STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESSFUL CAREER CHANGE - NO. 7-12
7. RESEARCH AND LEARN
Start digging into all of the sources you can find to identify what your potential new career field entails. Learn what tasks need to be performed, how often, how people succeed, why people fail, including what characteristics are important. Now, how does this information compare with you and your skills.
You can look on LinkedIn for individuals that are in the career field you would like to enter. Strike up a conversation and get to know them, if possible. You could ask them if they could provide feedback on their view of this career. It is a bit harder to locate the right person, but it can yield results.
There are several mentor sites you could search to see if any mentors are in the field you want to enter. Of course, CareerRedo.com does provide access to mentors in numerous career categories.
See if your mentor is waiting for you to reserve an hour phone call with them. One of the best reasons to use this approach is that the mentor is usually available fairly quickly. You can begin gaining insight soon which will help you in your decision process. Most of these mentors do charge a fee for their services, but in most cases, you will probably feel that it was well worth it to gain such information directly and quickly. One of the best strategies for successful career change is to talk with a career mentor.
8. CONSIDER ALTERNATIVE CAREER FIELDS
You could also evaluate talking with a career counselor or coach to help you understand yourself and for which fields you may be well suited.
Usually, such a counselor may not know all of the elements and details involved in a specific career field (which is why a mentor is so valuable) but they can help you in the matching of your skill set with career options.
9. LEARN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE ABOUT THE CAREER FIELD OF INTEREST
There are several ways to do this:
- Reach out - Do some digging to locate individuals in organizations or companies that are involved in that field. Cold calling can work, but it is better to find an associate of some person to assist in the introduction. This could be time consuming but may work.
- Volunteer - Try to locate an organization that is involved in some way with the field of interest. Volunteer at an animal shelter if your interest is veterinary. Look for an industry organization in which you could offer your services to hope to get to know others for future access.
- Attend a class - In your earlier analysis, you may have found an area in which you need basic or additional guidance to fully understand. Take classes to increase your knowledge and skill set.
- Find a Mentor - An experienced individual with a background in your field of interest is invaluable. They can help you almost immediately to help you focus and to provide insight. This is one of the most direct methods to aid you in your analysis. Look for your mentor in this list.
10. PREPARE FOR THE SHIFT
Prepare, prepare, prepare! That is the right approach. It is time to upgrade your skills and improve your knowledge of the desired career field. Use all of the sources available to you to increase your knowledge base. Learn and grow.
Develop yourself to the exact person that the new organization is looking for. And prepare yourself so you will not find any surprises when you land that new job.
11. ADJUST YOUR BRAND
Use social media and organizations to which you belong to show that you are knowledgeable and proficient in the field of your choice. This prepares others who are researching you to see that you fit the bill.
So in addition to the work you do on yourself, you should show others that you are in the right mindset and are ready for the shift.
12. ASSOCIATE WITH YOUR TARGET GROUP
You need to get to know people in the desired career field, especially those who are passionate about it. Look for things in which these individuals have an interest. Use that as a means to complement them to develop a rapport.
Soon you could ask for some of their time to provide additional guidance and insight for you. When approached the right way most people would be glad to provide some assistance. Thank them for all that they do for you.