It’s easier to make a career change during the pandemic with arguable reasons both socially and professionally. If you’ve been laid off recently, this might be a good time to rethink your career path.
Career change or industry change is not an easy task and requires effort, especially because getting a new job in your current industry may be hard enough. However, it’s not an impossible feat. It’s achievable. The most important thing is planning ahead for this adventurous journey.
For the purpose of this article, we will be considering both a change in career role or a change in the industry. So still within the same career line but entirely different industry. For example from a practicing accountant to a consultant in a software company. On the other hand, still an accountant but now leaving an accounting firm to become an accountant for a software company.
This post has been designed to fit just about any industry and will be beneficial to anyone currently working towards a career change especially during these unprecedented times. Here are tips to help you successfully begin a career change or transition.
Spending some time actively researching is very key especially when making this type of decision. Some people would rather ask friends or colleagues for directions. While this is not a bad idea, it’s equally important for you to do your research yourself because this is going to be a life decision that will alter every other aspect of your being. Besides, what works for one person may not necessarily work for you.
It’s important for you to be better informed. So consider where you intend to practice this new career that you want to delve into and take note of the current industry trends, the economy, and the direction it is headed.
Here are things to research on depending on the new industry you are considering:
- Will this industry or job role still be available in another 10 years?
- Will there be jobs or are the jobs dying out? Evaluate current employment trends in your geographical location especially with the pandemic
- Consider whether the jobs will be reduced by the use of technology and plan a strategy to tilt towards the technological aspect of your prospective career
- How much do these jobs pay or what is the pay rate in this new industry?
- Will there be possible career growth in this industry?
- Will the career growth be horizontal or vertical? Which type of career growth appeals more to you?
- Look out on LinkedIn for people who also transitioned from your present career to your prospective career. Compare how each person transitioned. You will find out through their education and previous/ present jobs
- Look out for people on LinkedIn who are currently in the role you are considering. What did they do to get there? What are the key skills necessary for the job?
- Research on whether education in your prospective industry will be compulsory for you to succeed
- Identify similarities between your present industry experience and prospective industry no matter how little. You’ll need this to tweak your resume
- Subscribe to online letters, channels, and blogs in your prospective industry and begin reading and getting familiar with terminologies
- Reach out to old contacts for any additional questions you may have (yes, now you can ask away!)
Many people hate to do research because it takes a lot of time and dedication, but if you really want to have a successful career transition during the pandemic, you need to invest your time in researching. It’ll prevent any mishap and you will have a smooth transition. It will also help you to be equipped for challenges you may have to face in the future because you’d have a good structure to proceed with.
2. Tweak your resume to match your career change
Play down your previous experience and find areas that align with your prospective industry/ role. You want your resume to show that you have soft or hard skills that will be valuable to this new role.
A good cover letter is equally important. Try to spend as much time writing one. It shouldn’t be too long or too short and shouldn’t exceed one page.
Remember that you’ll have to make several applications to have a higher chance of landing your dream role especially wit the competitive job market. We recommend applying to nothing less than twenty jobs per day. These should be recent jobs posted and remember to network as well as some roles may not be publicly published. That sounds like so much work, but it’s for the best.
Also, always ensure that you tailor your resume to fit your location or that of where you intend to work.
Download: Resume Template
3. Elevator pitch
As someone transitioning, it’s always a good idea to have a great and succinct elevator pitch or speech because you never know who you may encounter. It’s a good idea to have a pitch that sells you as someone passionate about this new industry you want to delve into. You should be prepared to share this pitch with anyone, at any time, especially decision-makers.
4. Practice humility
Deciding to switch careers with the current pandemic may mean that you need to start from scratch. But quite honestly, it all depends on your present career level. For example, a salesperson could work in any other industry, all that would be changing would be the industry, but the soft skills needed would still be the same and so would be the function.
However, be willing to adapt to change and show passion. Humility helps a lot in career transition because you’ll be willing to go through challenges as long as it leads you towards your ultimate goal: a career change.
5. Be open to new ideas
The future is uncertain presently but it’s also the current beauty of things if you choose to look at it that way. Feel free to explore new ideas which may include starting out some form of entrepreneurship.
Instead of having one single plan, be open to having around 3 different career options you can move into. Be open to contract opportunities as well as it may be the best way to get moving while gaining experience in your new field. So keep in mind your skills and how you can explore opportunities.
5. Be passionate about the career change
If you are serious about a career change there should be a motivating factor and this should show. Let your passion shine. Try to volunteer in organizations that are in the industry you intend to switch to. This is a subtle way to network but yet stay relevant in the trends for the industry.
Also, bear in mind that depending on your prospective industry, you may need to compromise on compensation or job title in your next job (for the new industry). This isn’t always the case but it is worth having at the back of your mind.
However, ensure that whatever you decide to do is something that you can live with after all is said and done. Have a long term plan on how you intend to raise your salary or change your title if this is important to you.
Share in the comment section. If you are considering a switch in career, what are you doing towards this? If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it with friends and family! Subscribe to the blog to receive exclusive updates and information in your inbox.