You know that you want a career change. You have known it for a long time but the prospect of actually doing it is daunting.
There are so many ifs, ands and buts about switching jobs and getting started is the hardest one. Where will I go? Will I have to take less money? Will anyone even hire me?
And then you think, “Maybe I should just stay in the job I have now.”
No! To move to a new job or career you just have to start at the beginning.
Here are my 5 Ways to Make a Career Change, Even if the Prospect Leaves You Paralyzed.
#1 – Do your research.
This is the most important place to start. Doing your research is essential to getting yourself going. So many of us get stuck in the same old job because we have no idea what our options are.
See what sort of jobs are out there that you might be interested in, whether in your industry or in another industry.
See what jobs are in alignment with your skillset. You have lots of skills that you have acquired over the years, skills that could be useful in a variety of industries.
Research the industries you are interested in, even if it’s the one you already work in. Things change so quickly these days and it’s important to stay up to date if you are going to be putting yourself out there.
Information is power, especially when it comes to a job search.
#2 – Update your resume and your cover letter.
This is very important. Whether you have been in the same job for 3 years or 30, an updated resume and cover letter are essential. And using the correct format is essential.
Resumes and cover letters these days are no longer read by potential employers but rather scanned. There are so many applicants for jobs that that is all potential employers have time to do.
Make your resume and cover letter succinct and to the point, very clearly highlighting your skills and experience. Use dot whacks not full sentences for easy scanning. Put your most relevant skills near the top of your resume as many employers don’t get more than a quarter of the way down the page before they move on.
Never, ever, ever indicate anywhere that you are lacking skills. You might be but you don’t need to tell your potential employer before it is absolutely necessary, if ever.
#3 – Apply, apply, apply.
Once you have your resume up to date start applying.
There are a variety of sites where jobs are posted. Locate the ones in your industry and check them daily. The same with companies that you are interested in working for. They post their jobs in the human resources section of their websites. Checking them regularly will ensure that you don’t miss out on any opportunities.
Don’t hold back. Apply for any jobs that interest you. There are so many job applicants these days that it might take some time before you get a callback. Or not, because your resume is awesome!
Another important thing to do is reach out to your contacts. The best way to get an interview is through a personal recommendation. So use those contacts. That’s what they are there for.
#4 – Brush up on your interview skills.
How long has it been since you have had a job interview? A year? 10 years? Interviewing can be like riding a bike in that you remember how to even if you haven’t for a while but practicing will make sure you don’t fall off.
When you land an interview take a few minutes and consider some questions that they might ask you. Think about what you might answer and practice speaking those answers out loud. Work with a friend or with your mirror. But do it! Practice…
#5 – Don’t give up!
Again, like #1, this is key.
Applying for a job can be frustrating and disheartening. There are so many people out there applying for jobs and it can be hard to stand up and be noticed.
But you will be. Put your best self out there as often as you can and you will be discovered and given the opportunity to shine.
Don’t give up until you get the job of your dreams.
So there you go: 5 Ways to Make a Career Change, Even if the Prospect Leaves You Paralyzed.
No one should be stuck in a job that they have outgrown. Don’t let indecision and the unknown hold you back from looking for a new job.
Just start at the beginning and before you know it you will be on your way.
Looking for more ways to successfully change your career? Contact me now and I can help!
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.