Are you looking for a career change? Do you know if it is a career change or if maybe it’s just a job change? How do you even know the difference? Well, lets clarify that! A job change is simply moving from one job to the next while using a similar set of knowledge, skills or abilities as you did in the previous roles. A career change will require you to learn and adopt new knowledge, skills or abilities. They say that the average person will change careers 5-7 times during their working life according to career change statistics. With the expanding number of various career choices and jobs in the market, 30% of the workforce will change their jobs and/or careers every year (career advice online).
- Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
Do you know what your strengths and weaknesses are? Have you ever reflected on what you are actually good at doing AND enjoy doing? Most people will know what they’re good at simply because they’ve done these things and have familiarized themselves with it, however, many may not necessarily enjoy doing them. I know someone who is the “Jack of All Trades” as they say, knows everything when it comes to handiwork, renovations, construction and building or repairing things. But he doesn’t necessarily enjoy doing these things - yes he’s great at it, knows how to identify a problem and repair a machine or renovate an entire kitchen, but finds it dreadful work due to the long hours, hard and heavy labor. Sooner or later, they will burn out. With that said, its critical to identify your skills, interests and passions all together. What are the things that bring you enjoyment and passion? What gets you up in the mornings and lights you up? When you’re considering a career move, think about the things you actually enjoy doing vs the things you’re simply good at and find a balance between the two. The Harrison Assessment measures 175 factors including your task preferences, motivations, work environment preferences, interests and interpersonal preferences.
- Identify Some New Careers
What potential career paths would you consider adopting with your interests and skills? List out some careers and jobs you find interesting and possibly see yourself working in and start narrowing down the list. If you’re not sure, River City HR can provide you with a Career Options report, simply by completing our 20 minute questionnaire. The Harrison Assessments is a valuable tool for starting, changing and developing your career. The system compares your preferences to the requirements of more than 681 career options to determine the careers that you're more likely to enjoy. That’s a lot of options to consider, and guess what, they’re customized to YOUR individual skills and interests!
- Do You Need to Get Schooled?
What educational requirements, credentials or professional designations do you need? Are there any skills you need for the new career that you do not currently have? How can you upgrade your skills? Do you need to go to school, or a technical institution? Or do you just need a quick weekend course to upgrade your skills? You may not even need to enroll in school and can learn a new skill on your own through massive open online courses. Whether it is one or two courses, or a new degree in a new field, make sure you know what requirements you need, and if you’re willing to commit to learning before you dive in.
- Where are the Opportunities?
Scan the job market! Are there current opportunities in the area you are currently living in or will you need to make a move? Is the career you are considering perhaps seasonal work or impacted by external factors? What are the industries that offer jobs in this career? If you are looking to be an Oceanographer, you’ll definitely need to be close to the waters and Alberta probably won’t have many opportunities for this. So, make sure you know what its going to take both mentally and physically and make sure that you’re entering a job market where there is opportunity for you.
- Network & Connect
I cannot emphasize this one enough! It is so important to connect with other people, especially when you are transitioning to something new. We are all here to contribute to one another, to help each other grow and succeed and have something to offer each other (well, the majority of us anyway). Talk to people who are already in the field or, that have connections in the career you are considering. Interview these people, ask them what their experiences have been like, why did they choose that career, what is a typical workday like in that job etc. Get into a state of inquiry and ask questions, that’s the best way to learn! Gather data and take what information you need to help you understand what the job is really like on a day to day basis. Use LinkedIN and other social media or professional platforms to your advantage to grow your network, learn and connect and start creating your personal brand.
To get some additional exposure and experience, volunteer! It is always a good idea to volunteer some of your time, if you can, in the career field you’re considering. Not only are you contributing your time, you will get some valuable hands on experience by volunteering in the field you’ve chosen as your career. And while you’re working on the transition, whether its upgrading your education, skill set or simply your resume, it’s a good idea to volunteer to expand your network and learn as much as you can about the job before you get your new gig.
If you are interested in learning more about your greatest strengths and career options and want to take the questionnaire, contact us! We love helping people find their strengths, true passions and connecting them to a career they will truly enjoy!