Changing tact in your career and convincing others to give you the opportunity is often challenging.
If this is something you want to do, my top tips to ensure things move in the right direction are as follows:
- Know where you want to go or what you want to do. Some self analysis is key before you think about the action steps.
- Network – use your contacts and network. Speak to anyone you know in the field, industry or role you would like to go into. Look on LinkedIn – use the search bar to find people connected to your network that you can then be introduced to.
- Gain experience in any way possible. Work on projects internally, volunteer in or outside of your current company. Are there any projects you could assist with that will build on your relevant experience?
- Match your experience as closely as you can to the new role you are aiming towards. Look at job specs, can you highlight the relevant experience that you have on your CV and LinkedIn profile?
- Communicate clearly to others what you are now looking for. Once other people are aware and clear they may be able to help you or will think of you when they hear about something.
- Do your research on your target. Research trends, the market, groups, look at the profiles of people who have done well, learn all you can about the field.
- Talk to people who work in your area of interest. Ask about their experience, which agencies they recommend. The usual career path, for any tips or further information that could be useful. If possible talk to senior decision makers.
- Contact key companies of interest and ask HR which agencies they use to recruit and then join them. Build strong relationships with recruiters who can then sell you into a client.
- Is there an intermediary step between what you are doing now and where you want to end up? Think about a stepping stone role.
- LinkedIn – tailor your profile as close as you can to what you are now looking for. Add and scatter key words. Get recommendations from others on your profile, ideally a minimum of six and start building your profile with relevant experience and information.
- Skill up if you need to. If you are rusty in an area that is important consider a refresher course or doing some additional training inside or outside of work. There are lots of alternatives to suit most budgets. Consider teaching yourself from books, ‘on line’ courses or look into council courses if your budget is stretched.
- Keep positive – believe in yourself and keep a positive upbeat approach, people will be more likely to want to help you. Get help if you need it – some coaching or a mentor may also be an idea.
- Interview well. Once you have meetings and interviews lined up, make sure you impress them with your knowledge, skills, research and capabilities.
- Keep persisting. There will be knock backs along the way. People will prefer you to keep doing what you have always done and are experienced in. Believe it will happen, reach out to others and keep trying eventually a door should open on the correct path towards your ideal destination.
About the author: Charlotte Billington is a career coach who helps individuals at a crossroads. She has recently written a practical exercise book What to do Next? that can assist and guide you through the process of changing jobs, understanding and maximising your own potential.