Finding a new job is not such a difficult task if you know where to look and, more importantly, know what you are searching for. Finding employment in a field that is not related to the one you’re currently working in might seem like it adds an extra layer of difficulty, but that’s not necessarily the case.
Since most jobs today require skills in all sorts of different fields, switching career paths isn’t that difficult, as long as you can find ways of adapting your previous work experience to your new profession.
According to a survey done in 2012, nearly half of the people, who had just graduated, believed their first job had nothing to do with their future career. Switching career paths is a normal course of action nowadays.
Of course, this depends a lot on how big of a switch it is. You might find it harder to go from a job in public relations to something like biochemistry. But even this is not impossible. As long as you are “acutely” aware of what it is you want from your job and are committed to the change, you can stay motivated all throughout the transition.
Before deciding to go all the way with the switch, you should consider whether or not you are dissatisfied with the job, or with the field your work in. Maybe all you need is a break from work.
Taking a break requires way less commitment, and it’s a genuine opportunity to take a step back, and reassess your relationship with your job, and field.
You should take some time to do a little introspection before you start preparing for the switch. Find out what prompted this change in attitude. Compare and contrast your current career path with the one you want in the future.
Think about what this new job and new career path can offer you, that your current one can’t. Don’t just focus on differences. See if there’s anything they have in common. Finding similarities between these two career paths can help you ease your transition. And it can help you explain your change of heart to your future employer.
If you are certain that you need to switch to a different career path, the first thing to do is make out a list of transferable skills. These are the types of skills you can take from one field, and use them in another. The key to figuring out what is transferable is to think about how you go about performing your daily tasks in your current job.
Does your work require you to be highly organized? Or to face tight deadlines? Do you have to interact with people as part of your job? All of these things that you may have been taking for granted are part of the skill set that can land you your new job.
If there are certain skills that are required from you in your chosen field, and you feel you’re lacking, or are not up to par, consider taking some adult courses. The first step to finding the right classes for you is taking the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). There are some institutions that administer the test and offer a platform guide to prepare you for it.
Switching career paths is not just about having the right skill set and making up for lost time. You shouldn’t dismiss the experience you’ve already gained. Just like in any job search, you have to find a way to stand out from the crowd.
Coming in from a different field, with a new “kit” of skills, and a unique set of experiences can actually be an advantage. With candidates working in the same domain for years, employers kind of know what to expect, and it may be hard for them to make a clear distinction between several candidates who are similar in terms of their education, and work experience. But you can be a breath of fresh air.
You should already have some of the basic abilities required for the job, but you should also explain how you can use your previous experience to make you a more attractive candidate for the job.
Don’t avoid talking about your change in careers. Be honest with your employer. If you are truly passionate about the field you’re moving into, that’s bound to make a good impression. Unlike other candidates, you had the time to think about your decision. You didn’t just choose this job because this is what you were trained for. You did it because you genuinely want to do it and do it well, for the rest of your life.
Nowadays, most good jobs require a lot of diverse skills. Finding a new job and switching career paths might sound scary, but most smart employers are looking for people who can handle a lot of different tasks, from various domains, with ease. Make sure you highlight your unique assets during your next job search!
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