You’ve made a big decision: It’s time to not only change jobs, but to try a new career. That’s great! This is a bold step that can make for an even brighter future!
There might be some nerves involved as you work toward this new role or industry. But don’t let that dissuade you from trying. Every new job has a learning curve, whether it’s a new job in the same company or moving to a brand new organization altogether.
Here are some tips for easing that big transition and taking it all in stride.
- Start by asking why. The biggest thing to consider before embarking on this journey is why you want to. Are you frustrated in your current position and feel like there’s no room to grow? Is your current work environment unhealthy — either physically or mentally? Do you have an issue with a manager that cannot be resolved internally? Do you feel like you’ve done all you can do at your current job and the only way to advance your career is by joining another company in the same field, or taking your skills to a whole new industry? Determine the core issue for wanting to make a big change and give it some real thought, including weighing whether you’ve explored all your options in your current position, before taking the next step.
- Think about what you’ve liked in previous jobs. If you’re not sure what, exactly, you want to do next, take a little time to think it through. What tasks and responsibilities have you enjoyed about previous jobs? Did you enjoy working with customers? Did you like writing reports? Were you happiest working on a big project with lots of people or having specific tasks assigned to you that allowed you to work independently? Which skills did you most enjoy learning and using? All of those things can help shape an image of where you should go next. If you’ve worked in the restaurant industry and enjoyed meeting customers, maybe a job in sales would be a great next step. If you like talking to people but also multitasking, a front office job might be a good idea, as you’d be answering phones, greeting customers or clients while also keeping calendars organized and handling mail.
- Determine what skills you’re missing. If you’ve been out of school for a while, or you’ve spent years in the same industry but are ready to make a change, it could be worth looking into a few job descriptions that sound interesting and seeing what new skills are missing. You might consider taking an online course or checking into what a local community college or vocational school is offering in order to brush up on some skills that might’ve become outdated. Or you might decide to learn something brand new. Someone who is willing to learn and take on new challenges, especially if it’s of their own volition, is someone who will be seen as ambitious and dedicated to a potential new employer.
- Understand your soft skill strengths. Every job has specific knowledge and abilities tied to it: people who drive heavy machinery need to know how to operate those machines compared to the average vehicle; people who work in law offices need to know how to read and interpret legalese. But other skills are transferable — these “soft skills” are useful in many different types of positions in varying ways. Good communication skills, both written and spoken, are in high demand, especially as some companies offer remote or hybrid arrangements, because sharing information clearly and quickly helps keep everyone on the same page. Time management skills are crucial for keeping things organized and on task without getting distracted. Organizational skills mean no time is wasted because everything is where it needs to be — whether that’s files, documents, tools, software, etc. Start to think about the work you’ve done and what soft skills you’ve honed over the years and think about how those same skills can be applied to new uses.
- Try to find a mentor. If you’re looking to change industries, or take on a wholly different kind of position within the same industry, find someone who’s in the position you’d like to learn more about. If you have a friend whose job sounds interesting, ask them about it. What do they like? What’s a typical day for them? How much does that change? What’s the best day vs the worst day? You want to get a sense of what you’re getting into before making a big leap. Find someone who works in the same position, or something similar, and ask lots of questions, including what kind of training they wish they’d had before starting the position. The more you can educate yourself in advance, the better you’ll be prepared before starting the role — and the more confident you can be that you’re making a good switch.
It’s understandable to be a little nervous when contemplating a big change. Before jumping into anything, ask yourself whether you’d regret making the change and pursuing something new more than you’d regret staying where you are, in a place that’s comfortable and safe and something you know really well. Consider the potential victories of making the change along with the possible struggles. Be honest with yourself and listen to your gut. If all signs point to making the leap, go forth!
If you’re still unsure what to try next, call Davis Staffing. Our recruiters can tell you how your skills can be applied to other industries and they can let you know which open positions might be a good fit. Take a look at our jobs site then give us a call. Let’s find your new career together!