a friend.
Outline the challenges you have. Maybe you don’t have a lot of support in making the change, maybe you don’t have a lot of time, is it worth considering getting a Coach, a change-buddy, joining a network or group? Obstacles can also be your own mindset or confidence levels, get Instant Confidence by Paul McKenna or start a daily fitness routine to boost serotonin and improve your self-image and self-worth.
4. Use your Network to learn first, create opportunities second.
LinkedIN is great, but, we recommend a healthy mix of online and offline interaction. Get out and start listening and learning. Who’s doing what? Go through your contacts, your alumni and just notice what you are most attracted to. What do they do, what does their company do? Learn and use the information to help you clarify where you want to be.
Get out and about and meet people, talk to people, learn from people, show people who you are and what you’re about. And then when you are clear about what you want, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask these contacts for work experience, shadowing experience, informational interviews etc.
Informational interviews are fantastic ways to get in front of people doing things that are of interest to you and getting direct feedback in terms of how you can make yourself more attractive if coming a different background.
5. Show don’t tell.
Get work experience, charity work, start a blog, set up a personal website or give talks, or do a course to show there’s more to you than your last industry/role. This can be a great way to qualify whether this route is for you in reality or not, to show more diversity or demonstrate the breadth of your skill-set on your CV or This is a crucial step that so many people find excuses not to do, that so many people find they don’t have the time to. The more of this you do, the quicker, more informed and smoother your change will be. If you want the change badly enough, you’ll see how worthwhile this investment in you is.
6. Go direct.
Be pro-active and approach companies you feel aligned to and interested in and see what opportunities or openness there is there to someone of your experience, skill-set. Elminate the middle-man.
When you know what you want to achieve, work out the steps, see it as a pivoting process from where you are to where you want to be. It’s rarely a one step process and being realistic and fair to yourself, is the only way to ensure success. A series of steps, an interim job may help or a secondment in another department.
Your approach needs to be creative, dynamic so that you can side-step the competition, ignore the recruitment process and show yourself for what you can do, not what you have done.