If you dream of a new job in a completely different sector to the one you currently work in or have trained for, it’s helpful to know what obstacles may stand in your way. A career change can be exciting and invigorating, but it can also be scary and overwhelming.
However, it’s only natural for us all to look for a change from time to time. Figures issued by the London School of Business and Finance show that 47% of the UK workforce say they’ve considered changing careers at some time, with a staggering 66% of young people stating they are actively looking for a new job in a new field.
So, if you’re looking to follow a new path in your working life, here are some top tips to securing a new job in a completely new sector.
Bridge the Skills Gap
One of the hardest challenges you’ll come up against when looking for a career change is how you showcase your training and experience. To overcome this, why not start looking into training opportunities within your new chosen field. You could even be entitled to financial help with retraining in the form of a loan, grant or bursary.
Doing this research will also help you to gain some relevant knowledge that will help you on your new career path. Read trade journals, online resources, join LinkedIn groups and even start conversations to really get your brain engaged with your new field.
In terms of your CV, the best way of smoothing over the unrelated work history sections is to put your skills first. It’s much easier to find transferable skills, rather than focusing on your career past. It’s often a much better way for prospective employers to get a sense of what you can offer them.
Network with People
One of the best ways to really understand a new business field is to talk to those that are currently employed in it. From junior to senior employees, ask them questions about their jobs, discover how it works in their sector and find out whether you could make it in their world.
This not only helps you understand their particular sector, it will also give you the right terminology to use and you could even find a professional mentor.
Over-prepare for Interviews
Researching the company or sector you want to work in could be the crucial factor that sets you apart from other candidates with more experience. Make sure you prepare lots of questions to ask in your interview, to show you have a genuine inquisitiveness about the role.
If you’re feeling brave, you could also focus on how you would go above and beyond to improve or add value to the business. Always highlight your strengths and make sure one of them is that you are a fast learner.
Demonstrate Your Unique Value
Rather than apologising or highlighting your unconventional background, celebrate it. Make it clear that your unique experience and skills are not only different but add something unusual which isn’t replicated by ‘identikit’ candidates.
You’ll have to push open more doors than candidates with predictable CVs but do so with informed enthusiasm. One of the most important attributes during an interview is enthusiasm.
Be Patient and Stay Motivated
Finding a new job in any field is time consuming and can be disheartening. Maintain your motivation by laying out a realistic timetable for the next few months to get you through the stages of searching, applying, interviewing etc.
Finally, try not to lose hope that your career change will happen. It may take a lot longer and a lot more applications than you had ever imagined just to get that first shot. But don;t worry, if you keep going and remain enthusiastic, the right role will come along.
A Career Change with Signature
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