Right now might feel like a weird time to switch careers. However, many industries are changing how they think about employment and their employees. Not every industry is hiring, but hiring is certainly a top focus for many and where many of those jobs are located is changing.
According to Forbes it’s estimated that 70 percent of the working population will work remotely at least five days per month by 2025. Job seekers can use this choice to their benefit. Read on to discover some ideas if you want to switch careers or industries.
Make a Smart Move
Think very carefully about moving from the industry you currently work in to a brand new one. For example, it’s harder to go from studying undersea plant life to teaching skydiving classes. Despite having the right certifications and being a skydiving enthusiast on the weekends, they might find it hard to get hired. This is because the two industries are very different. However, the undersea plant life specialist would find better prospects at a place like an aquarium or marine life center. The shift is still different but it plays on the previous work experience. It’s easier to look at industries or fields considered “next door neighbors” of the field you currently work in, not ones that are two or three streets over.
Make a List
This is my standard piece of advice on almost any subject. You know you want to change job fields but you’re not sure to what – make a list. Look at what you like in your current job. Things like working with the public, working behind the scenes, focusing on the small details or looking at the big picture. Write down all your likes to help you figure out where you want to move next. Also write down your best skills.
Now make a list of things that you can’t stand in your current job. Maybe you don’t like inconsistent hours, you don’t have benefits or you don’t see a way to move higher in the company. Those are just as important to consider.
Last list – think about how you would describe the work you do and write those words down. This can help you think about those “next door neighbors” from earlier.
Once you’ve got your lists, look around at what’s available. Early on in my working life, I realized I liked retail jobs over food service jobs. I went from smaller to bigger positions that had more responsibilities. I took advantage of the skills I learned at each place to help me move up to the next position.
Maybe you have your heart set on something, but you just haven’t gotten hired in that field yet. Don’t give up! See if you can volunteer or intern in that field. Make a friend in that field and ask if you can shadow them for part of the day to see what their job is like.
Read about the job or industry you want to work in. It’s one thing to read all the job descriptions and requirements, it’s another to read something written by a person who works in that industry.
Above all, if it’s something you really want to do, keep trying. It might not happen the first 10 or 20 times, but it can happen down the road. I have a friend who applied to 47 positions after college. The whole time she had her eye on the dream position she wanted while she worked in another position. She kept submitting applications, kept gathering her work experience. On the 48th try she landed her dream job.
Don’t forget, your library is here to help. If you’re not sure where to start, make an appointment with the Job and Careers team. You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-580-4400 (just ask to speak to a member of the Careers Team).