Searching for a new job is often fraught with difficulties. However, searching for a job in a new career is even more difficult. You may have all the skills and knowledge to do the job, but the trick is to get yourself in front of often-sceptical employers to convince them to give you a start. What follows are several important tips to help you get to that all-important interview.
1. Prepare yourself psychologically for a long haul. One important reason people fail to achieve a career transition is because they give up too easily. Research demonstrates that perseverance is a key characteristic of people who achieve their goals. Rather than throwing in the towel stop and think about how you can modify your approach, and keep on doing so until you succeed.
2. Go it alone. Many jobs today are advertised through recruitment agencies. These agencies will naturally look first at candidates who have a track record in the industry of their paying client. What this generally means for people who want to change career is that they’re normally relegated to the bottom of the list. Rather than venting your frustration at recruitment consultants (who are only trying to do the best job for their clients), get into the habit of approaching employers directly. Send your resume along with a convincing covering letter to as many employers as you can think of. The more letters you send the greater chances of getting an interview.
3. Be flexible in what you accept. Beginners cannot be too choosy. Be prepared to take a cut in pay and status. If you’re serious about changing career you’ll be prepared to start somewhere down the bottom and work your way up. Bear in mind that starting again does not necessarily mean that you will take years to work your way up. Your enthusiasm and commitment to the change should go a long way in helping you climb quickly.
4. Think and act out of the loop. Do not stick to conventional job-hunting methods. Be prepared to try different things. For example, you can join the relevant bodies of the industry/career you wish to get into and attend their functions. And why not volunteer for some extra duties? Get some cards printed and hand them out to people who you think can help you. Build a network of people in the industry and keep in touch with them regularly. Make time for that coffee or drinks after work. Even if it’s just a quick phone call to let them know you’re still in the market. You never know when you might get a phone call from one of your contacts telling you that they heard a job is going at such and such place.
5. Be prepared to gain work experience for no money. Doing work experience for a few hours per week in the field you wish to break into demonstrates your commitment and drive. It will also go a long way in teaching you things about the industry that are difficult to pick up as an outsider.