Deciding on a new career move?
At some point in your career, you will probably toy with the idea of having a complete change of pace or embarking upon a new challenge. Whether this means you want to flex your creative muscles, find a role that demands more client contact or want to re-train as a nurse, social worker or police officer, taking those all-important first steps towards a rewarding new job can be a daunting prospect.
If you’re currently thinking about a change of direction but are unsure how to go about it or even what you want to be doing this time next year, read on for some useful advice from job seekers who have been there and done that…
1. Strengths and weaknesses
Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses means that you can really throw yourself into the jobs search and apply for positions that make the most of your skills. Identifying areas of weakness not only gives you a better appreciation of what your core skills are but also flags up areas you need to work on. If you have no first aid training for example but have also hankered after a job in teaching, working with the elderly or in a public service capacity, writing this down as a weakness will encourage you to do something about it. Seeing it down in black and white as a potential hurdle will provide an incentive to sign up for that evening class or college course on health and safety.
It’s also a good idea to list all the areas in which you excel in a work environment. Perhaps you’re super organized, routinely do research on your competitors, have been on an assertiveness training course, have arranged a seminar, are a whiz with a particular software package or have helped with recruitment, these are all points to highlight when you apply for that next dream job and should be included on your CV. Seeing all the areas in which you excel down on paper will also give your self confidence a boost – a vital part of any major career change.
2. Your current position
Thinking about your current role, your likes and dislikes, responsibilities and challenges can provide a useful set of signposts, pointing you towards your next job. Thinking about all of the tasks you handle on a regular basis is great reminder of just how capable you are and the diversity of your skills set. Write down the responsibilities you have currently and you’ll be surprised by the wide variety of challenges you regularly cope with. Do you relish any of these tasks? Are there are chores that you dread and put off for weeks on end? If they form an important part of the job you want to apply for, it may be time to have a rethink.
Speaking to your colleagues can also throw up a few surprises. Ask them how they see your position and what role they would imagine you in. You may be surprised by their replies. In particular, make it a priority to chat with those who are currently doing a role you feel well suited to. Whether that’s in a different department or different office, gaining a real feel for the ins and outs of the position will help you balance your understanding of the role with a dose of reality. If you still feel it’s the job for you, ask to be considered when vacancies crop up.
3. Variety Is The Spice Of Life
It may be that although you know you don’t want to do your current job for ever, you’re not sure what it is that you actually would like to do. If that sounds like you, spend time browsing the site and looking at the hundreds of different sectors. Read through the job descriptions and requirements and apply for any that you think you would enjoy and would be well suited to. By applying for something that you wouldn’t normally consider, you could end up pleasantly surprised.
4. Learn a New Language
Business is an increasingly international field. Whether you work in marketing or IT, Finance or Pharmaceuticals, it’s always handy to have a second language up your sleeve. Signing up for a course in a European language such as Spanish, French or Italian will open up a whole world of possibilities. It also equips you for a move abroad, meaning you can expand your horizons while adding a new skill to your CV.