Career

Rolling the dice and making a big career change

Making a big career change is daunting. It’s also hard. In the current market, companies want experience, and without this printed on your CV it’s tough to get through the door. It’s not impossible though, and lots of people have successfully moved into completely new directions. 

If you feel like your job has become, ‘just a job’ and you want to get out of the industry you’re in, then here are some tools and tips for you to decide on what to do next.

Seek outside support and speak to people in the industry

We’re assuming you know what you want to do next and so the first thing you should definitely do is speak to experts – recruiters, career advisors, mentors – and make sure to get out there and speak to people in the industry. They will give you the key insights that are vital to you making a successful jump. Networking will be crucial as well as just having open conversations about what companies look for in your chosen area and what you can do (courses, degrees, changes to your CV, accelerated programs etc) to get to where you want to.

Craft your CV to highlight transferable skills

Firstly, make sure you know what the key skills needed are – suggestion would be to look on job boards for sample specifications, speak to a specialist recruiter, or look at people doing the role of interest on LinkedIn to understand key themes. Thereafter, turn the focus on your own key skills (based on the mentioned research); the ones that demonstrate your relevancy with an add in of versatility and adaptability.

Ordinarily we would say cover letters are a ‘nice to have’, but in this scenario they are crucial. However, the is key is to keep it short and relevant whilst really highlighting your passion and interest for the direction you’re taking and compliment statements with areas of relevant / transferable experience. A good structure would be: Why you’re passionate about this; how you’re going to be successful in this path; and what you can offer in terms of raw skills.

Finally, make sure this is what you truly want to do!

We see this often: many people decide to change direction due to short-term de-motivation, exhaustion, or stress and a sharp change could be the answer. Equally sometimes exploring opportunities within your industry that suit your talents, skills, passions, and ambitions is a better place to start. Within every industry there are exciting companies popping up everywhere. If you work for a large corporate, then maybe a boutique with an inspiring vision could be the way to go.

If you don’t like the work that you do, then consider what sideways moves there are within your own company or another similar business. Having clarity, understanding and perspective on yourself, your values, and your priorities will be important. Struggling to figure this out? A mentor or coach can really help you seek the insight you’re looking for so make sure to get advice from professionals and, more importantly, the people around you to really decide on your next move.

Alex
I’m a Founding Partner of Bamboo Crowd. I help our clients invest better in people and scale through Engine. I solve recruitment challenges and help our clients source the best talent across operations, business development, programme management, and technology. Ask me about good films, beards and hip hop.