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Step by Step: How to Change Careers at Any Age

It is never too late to change your career. There was a time when we finished school and did the same job until retirement. That day has gone! The average person will change careers between 5 – 7 times in their life. We spend a lot of our lives working and it is important to be interested and enjoy your job. There are lots of opportunities and so many interesting fields that you could work in. If you want to change your career, we say go for it! Here is a step by step guide on how to change careers:

Analyse your strengths and weaknesses

Have a really hard look at what are your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses helps to point you in the right direction for changing careers.

Questions to ask yourself to discover your strengths

  • What do I like doing?
  • What do people compliment me on?
  • What are my hobbies?
  • What do people ask me to help them with?
  • What do I do that makes me feel energised?
  • What would I love to do more of?

Questions to ask yourself to discover your weaknesses

Everybody has weaknesses. It is important to know your weaknesses so you can focus on developing your strengths.

  • What do I hate doing?
  • What do other people often have to help me with?
  • What do I avoid or procrastinate doing?
  • What tasks make me feel drained?

Now you are starting to get a clear picture of what your strengths and weaknesses are. Get an even better picture; ask your colleagues, manager, friends and family. Sometimes we are not even aware of things we are good at!

Top tip: Keep a note of your strengths and weaknesses. Keep them in a place you can find them easily for writing your CV and job interview preparation.

Follow your interest

In our society we talk about passion a lot. Sometimes we don’t have a passion in life. Instead look at what you are interested in. If you are interested in cars would moving into the car industry be something you would like?

Questions to ask yourself to find out what you are interested in

  • What am I curious about?
  • What do I love to learn about?
  • What books, blogs, YouTube tutorials, etc. do I enjoy watching?
  • If time was not an issue, what would I spend my time doing?

Match your strengths with your interests

Find out what you like doing best, and get someone to pay you for doing it

Now you know your strengths and interests you will have a good idea of a career choice that would work for you.

Start today

Why not? If you want to change career, start taking the first steps today. You do not have to wait for the perfect time because there never will be a perfect time! There will always be a good reason to wait. From today start to take small steps towards changing your career.

Don’t be afraid to fail

It is ok to fail. Every time you fail you learn something. Do not let your fear of failure stop you from pursuing a fulfilling career. You are not the first person to change careers and you won’t be the last. If it doesn’t work out as you imagined, you can try again and again and again. This quote from Michael Jordan is a great reminder to not be afraid to fail:

I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Michael B. Jordan

Network

When you decide what you want to do, tell lots of people. Everybody you know, everybody you meet tell them what you are thinking. The truth is you do not know who you know. Ask people do they know anybody in the industry, could they introduce you to them so you can find out more.

Also join organisations, industry Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups. Ask questions, what courses did they do? How did they go about moving into that industry. You will find that people are happy to help somebody who is interested. Remember, somebody helped them to get to where they are in their career too.

Rewrite your CV

it does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop

You have lots of experience but your CV will need to be changed to highlight your skills and experience that are applicable to new career. These are called transferable skills – what have you done in your past that is relevant to your new career?

Tips for rewriting your CV

  • What are the key skills that you need to be successful in your new career?
  • Check your notes on your strengths, weaknesses and interests. Highlight the relevant ones in your CV
  • Show other examples of where you have experience in using the key skills necessary for your new career.
  • Put these key skills in bold on your CV to make it easy for the recruiter to see that you have them.

Upskill

Do you need to upskill or take a course? There are lots of excellent online courses available at the moment. Before you jump into a course, go back to your network and ask people in the industry to see what is the best course to do. Where is the best place to do that course etc. This will make sure that you do not waste your time.

If you don’t know anybody or you have not got any response on what is the best course to do. Check LinkedIn; Do a search for people in the career you would like to change to and view their profile to see what course they did.

Get some experience

There are lots of ways you could get some experience to help you to change careers.

  • Work shadow- ask would it be possible to see what a typical day would be like.
  • Volunteer – for example if you would like to work in social media. There are lots of not-for-profit organisations that need help in this area. You could volunteer with them.
  • Freelance – offer your services to people in your new career option. At the start you could offer your services for free or at a discounted rate to get experience.

Remember, it is never too late

It really is never too late. The famous cook Julia Child worked for the American Secret Services until she changed career at the age of 36. Andrea Bocelli was a lawyer until the age of 34 when he changed careers to become a professional singer! For more proof that is never too late to change careers, check out this article.

Don’t give up

You may not have been successful at the first interview that you went to. That does not mean that you will not be able to change careers or that you will not be successful at the next interview. There could be a million different interviews why you did not get the job. Don’t give up, keep going and be confident in your abilities. Employers want people who are interested, enthusiastic and willing to work hard in their company. Choosing a career that you are interested in, already makes you an excellent choice as you are motivated.

Make a plan

the future depend on what you do today

When changing careers it is important to have a plan. Sometimes you are lucky and the perfect opportunity falls into your lap. Other times you will need to create a step-by-step plan to change careers. Look at what are the next steps you need to take? Set yourself SMART goals and then take the actions.

Best of luck! We are always looking for enthusiastic candidates. Be sure to get in contact with us. If we do not have a job to suit you now, we may have a job in the future that would suit you. For more tips like this sign up to our newsletter below.

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