Career Switch Alerts

Making a career switch can be one of the most daunting experiences of professional life. Needless to say, it requires a lot of deliberation and pre-planning. One needs to learn new things as well as carry forward some of his previous experience.

A smooth transition can be made following some of these guidelines by the intended incumbent,

A well developed plan for making a career change is required to be made and one should not rush into a career change unless he has analyzed the pros and cons and thought of a strategy. Feeling a little hesitant or insecure about the career change must not worry the new job seeker and such feelings are normal.

Expect to put in a great deal of time and effort in changing careers, but don’t get discouraged at the pace of ones progress. This exercise takes time. One must not rush into a new career field just because he or she is unhappy or disillusioned with the current job, boss, firm or career field. Take the time to understand the activities, likes and dislikes focusing more on interests. Focus on new careers that center around your hobbies and passions.

One should leverage some of his current skills and experiences to his/her new job by taking advantages of his/her transferable skills. Transferable skills are acquired during any activity-job, classes, projects, parenting, hobbies, sports, etc.

A candidate must not limit himself or herself to similar careers or jobs while making a career switch, select careers that offer scope for both skills and interests.

Consider the possibility of requiring additional education/training to suit a new job. Take advantage of your networking potential, use current network of contacts, and conduct interviews with key employers in new field and joining professional groups in new career field.

Remember to list your name in school, college and office alumni.

Gain work experience or some knowledge in a new career field ideally while still in the previous job.

Find a mentor to motivate when things are going wrong in the new career. Brush up on your job hunting skills, especially if not used them for sometime. Listen to all the career advice that comes in your way even if one does not implement them all. Be flexible as a job switch means changes in job title, salary, relocation, etc.

After doing all the home work on career switch one will certainly manage to reach the interview stage. Then he has to take care of selling himself through his knowledge, manners and rignt communication.

If a candidate sitting in front of the person interviewing for the his choicest job finds the interviewer losing interest when the conversation’s going fine; the candidate must understand that some thing has gone wrong during his interview.

While it’s important to keep talking in an interview, being overtly loquacious can be disastrous. Especially, when one unintentionally say or ask things that don’t have a proper place. However, one can avoid that situation with some common sense.

Here are a few things that can damage ones chances:

Discussing salary, company bonuses or perks is something one should never initiate. The interviewer will definitely address that in the course of the interview. One will only convey an image of being totally money-minded, which everyone may not appreciate.

Also the desired salary must be quoted in a range, keeping in mind the desired position and level of performance required on the job.

Never bad mouth previous company or co-worker. An interviewee said “Frankly speaking my Boss Mr. X, lacks initiative and drive and he gets all the work done from me and projects it as his work. Hence, I want to change my job”. The candidate got rejected right away.

Don’t divulge details about projects one may have been working on or previous company’s new marketing initiative. One will come across as a ‘management problem’ and a ‘security risk’. Instead, say that one is looking for a position with greater responsibility, or just wanted a change.

If one says that he is flawless, it will sound pretentious. Quote at least one ‘negative’ trait that can be conveyed positively. Don’t drag personal life into the conversation. It shows lack of focus and a lot of emotional baggage.

  • Changing a mere job is one thing and switiching to a compeletely different career is another. As you have rightly pointed out, it is dicey and should be done with deliberation. In my view, there should be HR companies specializing in career transition.