With new goals and evolving priorities, the beginning of a new year is often the time for new changes. Shifting career paths is one of those changes we often consider taking, whether it’s because we want to finally pursue our passions or simply try something new. Regardless of the motivations, one thing is for certain – a career change should never be made suddenly and without consideration. This decision needs to be smart in order to be successful, so here are some ways you can make a healthy shift in your career in 2023:
Focus on your strengths
When facing career uncertainties, you might have a tendency to focus only on your shortcomings. In fact, it can be quite uncomfortable to prioritize our strengths. However, reflecting on your strong points will allow you to determine exactly what you enjoy doing, what comes naturally to you, and where you can add the most value. As a result, you will be better equipped to identify the environments and roles in which you can thrive. Ask yourself which achievements you’re most proud of, when you tend to be most productive, and what positive feedback you often receive. Highlight the qualities you notice in your answers, and you can determine potential career paths more easily.
Find growth opportunities
Changing careers isn’t only about finding a job that plays to your strengths. You also need to identify and seize any untapped potential in order to develop new aptitudes and make your resume stand out. Reflect on your current knowledge and skillset to see whether there are any opportunities for growth. Consider whether you can improve your existing strengths and if there are any specific hard and soft skills you’ve always wanted to develop. Also, think about any situations in the past you wish you’d handled differently, possibly better or more professionally. This will allow you to determine potential areas of improvement. Focus your training and education efforts on these areas to support your career shift.
Consider your career options
Once you’ve invested in development and are able to determine what you enjoy doing, it will be time to explore different career options. Narrow down the list of industries you’re interested in, look at the most popular job titles in those fields, and research specific factors such as the common responsibilities industry roles entail and the necessary requirements for entering the field. It would also be a good idea to research leading industry companies to see if they’re a good fit for you. If you want to enter the contingent workforce, for instance, you have to know whether the business you choose has efficient contractor payroll solutions. This will help to streamline the processes of interviewing, onboarding, payment, and more.
Highlight transferable skills
Learning additional skills and gaining formal qualifications is always beneficial when changing careers, but it might not be necessary for all situations. Rather than focusing on what you might be lacking, highlight any transferable skills to make your career shift easier. Reflect on your experience and identify any hard and soft skills that can easily be used and adapted to the new field. For example, previous teachers starting marketing careers will already know how to tailor content to specific audiences. Calling attention to these competencies in your resume and job interviews can help you demonstrate your value more easily and paint you as a strong candidate.
Work with a good mentor
The advantages of mentorship are endless at any point in your career, especially when shifting to a new field. A good mentor can offer first-hand knowledge of the industry, give valuable feedback on your work so far, help you avoid any common mistakes and pitfalls, and provide new career opportunities. While finding a great mentor might not always be easy, it’s possible with a bit of work. If you already have some good professional contacts, you can tap into your network to see whether someone would be willing to guide you. If not, consider attending industry events or joining professional organizations and approach industry leaders with your offer.
Try to build your network
Changing careers means immersing yourself in a new industry. Networking can be of great help throughout this process, enabling you to build valuable connections, learn more about the field, and find new job opportunities. Start networking as soon as possible by attending meetups and events, connecting with professionals on LinkedIn, talking to peers if you’ve decided to take a course, etc. Try to connect with various people, from industry newcomers to seasoned experts. The larger and more diverse your network is, the greater your career prospects will be.
There’s truly never been a better time to pursue your passions. Use the advice above to make a healthy shift in your career this year, and start a future of long-term happiness and success.