Many of us have taken the time during lockdown to learn or advance our current skills, especially with the NSW Government offering free short courses during this time. But you might be feeling like you are ready for a career change yet don’t know where to start. Janine Cox offers her tips to give you a head start if you are considering the prospect of a career change.
1. Why do you want a change in career? Before you go wild with ideas, thinking about all of the things you could do, first consider why you want to change. The clearer you can be the more likely you are to make it happen. Perhaps you are looking for more of a challenge, better opportunities to make more money, to start your own business, you want less travel, to move up the ranks, you’d like more flexibility, you want to travel overseas, or are you bored and just want to learn something new?
2. Document what you perceive as your strengths or talents.
List everything you can think of and don’t limit yourself to your current career. If you have ever had one of those personality profiles done, or a performance review, get them out for ideas.
3. Document your perceived weaknesses, or where you could improve or build your knowledge.
This is where women tend to be harder on themselves than men. I once heard a guy say he didn’t have any weaknesses. Remember, what you perceive as a weakness could open doors to something amazing.
4. Next write down career options you would like to consider and why you would like to pursue them.
Do some research as there are bound to be career choices you may not be aware of. A friend of mine spoke to a professional career counsellor to get ideas. She discovered she was being paid far below industry and although she didn’t change careers she found the incentive to change companies, landed a handsome increase in pay and a bigger role. Well worth the fee paid for the advice.
5. Once you narrow down your list of career choices list the qualifications you need.
You may need to do some study, consider the costs and also document how much time would be involved. Will you need to study full time or are there part time or after hours options so that you can continue working while you learn? Can you study online from home?
6. Look online at job ads.
Speak to someone at a company like Seek to find out what the demand is and what you can earn. Alternatively, look at what it costs to run your own business if that is your goal and research the competition to get ideas.
7. You may need to build up some savings as part of your career change plan. It is wise to have a buffer of say 6 to 12 months to cover expenses in case initially the new role pays less than you currently earn or you require time off to study.
Having changed careers myself many years ago I can recommend a move to the financial industry where you will find a huge range of career choices. Most find financial markets an exciting choice, and it brings many rewards, including learning how to generate additional streams of income. So, what will your New Year’s resolution be?