If you’re feeling bogged down at work, it could be time to go out and find that dream job.
No matter your age or career path, it’s never too late to find something new. Anna Howell, founder of career guidance service The Careers Lounge, tells you how to do just that.
In a perfect world, we would stay in the same dream job for 40-plus years starting as a newbie and working hard, rising to the rank of CEO.
The skills we pick up along the way are invaluable and this is what we are usually judged on for promotion.
However, our dream job is not always our forever job. Many of us will seek to find a career change at some point in our lives. Sometimes it’s not an option but a necessity, due to the changing face of technology and the world of work.
There are many other reasons people look for a career change at 30, 40 and beyond. It could be the boredom of a 9-to-5 routine, financial stability, exhaustion, a clash of personalities or simply that it’s not the dream job you once thought it was.
Whatever the reason, it can be a daunting experience, but don’t be put off by the prospect. But remember, changing careers is a journey not a day trip.
Making the switch
Nowadays, a career change is all about networking and adaptability, particularly in this part of the world.
Don’t try to keep up with the new kids on the block, chasing jobs with their shiny new qualifications and abundance of enthusiasm. Embrace what you have: experience, skills and confidence.
Firstly, think about what’s holding you back from your career change. Is it you? Every time you feel the need to change career do you look online for that perfect job and not find it? Do you read every career change book you can, and get demotivated? Have you done every personality test with little success?
Start by overhauling your CV; sometimes we forget how dated they become. There are plenty of great templates online, so don’t go for the usual format, try something different.
An employer takes six to 10 seconds to initially scan your CV so make sure it stands out and that you impress.
Sell those transferrable skills you’ve accumulated and that are relevant to the job you want. Then send it with a covering letter to a company you’ve always wanted to work for, outlining why you want to work for them and how you can add value to their business.
If you’re not on LinkedIn, maybe its time you were; it’s the professional person’s Facebook, and a great place to network.
Secondly, perhaps you need a different mind set or tactic. Mixing with different people can spark ideas you hadn’t thought of.
Be practical and start a new course to upgrade your skills, step out of your comfort zone and do something you’ve always wanted to do.
Mixing with people who have similar ideas and different connections to you might be the people who move you forward.
Volunteering and work shadowing are hugely undervalued, yet incredibly worthwhile. Being in a different environment might inspire you to do something invigorating and exciting, but until you try how will you ever know? Look for people to move you forward, not jobs.
Stepping out of your comfort zone to mix with new people, especially after a certain age when you feel at ease with what and whom you know, is frightening.
Unfortunately, a CV doesn’t always show your enthusiasm or willingness to learn; its about building relationships with people from a range of organisations and building up a network of possible job contacts.
Once they know you and can see your commitment, focus, personality and how you would fit in to their organisation, then your CV will become your calling card.
Finally, you will need to be open-minded and honest with yourself. You might need to take a salary cut or go back to university or college to reach your goal, but remember, you have a wealth of experience, skills and determination to offer so go out and embrace this new chapter.
WORDS Rachael Perrett