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Career Change Jitters

New careerCareer Change Jitters

Career change is a big step for anyone, angst and fear can hold people back from choosing to make a change. The fear of the unknown holds us back and is a big factor in sticking with what we know, but there are a number of things we can do to greatly reduce the unknown factors to make sure that we apply a strategic approach to career change.

A career nowadays is not necessarily a vocation that we take on as a 17 year old apprentice and then finish at retirement age with a gold watch to thank us for our efforts.  We can have multiple vocations for the term of our career.

Whilst it may seem like a risky move to leave an existing workplace and take on another position, the opportunity to build on your current skill set by expanding your repertoire can reduce the long term risk of becoming a stale employee.  Rejuvenated enthusiasm and motivation are going to be great attributes to your new workplace and will also be greatly appreciated by all in your personal life.

Be prepared:

Make sure that you invest time into researching the vocation and potential positions you will apply for. Try to understand the bigger picture of what the industry as a whole is trying to achieve and how you might be able to contribute to those greater goals.  Consider the whole picture...  What is the organisations or departments vision? Who are the clients? What regulations will you work under? Will you need new credentials to enter this field? Can you undertake on the job training?

Be relevant:

Some people think that their current skills set are just too specific to their current job role and can’t be applied in another.  Many skills that can seem to be very specific to your current job role can be applied in many other situations.  The key is to adapt the application for your CV.  For instance if you are great at working with a specific database that will not be relevant  in your new job, don’t worry about noting the name of the software, broaden that example by explaining your experience with databases in general.

Be enthusiastic:

If you can personally envisage the benefits you could offer to society by being a part of this vocation then it will be easy for you to convey a genuine level of enthusiasm for the new career and pitch yourself as a true ambassador for the cause.  If you want to work in the public service it doesn't matter about the portfolio or department, but the whole concept of serving the public to help build a strong nation!  This will also help you set the tone of your introduction letter, CV and interview so you are not focussed purely on your ability to complete tasks competently, but really want work to achieve something greater for society as a whole. An employer can train new staff members how to perform task, but that same employer can never teach new staff members how to have a true vested interest in the outcomes.

The key message is to put some serious time into planning for this big step in your life.  Take a strategic approach to your career change and plot out your path including the main goal of getting the job you want and deserve, then work backwards and determine what objectives you can meet to start working towards the goal.  Work through each step methodically and don’t expect that genie to do all the hard work for you.

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