So, you have the tools to change careers, a new education and a desire to prove yourself! Great, now comes the hardest part, finding the job. There are a couple of ways that things can play out while looking for a career change. This will depend on if you are employed or unemployed. Below are tips for each that might help you move further on that new career path.
If you were working and getting your education for the new career at the same time, you might be in a better situation than if you were unemployed. Working puts you at an advantage. Let’s say that you are an accountant and you have completed courses in marketing. How would you transition into the marketing department?
- The first thing that you need to be aware of, starting a new career within you current company does not mean that you will get the same salary. In most cases, starting over also means that your wages will come close to the starting salaries for that particular occupation. Be prepared to take a wage or salary cut. If you are not prepared to acknowledge this you are not ready for your new career.
- Go to the department and ask if you can take on some small projects, do them on your own time be it lunches or after work. But get them done on time; it is like an audition for the next job opening.
- Get to know the people in the department and the way that they do things.
- Talk with the manager/supervisor and see what they look for in a new employee. Make sure that you have those skills.
Anyone who is unemployed will tell you it can be impossible to get work! Now try doing that with a new education and no relevant experience. That can be difficult to deal with. This was the situation I was in after completing my education. So here are some things I learned along the way that might help you.
- Consider all options, contract, temporary, part-time. All of these will offer you experience, which you desperately need. They will also provide you with the opportunity to work in different company environments and learn from different people. You will gain a better understanding of the job and the requirements.
- Volunteer. Find different organizations that could benefit from your new expertise. Maybe a local charity or not for profit group. You can help the group and gain more experience. A reference from a volunteer position is just as good as a reference from an employer.
- If you have not already done so, join the professional organization’s in your area. Meeting up with like-minded people will not only help you in the job market, but provide you with invaluable contacts that can help you grow. Networking is key to finding a new position.
- Contact local employment agencies, your post-secondary career services and keep an eye on the job boards.
Finding a job in a new career can be very daunting, but it does not have to be discouraging. Keep working at it, as with everything these days you have to be in the right place at the right time and know the right people to get the job. Timing is everything!