Many people think that starting a career is going to be the most difficult part of the overall employment journey, but a career shift or change after having been in the work force for a period can be arguably more difficult. The traditional employment style of joining a company straight out of college and enjoying a long tenured career there until eventual retirement is now much more the exception than the rule. Career changes can be necessary for both personal and professional growth as well as for increased benefits and opportunities that are associated with specific roles and companies.
In present day, job hopping is almost encouraged by the workforce to get ahead. If you are considering a career transition you should do so with a modern approach and be sure that you are clear on the trends of the corporate world so that your search can yield results that make the most sense for your goals.
Long- And Short-term Goals
The first thing you must ask and answer for yourself is why are you seeking out a career change. After you have determined your top priority in making this switch break it down and view it through both long- and short-term lenses. If you are looking to acquire a new skillset that is going to yield a vastly different job search strategy than if you are looking to make quick cash for example. By identifying your goals this is also going to help you to eliminate positions and industries that do not support them. This will result in a more efficient and successful job search overall.
Use your goals as a guide to get yourself out of a pigeonhole. It is quite common for members of the workforce to remain on a linear career path for years and years simply because expanding beyond the familiar seems too risky, or challenging, or non-sensical but the truth is that sometimes landing in a space you never dreamed you would consider is the best way to grow and attain goals.
You might think you know all the job opportunities that exist within your current industry but the odds that there are many you have yet to uncover are high. This is especially true for those who have held the same job for several years, the positions that may have been created since you first explored your companies’ opportunities likely look quite different now than they did years ago. The trucking and logistics industries are two good examples of this.
Say you work for a logistics company in the accounting department, this position has likely put blinders on you that you may not even recognize. If you are considering a career change that does not always have to mean a company change. While you were sitting at a desk for a few years you may have missed out on opportunities in departments like marketing, driving, and fleet management.
Exploring the opportunity to pivot your career without leaving your company is a good way to start your search if you are feeling at all apprehensive about a big switch. Take advantage of times where there is a high demand for drivers for example and use your company loyalty and knowledge to leverage an opportunity for yourself that allows you to make a noticeable change without venturing too far outside your professional comfort zone.
Breaking With Tradition
This can be difficult because sometimes breaking with tradition can feel too unpredictable. Seeking out a career change in a way that is less formal and structured than a traditional 9am-5pm is a great way to take back some control over your schedule and implement more opportunities to practice a work-life balance. Evaluating the pros and cons of what is known as the gig economy and then comparing your findings to your professional and personal goals as mentioned earlier is going to be a solid indicator if this style of working is right for you. Lifestyle is going to play a large part in this consideration. The gig economy is a great alternative for demographics like new parents who no longer want to ‘work for the man’ but still desire to hold down a job and contribute to the financial health of their family.