One of the most gut-wrenching feelings for any professional is waking up one day and realising that they hate their career.
Not just the job, but everything that the field encompasses. Not only have you invested everything into this career, you’re an expert within it, and you are secure in your position.
But if you aren’t happy, you may find yourself dreaming about quitting and starting over.
The idea may seem out of reach due to a complete lack of background and experience, but if you’re dedicated enough, you can make a career switch.
Here are some tips to help you get a job outside of your field.
Write a Mission Statement
You may know what you don’t want to do anymore, but what do you want to do?
It’s not enough to know that you want out of your current position; you need to think carefully about what you want for yourself going forward.
What is your objection to your current career?
Spend some time examining your personal goals and dreams and decide what you really want, then write it down and use it to measure your progress.
Otherwise, you may end up in the same place in a few years.
Identify Transferable Skills
Even though you don’t have the background, education, or experience that your new field requires, you likely have some skills that you can bring to the table.
Soft skills like communications ability, organisation, self-direction, and others can be exactly what you need to focus your CV on when you’re heading into the unknown.
If you can sell yourself based on some of the transferable skills that you already have, you may have a leg up on recent graduates with knowledge, but no work experience at all.
Don’t allow your lack of knowledge to last long.
If possible, take a certification or a hobbyist course in your newly chosen profession.
Read books. Buy texts. Take an online course. Sign up for professional organisations and newsletters. Attend a conference. Get involved in an internet forum. Ask questions.
Reach out to experts and explain your passion and your drive and see if someone will be willing to mentor you.
If you aren’t an expert yet, do everything you can to become one.
You can gain some valuable knowledge and experience by volunteering your time.
If you’re looking to break into marketing, offer your services for free to a local non-profit. Just be up-front about the fact that you have no experience.
If you’re lucky, you can volunteer for an organization that already has a professional working for them and work along-side them as you learn the ropes.
They’ll likely be grateful for the assistance, and they’ll be more than happy to share what they know.
Build Some Credibility
Just like with volunteering, you should let any potential clients know that you are inexperienced and looking to build a portfolio.
You may find someone who needs your services but can’t afford to hire a professional.
They get a low-cost service, and you get to produce work and add it to your CV.
Just make sure that you’re producing a quality product, or this can backfire and destroy your career before it even starts.
Tailor Your CV
Once you’ve learned a bit and put together some work examples through volunteer service or freelancing, you can start to apply for jobs in your chosen field.
Read job descriptions carefully and make sure that your CV focuses on exactly what the employer is looking for.
Don’t forget to tailor your cover letter as well, personalising it with exactly why you want the position.
If you’ve taken care of diving in, volunteering, and building your credibility, you may already be on your way to building a network.
Remember to keep in touch with all the people you worked with and for, as well as those that you turned to for advice and expertise.
Let them know that you’re on solid footing and are ready to embark on your new career, and to let you know if they hear of anything that might be a good fit for you.
Landing a job in a new field that you have no expertise in can be daunting, but it’s not impossible.
Follow these tips to help get started in the right direction.
Thanks for those tips Evie, they’re top class.
Honestly, anyone looking for a job outside of their usual remit should really put these tips to use.
And if you’re looking for further advice, these blog posts go hand-in-hand with this one:
- 10 of the Best Companies to Work for Right Now (and Why)
- 8 Simple Steps to Help You Hand in Your Notice [Slideshare]
- What Is A ‘Sabbatical’ And Why Should You Take One?
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