Time for a Career Change?

With January almost upon us, we say goodbye to 2018 and welcome the start of a new year and, quite possibly a new career.  Life is too short to be stuck in a job we dislike, but it is important to question why we dislike our job! So many times, we hear the same scenario where someone leaves their unsatisfactory job to join a new company and, six months down the line, find themselves in yet another unsatisfactory job!

Close to Marbella is Gibraltar, the hub of the gaming industry.  Here is where we witness the most common reason for wanting to change jobs, i.e. career burnout.  Other common factors that see people seeking a change is due to evolving interests or passions, particularly where a person is in a profession that they are deeply unhappy in. 

Career change is a little more complicated than regular job hunting and will need some careful planning.  It certainly will not happen overnight so put a time scale in place before you give up on your current job.  Twelve months is a good starting point, but aim to may spend a little more time if specialist training is involved.

A great way to change a career is to get out there and look at what is on offer.  Look at locations you are willing to travel or relocate. Get onto LinkedIn and search for jobs that suit your skills (update your LinkedIn profile so that recruiters can also find you).  You may find that you have the skills and experience to do a job or work in a particular industry you would never have considered, for example social media marketing, content writing, car sales, real estate.   Keep checking daily and put yourself with all the recruitment agencies in your desired locations.  

Become familiar with the industry you are most interested in, and find out who are the key players, terminology and buzzwords and as much other relevant information as possible, to enable you to drop these into any interview or networking situations and conversations.

Regularly revisit your CV ensuring you have listed all of your accomplishments and skills, but ensure these are relevant to any role you are applying.  A job description will give you clues as to what the role requires; tick these off on your CV, omitting any irrelevant information.

Ensure your work history shows some consistency and direction rather than aimless job-hopping.  Employers will want to match your experience and skills with the job role on offer.  Using key words to gain extra ticks in the boxes will give you a better chance of an interview.  Reading though the job description will give you the industry vocabulary and make your application more relevant.  However, ensure you have a good understanding of this language if this is a new industry for you.

Be prepared to sell your strengths and skills, as you will want to demonstrate that you are unique from other candidates.  Having confidence in your abilities and past successes will set you apart and provide focus for your CV.   Never underestimate important community or non-professional achievements.  For example charitable or voluntary involvements should be included.

A good way to start a completely new career in a specific industry is to try to gain a foot on the ladder at an entry-level role.  Use your cover letter to explain why you are applying for a particular role, i.e. that you are looking for a career change.  Your existing skills should be highlighted as transferrable and a benefit to the organisation.   The chances are the employer will be looking at hiring someone from outside the industry to bring a fresh perspective to the role and to the organisation.

Networking is a great way to meet important decision makers.  Look for networking events in your desired area and make sure you attend regularly to become a familiar face and make the right contacts.

Glenda Smithson