People look to make a career change for all sorts of reasons. Many fail to do it because they just don’t go about it in the right way. Here we tell you what it is you need to do to successfully make the career change that you want.
Career Change Definition
When we are discussing career change here we are talking about two types of move. The first is a move between functions e.g. between Marketing and HR. Or where you are looking to stay in the same function but in another business sector e.g. manufacturing to retailing. Each of these types of move can be considered as a career step and conventional wisdom is that the most you should attempt to make is one step. In other words trying to change function and change industry sector may be exceptionally difficult. This is true however we have worked with clients who have achieved it.
Career Change Tips
By using the tips provided here individually or in a combination to suit your personal circumstances you will be able to make the career move that you are looking for;
Internal move; if you want to change function the most obvious place to look is within your current organisation. However to be successful on making a move like this you need to have a good reputation both in your current function and in the function to which you want to move. Don’t assume you have a good reputation; you need to check this out carefully. For instance you may be seen as great by the HR team in which you work because you make people follow policies. However the Operations team may just see that as obstructive behaviour!
Internal networks; if you are planning to move function internally you need to build your internal profile with the function to which you wish to move. Go out and spend time with members of that team. Let people know you want to move. Get involved with projects that involve the functional area which you want to join. This is a detailed guide on making an internal move across function
Transferable skills; think about your achievements in your current job and which transferable skills they demonstrate. So you may work in sales promotion and have successfully organised a rolling sales promotion calendar across 300 retail outlets. This would demonstrate communication and planning and organising skills. These skills would be useful across a range of other functional areas.
Skills Based CV; write a skills based CV that identifies all your transferable skills so that a potential new employer or recruiter can immediately see what you have to offer.
Networking; if you want to move to a new business sector or function the single most effective way to do that is by networking. To make an external move you need to list down everyone you know who may know something that will help you. This might be about the business sector or the function to which you want to move. You then need to get out and meet people in your network to research the business sector or function. This is a guide to effective networking. Networking is time consuming but it should be interesting and it’s how 98% of our clients make the career change that they want.
Become an expert; make sure you become an expert on the functional area into which you want to move. Research the key roles and their purpose. This is key to your success as it demonstrates an interest in the function and shows you know what you are doing. There is nothing worse than someone wanting to join HR because they want to ‘help people’. Why not? Well as well as recruiting people HR also deals with dismissals. If you are planning to move to a new sector, make sure you understand the sector and its current challenges. This includes its market size, growth or decline, legislative and social trends.
It is possible to make a career change across functions or business sectors. I have done it personally and I have worked with many coaching clients who have successfully made such a career change. By following the tips here you will give yourself every chance of making the career change you desire.
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