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Changing your career path

Change is not as scary as you think!

Back in the day, Boomers took great pride in working for the same company for 30 years. This level of dedication was seen as a sign of reliability. You worked hard, made your way up the ladder (if you were lucky). Then, if you were really lucky, you were presented with a gift (usually a watch or clock to signify time) when you retired after years of dedicated service.

Gen X’ers were slightly less bound to the ‘one career for life’ approach but the Millennials and now Gen Z are all about living your best life – and that often means that you plan to change careers frequently – in fact if you don’t then you’re the odd one out!

Chris Blair, chief executive of 21st Century, recently commented on new trends in the job market. He said, “Traditionally the number one reason for resignation has been better pay, followed by better career opportunities and development. This trend has flipped, where only approximately 20% now resign for better pay, whilst more than 70% resign for a better work-life balance, flexibility, career development, and a healthier culture and leadership”.

So there really is something to be said for doing what works for you!

These stats prove that you guys are shaking things up, doing things differently. You are challenging the norm for very good reason!

Enjoy new challenges

It is perfectly acceptable to change careers because of boredom – doing the same thing day in and day out can be soul destroying. Actively seek out new challenges – something to reignite a spark in your working life. If you feel that you have not yet found your passion and want to explore other opportunities… the world is waiting for you!

Widen your range of development

Each new job and career that you tackle improves your scope of knowledge and experience. This means working with different people who have different skills and talents which sharpens social skills and teaches you to work with a wide range of different people, from different backgrounds and cultures.

Money is necessary, but it isn’t everything

The first thing on a list of career priorities is to find work that is fulfilling and to achieve a work-life balance. Older generations had, and still have, a die-hard attitude towards work. This means working till all hours, going to work even when you’re not feeling tour best and sacrificing family and home time to further their careers and earn the big bucks. This often comes with a big price tag – relationships can suffer and so will mental and physical health!

Tips for changing career paths

Perhaps you are not 100% sure what you want as a career or don’t have the money to study. In both scenarios you may be happy to take almost any job that is offered to you just to get some experience and to get your foot in the door. This is a reality for many young people today.

Here are some quick tips on how to your change career path smoothly and successfully:

  1. Take note of your transferable skills, such as eagerness to learn or attention to detail. Build on these transferable skills in your CV and covering letter when applying for a job. You may also need to rewrite parts of your CV.
  2. Take online courses to build your skills in your spare time. There are so many good courses that can give you a head start which don’t cost money (try Google Digital Garage or Online Culture). Experience definitely counts!
  3. Do your research. Look at the requirements for the career you are interested in and offer to volunteer for a company to build your experience. If you work hard and stand out, you may get noticed and an opportunity could open up.
  4. If you have the money to study further, do it! Studying opens your mind and qualifications give your CV a boost.
  5. Write a really great cover letter explaining why you want to change career paths and what you are hoping to achieve by doing it. First impressions count!
  6. Set long-term and short-term goals so that you have a plan – be prepared!
  7. Build your networking skills. Purposefully go out to meet and chat with people who are successful in the field you are interested in. Ask them questions so that you can learn from them and exchange numbers – if you make a good impression, you could be the person they call when there is an opening!

Most importantly, have a positive attitude at all times. Negativity closes doors faster than you can open them. People want to see positivity, enthusiasm, passion, dedication and perseverance in any prospective employee. Your energy is your drawcard!

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