New year, new career? Career change advice.

Is 2020 your year for an entirely new career? Advice for anyone looking to make a change of direction…

This post marks the last in our January special – completing our series of 8 features (plus an extra LinkedIn post!) designed to inspire and support your 2020 career goals. You’ll find all the links to the rest of the features at the end of this article.

Today, we turn our attention to career change advice. Or how to pave your way into a totally new role or industry!

Our top tips to help you enter a new career…

  • Start where you are: create a list of all your core transferable skills. These are the skills that you’ve developed that can easily be transferred over to your target industry. If possible, ask former (or trusted current!) colleagues and associates to describe your skills. You may discover a few additions for your list.
  • Look at what’s needed: have an ideal job in mind? Regularly read job ads to see what employers are actually looking for. Revisit your transferrable skills list to see if there’s anything else you can add.
  • See what you can brush up on: spot a core skill or insight that you really need to develop? Consider how you can swot up in your spare time. For instance, there may be a particular qualification or short course that’s respected in your prospective new field. Always keep your budget and time constraints in mind.
  • Get practical: perhaps there are additional responsibilities you can take on in your current role, some voluntary work you can do, or even paid weekend and/or evening work available in your ideal industry. Not only will this help enhance your CV, yet it’ll also demonstrate initiative. Remember to pace yourself and respect your mental and physical health needs if you’re already working.
  • Top things off: there’s nothing to stop you from conducting your own research project in your target field. Create case studies and recommendations and show prospective employers you’ve considered some of the problems they’re facing.

Once you’ve done this, it’s time to…

  • Update your CV: weave all of the above into your CV which, as ever, should be tailored for the individual roles that you apply for. Highlight each skill, course, responsibility, and achievement that makes your application relevant to the employer’s role. Furthermore, detail real-life examples that illustrate each point.
  • Watch out for simple steps: often, there’s a logical ‘next step role’ that will take you closer to your destination. For instance, a position that merges some of your current responsibilities with those you’re looking to develop. Or a position along a similar career path yet within your target industry. These simple steps often offer your most accessible route into a new career.
  • Seek the support of a professional: 85% of UK businesses specifically value agency expertise when recruiting in their sector (according to the REC, January 2020). Plus the best recruitment agencies will offer you honest and valuable advice regarding your suitability for their vacancies. The REC Member directory tool is a great place to start; we’re proud to be accredited REC compliant members.
  • Allow yourself some time: remember, career changes are rarely immediate. Prepare to consider your steps and possibilities and allow yourself to look forward to the opportunities ahead!

Read the rest of our January series:

  1. The series introduction, including why this focus has been so essential
  2. 6 personal traits that could speed up your New Year job search success
  3. Promising news for beating the New Year blues and SAD
  4. How and when to ask for a pay rise in 2020
  5. Answering that big question – do you really need a career plan?
  6. 4 signs that you’ve found, or are, the right candidate for the job
  7. How to mentally prepare for each job search phase
  8. And, over on LinkedIn, how to develop Gravitas whatever your job level

Just because this series has come to a close, doesn’t mean you have to miss out! We’ll keep sharing expert career news and advice via our News page. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and/or register your CV for local opportunities