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It is NEVER too late for a career change! Sure, you might not have direct experience in a certain industry or job, but you need to prove to any hiring manager that your existing skills are, in fact, transferable skills.
If you're debating about making a career change, don't be afraid. Even if a career switch later in life seems like a completely radical change with many possible consequences attached to it, you should still go for it if it's something you really want to do. My best advice is to set up a plan before making the dive. A large-scale transition will not happen overnight, and this is why it's important to ensure you have a "plan of attack."
Also, make sure your career change is realistic. Although I encourage everyone to follow their dreams, you also need to stay realistic. If your dream is to become a pilot, but you've worked in banking for the last 15 years, the chances of you becoming a pilot are a lot harder (but not impossible)! Also remember to be flexible. You are making a career change that could involve a lower salary or relocation. These are some of the sacrifices you could be asked to make in the short term.
When you begin applying for new roles, you need to ensure your resume is targeted toward this new job. Obviously you are not going to have direct experience, so it's important to highlight not only your current skills and achievements, but also (and most importantly), that you are able to adapt your skills for this new job.
In making the career change, your skills are by far your best selling point. Many skills that you use on a day to day basis (such as leading, managing, liaising and communicating, for example) are all transferable skills that you can use to prove to a hiring manager that you are right for a particular job.
5 point plan to making a career change:
Make sure of your reasons for wanting a career change. One bad day at work or hating your boss do not suggest you want to change careers
Brainstorming – Sit down and brainstorm ideas of the type of industry/job you really want to do
Planning – Set out a plan to follow. Make it realistic. Remember your career change won't happen overnight.
Realistically, it can take about 6-12 months. Don't quit your job on day 1. Included in planning is financial planning. How much is this career change going to cost you? How much do you plan to get paid? You need to know these answers!
Networking – Talk to friends, speak to recruitment agents and sign up to online networking sites
Executing your plan. Speak to an expert in regards to interviewing, resume writing and cover letter writing.
Apply directly, and begin to follow the steps of your plan.
Career management refers to the planning, supervising, controlling, handling, coping and administrating one's professional life. It comprehensively covers a detailed view of what you want to be, where you want to go, how you will get there and ultimately how long you intend to stay.
All the answers are directly related to one's personal goals and targets. Being able to handle changes in your career will best enable you to avoid mistakes of the past, prepare a confident approach to the present and a implement a positive direction for the future. Overall, managing your career will help maintain and develop your professional growth, development and direction.
When should I begin to manage my career?
Successful career management can start as early as the first day you walk into school or college. One should clearly identify their goals before enrolling in a particular degree or course and preparing for a lifelong career. (This saves a lot of money and time later on down the track!)
Be specific with what are you good at and what you enjoy doing; most importantly what you can see yourself doing every day going forward. Being able to answer these questions will help you in understanding yourself better and what areas you are most likely to succeed.
If you find that you have made a mistake don't panic. Exhaust your options, understand the value added skills that you have and how best you can utilise these existing skills.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask yourself if you are capable of performing the task or if you see yourself progressing in a certain area. If the answer is yes, then begin your quest to achieving your targets. Never forget to network and seek out as many people and opinions as possible. You just never know where the next door will open.
How long does career management last for?
Career management is a lifelong exercise. Balancing your work and social life is a juggling act. It is not just confined to one period in your life or a particular profession. In life many things change so don't be afraid to change with the times. It is all about adaptability and learning.
The ability to learn from every setback will make you smarter in making your next career move. The employment market may seem crowded and not promising, but being open to change will help you survive during those dark months. The changing times are not moments of despair, but rather moments of opportunity.
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