The pandemic of 2020 was without a doubt a major turning point within the world of business. From corporate to retail to construction, no sector was left untouched by the reach of COVID and its effects on the job market.
Amid mass lockdowns, redundancies, and offices closures, a mass revaluation from employees and employers alike occurred regarding the necessity of certain roles and functions within the workplace.
Am I truly happy within the role I am in? Does this job require four people or one? Across the board, we saw a massive shift occur within society were the permanence and long-term viability of job titles and functions came into question and brought forward the topic of…A career change.
Now, of course, employees wishing to shift the narrative of their career and stray off into new territories is nothing new and is something we’ve seen happen time and time again within the modern work environment of today. But how exactly do we go about that? How do we make the jump into the unknown and come out skilled in another field?
In drawing on the 40 + years of experiences that the MRJ team has and the multiple career changes members of the team have experienced before landing in their current roles – we’ll attempt to offer some tips and tricks that will help get you started.
Now the first thing to remember is, changing careers isn’t an easy task and we understand that the redefining of your career can be a daunting and seemingly incompressible hill to climb. But we think at a basic level “The three Ps” can set you off on a good path to start with… Planning, Preparation and Patience.
Simply put, immerse yourself in research to understand what qualifications and barriers to entry there are and how you can best go about overcoming them. Each job comes with its own sets of requirements and strict rules, are you fully knowledgeable on what these are and if there any soft skills you have that can make the transition easier?
For example, upon graduating with a BA in English, I made the initially difficult choice of deciding I wanted to work within a more office-based setting that had more financial stability than the world of humanities. To help make the transition easier, I outlined the pre-existing skills I had (that being writing, communication and critical thinking) and researched what applicable roles within business could utilise these.
Regardless of whether there is necessarily a tangible link between your prior career and the one that you wish to embark on, Planning is key to ensuring you are fully educated on the necessary steps that need to be taken. From researching figures within the industry and asking them about their experiences (LinkedIn is a great place for this) to investigating the nuances of the job you are in, when embarking on a new career you can never be too prepared.
When changing career paths, it's always important to maintain a level of perspective regarding the amount of time it may take you to adequately build up the profile so you can apply to jobs in a different field. You are essentially starting over again and thus it’s easy to become disheartened by the sheer amount of time it may take for you to fully make the transition into a new work environment.
In particular, if you are unhappy in your current job or unemployed due to the long-term effects of COVID – Being finally committed to making the jump but being held back by the stringent qualifications needed to enter the field can be especially frustrating and difficult. But remember:
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint”
As said previously, changing a career path isn’t usually a decision that’s taken on lightly with it being preferable that a person has researched the job sector thoroughly and carefully concluded that this is the right sector for them. With that though needs to come an understanding that these things can unfortunately take time but if done correctly can reap the rewards and job you so eagerly seek.
Now this will vary from person to person depending on what responsibilities a person has, but we always make a point to ask - are you prepared for the commitment that comes from changing fields? there is a fine balance between working in a current role whilst also training for a new one that requires careful preparation on the part of a job seeker to ensure they have the necessary steps in place to make the transition as seamless as possible.
Whether that's saving up a set amount to hold you while you study or splitting your time up between your current job and the one you wish to start - ensuring you are well prepared for the necessary commitment will ensure you are not surprised by the increased workload.
Whilst the entirety of this blog has centred around the three core principles of Planning, Patience and Preparation, we believe underpinning all of these is one key quality that must be embraced by all those that are in search of a new job… courage.
As our Managing Director Grant Spencer highlights when discussing his own switch from full-time football to sales, there was a certain level of courage that had to be adopted to make the jump officially:
“I remember during that time there was definitely a mulling over period where I questioned whether or not I was making the right choice or not. But ultimately it just came down to having the courage to say… just go for it. What do I have to lose at the end of the day? So, I just took the leap of faith and messaged Jody and the rest is history”
Career changes are without a doubt a large undertaking to have to take on, but with the courage and necessary steps taken on the part of the jobseeker to ensure they are well-prepared for the jump – we believe a career change is well within reach for anyone willing to make embark on the journey.