If you are considering a career change you are not alone. The pandemic has caused many of us to pause, reflect and reconsider. Now that the recovery is beginning and the job market continues to gain more positive momentum, many tech professionals are thinking the moment for them to change course is near. If not now, then when?
Deciding that you wish to make a career change is one thing. Knowing what to do next is quite another. Let us help to guide you on the path to making a successful career change.
Identify the why.
There may be several reasons fuelling your need for a career change. Despite this, try to pinpoint one or two core reasons motivating your decision. This insight will form the baseline strategy for your job search and steer you toward what you really want.
If you still can’t quite put your finger on why you want a career change, try asking yourself these two questions…
- When was the last time I felt inspired by and proud of my work?
- What do I really like to do most, both professionally and personally?
Perhaps it is a desire to engage in more meaningful work. Perhaps it is a lack of salary growth or the inability to advance your career with your current employer. Whatever your reasons, make sure you are clear and resolute about what they are.
Assess your skills, experience, and potential.
Once you are clear about why and where you want to pursue a new career track, the next step is to establish if you have the necessary skills and experience to reach your desired destination.
Begin this assessment by reviewing job ads for your chosen path. What do employers seek in candidates for the roles that interest you most?
Another thought is your potential to grow your abilities quickly. Some career changes may require additional training to launch this new career successfully. You may find some employers are willing to train promising candidates for certain roles or have a training scheme as part of the role.
You may however need to pursue learning in your own time, such as through online courses before you are ready to switch careers.
Some external input may also be useful here. If you have a network of trusted colleagues or peers, you could consider asking them for their thoughts on your professional strengths and weaknesses that could impact your ability to switch careers.
Are you fully committed to the journey?
Make sure your need for change is not just a knee-jerk reaction to a bad day. We all have days when we feel like throwing in the towel. You need to make sure that you are considering a career change for the long term and for the right reasons.
Perhaps it is not a career change you need, but a horizontal role in a different organisation, or perhaps if you are feeling unfulfilled, it is a promotion you need.
If you are looking for a career in an industry that is entirely new, it is likely you will need to take a considerable pay cut or start “at the bottom” again. Can you afford that? Are you prepared to do entry-level work?
The reality of a career change is that it can be demoralising and not what we expect. You may get a few more knockbacks than before, or you may need to enter at a more junior level. Once you do get a foot in the door, your line manager and peers may be younger yet more experienced than you.
Once you have considered all this, would you be happy with it? What could you stomach if it meant you could work in your dream role?
Consider working with a recruitment partner.
Another option when considering a change of career is to let a well-reputed talent solutions partner help you.
Ignite Digital is a tech, digital, and data talent solutions expert. We build digital careers and should you work in one of these fields, we would be best placed to help.
Our recruitment partners can offer tailored, educated and seasoned advice on how to navigate a change of career within, or into tech. We have a wealth of specific industry information, including details on market trends, in-demand skills, and salary expectations.
This will help to inform you about what is reasonable to expect at this stage and an honest assessment of how suited you are at this stage to slide into a new role within the tech industry.
What to look for in a recruitment partner.
With much of the high street dedicated to the recruitment sector, what do you need to look for to ensure that you are choosing the right partner to help you?
We would recommend enlisting the help of specialists. A great recruitment partner should be experts in their field, able to use their knowledge and experience to advise and guide you.
They will also be “in the know” about which area of tech is experiencing a boom, and the skills you will need to break into that arena.
It is also more than likely that they will have established solid professional relationships with hiring managers and decision-makers. Here at Ignite, we have found roles for “Heads of” and then went on to help them find their teams!
Once you have researched the talent solutions open to you, you are able to decide about the right partner for you. Once you have done so, you should reach out. You can do this by submitting your application against a specific role that your research tells you may be appropriate or by registering as a potential candidate who is open to a variety of opportunities with client companies.
You could also consider adding a cover note explaining that you are looking to diversify your career path and would appreciate a conversation about your options at this stage.
A great recruitment partner will want to help you, even if they don’t have any suitable roles at this time. They should be willing to give you advice on how to proceed, the sorts of roles you should be pursuing, and how to go about doing so.
Any relationship you initiate with a recruitment partner will be more productive if you have already been taking steps down your desired path. This way they have something to work with. A great start would be to have earned an in-demand credential. If you have at least some of the skills and certifications you need to make your desired career move, the agency will be more successful at connecting you with potential employers.
- Identify 2 or 3 clear reasons why you are looking to change your career.
- Review your skills, experience, and potential.
- Can you grow these quickly, or do you need to invest in additional training alongside employment?
- Read job descriptions of the roles you wish to move into. What do you need to upskill? Which of your current skills are transferable?
- If you can, start earning credentials while you are still employed.
- Are you fully committed to the journey? Are you prepared to take on entry-level work and salary while your career builds?
- Consider asking for help from a recruitment partner.
- Choose your recruitment partner carefully. Choose experts in the field you wish to move into, paying close attention to if their specialism aligns with your goals.
Are you a tech, digital, or data professional looking to move into a new specialism or area? Perhaps you are considering a move into tech.
We can advise you on how to make the best possible move. Reach out today.