The new year is the perfect time to reflect on our careers and what we want to achieve in the year ahead. It’s a fresh start, with promise of change and fulfilment. The only problem is knowing where to start.
We meet hundreds of candidates who know that while they are not fulfilled in their current role, they often feel stuck and unable to know how to take that all-important first step into changing their career.
With many years’ experience in helping candidates through this transition, here’s some of our top tips – as well as a few nuggets of advice from career coach Rachel Daniel.
This is the often overlooked first step. Understanding what you enjoy, what gives you a sense of fulfilment or achievement and what you want your life to look like is a great place to start. Once you understand this, you can identify what skills you use when you do this. For example, relationship building, team skills, organisation, analysis etc.
At interview stage, self-analysis will help you to answer that all-important question “what can you bring to this role?” Doing this will also give you the much needed self confidence to pursue change.
Once you have listed the tasks you enjoy and the skills utilised, you will then be able to research roles that require those particular skill-sets. You can use a variety of tools such as speaking to a recruitment consultant, career coach or researching the internet and job boards. Ground work is important, so make sure you do yours.
“It is always useful to research the type of company or business you would fit into. For example, are the culture and organisation values a fit for you? Also, consider the implications that the size of the business has on the type of role it can offer you, i.e. a generalist versus a specialist role.” Rachel Daniel
If you’re still not sure what direction to head in, work experience can be invaluable. A surprising number of companies are happy to take on work experience candidates. A few hours or days shadowing somebody already doing the role will give you an insight in to the fundamentals of the role.
“I shadowed a recruiter to see life on the other side. It made me realise that I, as a seasoned Executive Assistant, have an implicit understanding of being an EA but it requires much more than good EA skills to be a recruiter. I enjoyed the time tremendously as it gave me a much better understanding of what the job of a recruiter is and what key skills are required to do it well.” Elliott Nice
Address your CV. Does it reflect the skills that you identified in point 1? Have you expressed in your personal statement the attributes and motivation you have for the role you are pursuing? Once you have achieved this, start contacting recruitment consultancies with relevant sector experience and network.
The steps above are worthless unless you actually start making contacts and getting out there.
“Candidates who have a planned approach tend to have greater success in getting the results they want. Putting in place a simple tracking sheet to note your actions taken, progress and next planned actions will really help. Track companies, research results, contact made and next follow up to do in order to stay focused. Seeing the progress you make will help you stay motivated!” Rachel Daniel
For more advice on changing your career, contact Rachel Daniel, Career Coach at Rachel Daniel Associates at firstname.lastname@example.org