There are many reasons you might be thinking about a career change right now. Maybe you’ve been working in your field for a few years and realize it’s not somewhere that you feel you have opportunities to grow, and that it is not an area you feel passionately about. It could be that the organization you are currently with does not have a good sense of boundaries, and you haven’t been able to achieve a sustainable work-life balance. The pandemic has thrown many of these questions into sharp relief as well: many people are asking whether the place they have been working or have returned to work is the place they want to stay.
If you have begun to think about making a change in your career, but are not sure what steps to take, here are a few places to start:
1. Seek the advice of others
Who in your life knows you well? Do you have friends or family that you could seek advice from, not just on “what you should do”, but on how they see you – your strengths and your temperament, and how these might equip you for a potential career? If you have former co-workers whose opinion you value, seek them out for advice as well. All of these people may be able to offer insight on your next step.
2. Hunker Down
Take the advice you’ve received from others, and really spend some time mulling on it. Think about your own disposition, as well as work you’ve done previously. Are there types of work that you find yourself drawn to? Are there tasks you’ve particularly enjoyed in your current or previous positions? What about that work did you enjoy?
3. Separate Skills from Status
This is partly related to the idea mentioned above. When you envision what you’d like to do or be in the future, separate it from the titles, the company name, or the status associated with the position you might have. What kind of skillset would you like to build for yourself moving forward? What kinds of things would you like to spend your time doing?
If you’re already in the midst of moving towards something new:
1. Your resume should be an asset
Don’t think of your resume as a recitation of every single professional experience you’ve had. It’s a tool, a document to make the case for you as the best fit for a particular job opening. Think about what you’re aiming for professionally; then, think about how your resume conveys to potential employers that you are the best fit for them.
2. Emphasize your Transferable Skills
Take a close look at your employment experience. How have those experiences translated into skills, and what are those skills? You may find that there are skills that you haven’t even explored in your resume. As you think about these questions, then think about how these skills might be relevant for a position that’s not in your current organization or industry. How could these skills be translated onto a resume?
3. Credentials can be a reset
Don’t let one part of your resume prevent you from seeing the whole professional picture. If you don’t have just the “right” degree or background experience, don’t let that stop you from exploring the field. Is there a certificate that might offer a credential to make an employer take a closer look? What about opportunities for volunteering in an organization that you're interested in? These kinds of opportunities can be a professional reset, allowing you to explore different options, and shift your career path over time.
Looking for more information?
Set up a meeting with one of our Career Coaches through the Book an Appointment form or by calling 803-929-3401. Our team provides help with interviewing skills, résumés, interest/skills assessments, and more. Follow Richland Library on LinkedIn and subscribe to our YouTube channel for career development tips and tidbits.