It is NEVER too late for a career change! Sure, you might not have direct experience in a certain industry or job, but you need to prove to any hiring manager that your existing skills are, in fact, transferable skills.
If you’re debating about making a career change, don’t be afraid. Even if a career switch later in life seems like a completely radical change with many possible consequences attached to it, you should still go for it if it’s something you really want to do. My best advice is to set up a plan before making the dive. A large-scale transition will not happen overnight, and this is why it’s important to ensure you have a “plan of attack.”
Also, make sure your career change is realistic. Although I encourage everyone to follow their dreams, you also need to stay realistic. If your dream is to become a pilot, but you’ve worked in banking for the last 15 years, the chances of you becoming a pilot are a lot harder (but not impossible)! Also remember to be flexible. You are making a career change that could involve a lower salary or relocation. These are some of the sacrifices you could be asked to make in the short term.
When you begin applying for new roles, you need to ensure your resume is targeted toward this new job. Obviously you are not going to have direct experience, so it’s important to highlight not only your current skills and achievements, but also (and most importantly), that you are able to adapt your skills for this new job.
In making the career change, your skills are by far your best selling point. Many skills that you use on a day to day basis (such as leading, managing, liaising and communicating, for example) are all transferable skills that you can use to prove to a hiring manager that you are right for a particular job.
5 point plan to making a career change:
1) Make sure of your reasons for wanting a career change. One bad day at work or hating your boss do not suggest you want to change careers
2) Brainstorming – sit down and brainstorm ideas of the type of industry/job you really want to do
3) Planning – Set out a plan to follow. Make it realistic. Remember your career change won’t happen overnight. Realistically, it can take about 6-12 months. Don’t quit your job on day 1. Included in planning is financial planning. How much is this career change going to cost you? How much do you plan to get paid? You need to know these answers!
4) Networking – Talk to friends, speak to recruitment agents and sign up to online networking sites
5) Executing your plan. Speak to an expert in regards to interviewing, resume writing and cover letter writing. Apply directly, and begin to follow the steps of your plan.
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