Transitioning careers to success
By Fiona Wainrit*
Having spent many years working in recruitment, I recently decided it was time to pursue something far more rewarding. So I ditched the rat race and finally did what I’ve wanted to do for a while. Upon completing my coaching qualifications, I am now practicing as a Life Coach, with a niche in career transitions. My company is called Finetuned Coaching.
Looking back at my experience interviewing candidates, I discovered just how many people are dissatisfied with their jobs, have been retrenched, or simply have the desire to achieve professional fulfillment in their careers.
Life changes and career moves can be overwhelming. You’re not sure what you want to do, where to do it, or how to start. The consequences of ‘getting it wrong’ can last a lifetime. Yet, the alternative of staying where you are is at best disheartening, at worst intolerable.
So, if you’ve been thinking about your career, feel like you are not progressing in your current job, or wondering what your next move is, rest assured you are not alone! Here are a few things to consider before making any significant career changes.
1. Remain positive
Perseverance is critical. Employers hire people who are confident, show enthusiasm and demonstrate a positive attitude. Rather then considering the negatives of your past employer, use it as learning experience and be insightful about what you gained from it.
2. Utilise your network
Despite the multitude of job sites on the internet, as well as the local and national newspapers, the fact remains that many job opportunities are never advertised. A large number of vacant positions in Australia are filled through an informal network rather than formal advertising. Although there’s no single magic solution to uncover opportunities within the “hidden” job market, the key is to be proactive. Keep in touch with recruiters and update them on your progress. Speak to friends, family members, current and/ or past colleagues, clients, or employers. Business and social networking events are also a great way to unearth potential vacancies.
3. Do a self-assessment
Identify your skills and have the confidence to clearly and persuasively articulate them to potential employers. You can do this by reflecting on yourself and your experiences to highlight core skills, goals, knowledge, attributes and motivations. You will also benefit from listing three key achievements in your recent positions. This will allow you to think about what contribution you made to the organisation. It’s also a great tool to have up your sleeve in an interview.
Aspects to consider include: productivity, responsibility, time management, communication skills, team work and relationship building. Consider the competencies utilised or developed in the different areas. Then determine how these experiences and skills could be applied to the industry and positions you are interested in. Identify any gaps and what possible actions you could take to address them, such as signing up to do a short course.
4. Develop your personal brand
The career savvy are now thinking of themselves as products and devising personal brands that get them noticed. Think about what it is that makes you unique to others. What do you stand for? What are your distinct traits that would add value to an organisation? Be as creative as you like and have some fun with it! Consider your personality, appearance, competencies, and differentiation, and what will best communicate your unique message. Your personal brand should be an accurate reflection of who you are.
5. Do your research
Identify two or three sectors you would ideally like to work in and do your market research. Check out their suppliers, distributors, customers and competitors. Check if there are any small businesses growing within these sectors. This can include scanning the net for industry publications, or newspapers for articles about companies that are expanding, new developments, government tenders or awards. Make contact before new jobs are advertised.
Contact Fiona on 0411 424 440 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org