Why switch careers?
Blogger, career writer, and Brazen Careerist founder Penelope Trunk knows from jumping ship. From her own ups and downs at work, both office-based and freelance, she’s compiled a (relatively) low-stress approach to making the switch. More important: She lists reasons why you should and shouldn’t move on:
Here are some bad reasons to switch careers:
1. You hate your boss. (Switch jobs, not careers.)
2. You want more prestige. (Get a therapist – you’re having a confidence crisis, not a career crisis.)
3. You want to meet new people. (Try going to a bar, or Club Med. What you really want is to get a life. Pick up a hobby.)
Here are some good reasons to switch careers:
1. You want a role that is more creative, more analytic or more management-oriented.
2. You want to live in a location that does not accommodate your current career.
3. You want more flexibility or fewer hours.
Drafting the resume
Now that you’ve set your mind to making the big move, let’s talk text.
Now onto the cover letter, often as important in getitng a hiring manager’s attention:
Don’t bore your next employer with your layoff story
In the same article, an IBM hiring manager notes that in a crowded, competitive group of candidates for a consulting job, what helped her pick the winner was a “can-do attitude.” More importantly, that applicant didn’t make a lot of requests, requirements, or pitch themselves for an exact job doing a precise thing. Get the job first, then work your way into the working environment you dream of.
What to expect (and plan for)
Not to keep hitting on the suck-it-up nail, but crossing into an entirely new realm of experience and work probably requires a bit of sacrifice. To jump-start a stalled job search, you might have to start humble and work your way into career confidence.
Career specialist Levit explains that process in detail for us:
- Ease into a new career one foot at a time: Perhaps this means earning a paycheck at a more attainable job while doing a part-time internship in your new field, or taking an adult education class or workshop on the weekend. The only way to find out if you’re passionate about something is to try it – ideally with as little risk as you can manage.
- Remember that any progress is good progress: In the quest to uncover a source of meaningful work, your worst enemy is inertia. Make an effort to do one thing, like e-mailing a networking contact or attending an event, every morning, every day, or before you do something else—that moves you a bit closer to your big-picture goal.
- Have realistic expectations: Even if you’re lucky enough to finally get and hold a job in your dream career, there’s no such thing as the perfect work situation; dream job doesn’t mean “cushy” job. As your mum always told you, anything worth having in this world requires some effort. There will be some days you feel like shutting the alarm off and going back to sleep, especially if you’re being made to do grunt work at first, but many more ahead where you feel more energized by the prospect of work than you ever thought possible!
‘ve successfully gone from apples to oranges in your career, or even just from apples to different-coloured, slightly sweeter apples, by all means—tell us how you got there in the comments.