In a competitive job market, it can be challenging to make yourself a valuable prospect to potential employers and ace that job interview. This can come with many ups and downs, and when you’re struggling to find a job, you are sure to get more rejection than acceptance.
This is enough to get anybody down, no matter how ambitious or motivated they are. But, it can also help you understand whether your chosen career is right for you. If you’re struggling to find work, there is always the option to change careers. A career change is bound to be intimidating, but there are several ways you can prepare yourself for a new career.
Do Your Career Research
Researching your new company and the role you have been hired to do is one of the most effective ways to prepare yourself for your new career. This is especially true if you’re entering a new industry, so take your time to learn a little about industry trends that you can use to your advantage. Understanding more about the company by looking at its website or checking social media posts will also give you an idea of the company culture. This can prepare you for what you can expect on your first day. If the culture revolves around high energy, you want to be sure to match this energy to help you fit in.
Understand the Dress Code
The fear of being over- and under-dressed is something that everyone worries about on their first day, and you can’t go wrong with a business casual look. However, you want to make sure you impress on your first day, so if you’re having doubts about the dress code, send an email to your recruiter to find out what is expected. Ideally, you should look for the dress code for your interview, but with so much going on (and many interviews being conducted via Skype or Zoom), this isn’t possible. Hopefully, you hear back, or there might be information in an employee handbook or on job sites like Glassdoor.
Also, if the dress code is of importance to you, you want to know if this matches your personal preference and values. For instance, most start-ups are known for a relaxed dress code, technically there’s no dress code and this could be what you want for yourself.
Clarify Any Queries
You may also have a few questions about the role or management, so it’s best to get answers to these queries before starting. Your manager might not be at the office on your first day, so send an email with all the questions you have and what you can expect to do when you arrive. If you don’t have the time to send an email and your manager isn’t there when you arrive, speak to other employees or the office manager. Their answers should help you feel more confident and will make it easier to settle into your new role.
Know Where to Find Support
Your office is not the only place to find support. By now, almost every industry will have a plethora of online resources shared by experts and successful professionals. Some social media groups can provide advice for any problems you encounter, and dedicated websites will give you resources that you can borrow and take inspiration from. As a newbie, you won’t have the wealth of self-made information, so you will need to rely on others for help. Everyone from electricians to teachers can benefit from this, and you can see more here to get an idea of the type of resources available.
Dry Run The Commute
No one wants to be late on their first day, so doing a dry run of the commute when you have the time will relieve some of the pre-work stress. Whether you’re driving, cycling, or taking the bus, take the journey on a weekend when it will be less busy. If you’re very concerned about being late, you can test the commute during rush hour if possible, as this will give you a better idea of how long the journey will take getting from A to B. It is also worth exploring the area for cafes, parking lots, and anywhere else that could be of interest should you forget your lunch or struggle to find a space.
If flexible work hours are important to you, bring this up with the team to discuss how remote work might be of benefit to you and of course, to the team.
Think About Your Key Skills
Changing your career can come with plenty of worries, and one major worry is that you might not feel qualified for this role. While you might not have enough experience, you should have some key skills that companies look for when hiring someone new. Skills like problem-solving and time management are beneficial for any job, as is creativity, even if creativity in engineering is different from creativity in teaching. If you know your best skills, you’ll have no issues thriving in your new job, even if you don’t feel qualified for it just yet.
Have a Plan
A career plan will allow you to set goals and know what you need to do to reach them. Every professional should have some sort of plan, whether it’s a 90-day plan, one-year plan, or five-year plan. This makes it easy to measure your progress and realize if you’re hitting the targets you have set yourself. However, while plans are useful in the professional world, they do not need to be set in stone. Your plan should revolve around what’s best for you. As you can never predict the future, you must remember to be flexible and not panic if you need to deviate at any point.
Let Yourself Rest
There are bound to be nerves before starting a new job. Not everyone enjoys moving into a new environment, even if you know that it’s the best thing for you. As there will be so much going on during your first week at work, you should allow yourself to rest. Giving yourself the chance to sit back and relax can help you stop feeling nervous, which will put you in a better mind frame before your first day. Do something you enjoy, and don’t think too much about your new job until you need to.
The Next Step
Taking the next step in your professional life is always an exciting time, even if it can come with some apprehension and doubts. These are entirely natural, though, and if you know how to prepare yourself for a new job, you will walk through the door on your first day with all the confidence in the world.
Share below what your thoughts are on changing your career and how you plan to achieve your goal.