A competitive salary. Career advancement opportunities. Corporate culture. Stagnation. These are some of the reasons why one may consider leaving their current job. Mid-career professionals — especially those who want to shift to a completely different field — may find the process unsettling, however.
If you are a mid-career professional, here are 7 tips that can help you make a successful career switch into your industry of choice.
1) Be honest with yourself
Ask yourself why you are attempting to make a career move. Listing out what you like and dislike about your current job can give you insights into how to approach your next job opportunity, such as what to negotiate for in the contract.
When considering a mid-career change, you should also be realistic. For instance, do you have the skills and experience needed for this new job? Are you willing to adjust to a more junior position and work alongside younger colleagues? Are you able to accept a pay cut?
2) Match your skill sets with jobs that are in demand
What are the skill sets in demand at the moment? Which are the industries offering the appropriate job opportunities? Match your current set skill sets with those needed in the job market, so that you have a higher chance of landing a job in your industry of interest.
3) Gather first-hand information
Understanding the job, industry, or company can help you make a more informed decision about your career move, especially if the information is first-hand. Do not hesitate to speak to people who are working or have worked in the industry you are interested in about their experiences.
4) Update your resume and online profiles
More headhunters and hiring managers are using social media to seek out suitable candidates. Therefore, it pays to keep your resume and online profiles updated. When job hunting, highlight the technical and digital skills you are equipped with, which are sought after in job listings, or showcase your transferrable skills, including interpersonal and soft skills in communication, presentation, and more.
5) Create a transition plan
Discuss your career transition plan with your loved ones. This is a crucial step to prepare your family for changes in lifestyle, spending habits, priorities, and more.
6) Look within your current company for career opportunities
Your mid-career change would be less strenuous if it is a move within your current company. For one, you will not lose your tenure and benefits. Furthermore, your learning curve will be less steep because you are already familiar with the corporate culture as well as organisational policies.
7) Use your professional network to aid your job search
Over the years, you may have developed a professional network. This is the best time to reach out to your network for recommendations or information about job vacancies. You could also consider reconnecting with former colleagues who are working in the industry that interests you.
Making a mid-career change will present challenges. Proper planning, discussions with your loved ones, reaching out to your professional network, and making sure you adopt a “lifelong learning” mindset are your best defences against the uncertainties that lie ahead.
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