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Transitioning careers: How to successfully navigate a career change.



Photographs: Pexels

Text: Luke Hannon


If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."


This quote has been attributed to many people, from Henry Ford to Tony Robbins. Regardless, you may decide it's time for a change at some point in your career. Time for a new job. A new direction. A new career. But how?


Changing careers can be tricky if you don't know what you're doing. It can lead to many people quitting their passion before they've even gotten started. So, let me take you step-by-step and show you how you can successfully navigate a career change. Let's get started!


Start with why

When considering any career change, ask yourself one question: "Why?"


Knowing the answer to this question is the key to everything that follows. Why do you want to make a career change? Are you dissatisfied with your current career? Do you want to follow your passions into a new area? Are you looking for a job that aligns more with your values? By understanding your "why" you'll be far better able to pinpoint what, how and when you can make a career change.


If you want to make a career change - start with why.


Assess your skills

Skills pay the bills. And transferable skills help you navigate a career change. To change careers, you need to objectively assess where your skills are and where you need to develop. This will help you to understand the possible options open to you. It'll help you create a plan to learn the skills you lack, which could mean anything from taking online courses to volunteering or gaining certifications. Once you've done this, you can compare your skills to your interests and passions and better understand your next move.


If you want to change your career - assess your skills first.


"When considering any career change, ask yourself one question: "Why?"


(Re-)Create your CV and cover letter

How do you get an interview without the proper experience?


The key is to re-write your CV to highlight the transferable skills necessary for the job in your newly chosen field. The time for sending generic CVs is over! It's time to get hyper-specific. Analyse each job you apply for and ensure you fill your CV with as many relevant skills and keywords from the job description. It's crucial to reinforce your CV with as many relevant examples as possible and include numbers and statistics as you can.


Hate writing cover letters? Guess what? A well-written cover letter can be the difference between getting the interview or not. By showing the hiring manager your passion and drive, you can successfully stand out and convince them you're the best person for the job.


If you want to change your career - you need the perfect CV and cover letter.


Ace the interview

You've landed an interview - congrats!


But don't celebrate too soon. You may have gotten an interview, but you still need to be able to convince the manager to take a shot on you. In the interview, it's vital to highlight your experience and knowledge and how it's relevant to the job. Do your best to use specific examples to highlight your transferable skills. Just as important, though, is to be open and honest where you have gaps in your skills and experience and be prepared to explain how you plan to learn. If you can do this, you will be much closer to landing a job and taking the first steps in your new career.


If you want to change your career, you must ace the interview.


There you have it! My simple how-to guide on how you can successfully navigate your next career move. Best of luck!

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