It can seem like quite a poignant moment when you come to realise that the passion that you have had for your current career is unlikely to last. Maybe the end of your working life still seems like a distant prospect or perhaps you’re itching to find a new purpose and a career change has been likely for some time. But how do you go about starting a new job in a new industry?
The decision to switch to a new career can be a daunting one and swapping your current role for another successful job may seem like an unobtainable dream, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right approach and a positive mindset, you can successfully move into a brand new career which aligns with your own values, interests and goals.
One of the first steps to successfully making a career change is to consider your transferable skills. These are skills which you’ve developed in previous roles and industries which are attractive to new roles and different industries. These skills could include communication, leadership, problem-solving, time management, and teamwork, as well as many others.
By identifying and focusing on your transferable skills in your search for a new job, you can demonstrate to potential employers that you have the skills and experience necessary to succeed in a new role.
Sean Briggs, adviser at Connect Financial Solutions, who had a successful career as a mental health specialist, decided to recharge his career with the St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy. Sean describes himself as a ‘people person’ and he knew that whichever role he moved into next would have to be people-focused. Sean draws on his experience in his previous career to his new role providing financial advice. “People are often surprised when they hear which career I transitioned from but both roles enable me to support, understand and get to know people and their families.”
The best way to start is by listing all the tasks and responsibilities you’ve had in previous roles, and then think about the skills you have developed by completing those tasks and responsibilities. If you’ve been a customer service representative, for example, you’re likely to have developed strong communication and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to handle difficult situations.
An alternative way to work out your transferable skills is by creating a list of successes and achievements in your past roles and reflecting on things you did well, what you enjoyed and where you particularly excelled. These will give you a good indication of your skillset and interests.
When you’ve identified your transferable skills you need to focus on them in your CV, covering letters and during job interviews. Be sure to use language that demonstrates how these skills can be used in new roles and different industries; for example, explain how you’ve used your skills to achieve specific results in previous roles and how these can then be applied in a new role.
It might not be an overnight process, but with time, research, and effort you can make a career change happen, and the reward of a new career with renewed purpose is sure to make all the hard work worth it!