It’s happened to many people in their careers – the job you thought you’d love when you were in college isn’t what you imagined. A job you’ve had for a while isn’t what it used to be. Maybe you’ve outgrown the job, or as you’ve gained experience, the type of work you’re passionate about has changed. Sometimes the best solution is to consider a career change.
Recognize the signs:
Boredom or Loss of Passion: There are ebbs and flows for everyone when it comes to how passionate they are about the work they’re doing. However, if you find yourself feeling this way all the time, and can’t identify anything about your job you are passionate about, this could be your first sign to start investigating other opportunities.
Poor professional growth: There are a number of ways we can grow in our careers and be rewarded for our efforts. Perhaps you’re looking for great mentorship and personal growth, or maybe it’s something as simple as getting a raise you deserve. No one ever wants to feel like their career has stalled out and their current position isn’t helping with future goals.
No opportunities to grow your “personal brand:” If your employer isn’t making use of your strengths and allowing you to be your authentic self, you may have a hard time standing out and doing great work.
But simply being dissatisfied with your current role or career doesn’t help you determine what’s next. To do that, figure out what you’ve been most passionate about in your previous positions and what work environments have made you feel the most energized. From there, you can start to plan what your ultimate goal is, and the steps needed to get there.
Step 1: Pivot to a new career by translating your skills
Don’t sell yourself short by preparing a traditional resume in reverse chronological order that highlights your job duties at each role. Instead, focus on the skills and accomplishments you have gained throughout your career that would apply to a new opportunity. Are you wanting to transition into sales? Showcase your accomplishments that impacted sales or revenue at your last job, or your ability to persuade. Think in broad terms about what skills you use day to day, and how those would make you better in your new career.
Step 2: Acquire Experience
There are many opportunities to acquire experience that don’t come from a job. For example, if you want to go into programming, but past positions haven’t provided this opportunity, it’s still possible to deepen your abilities and create a portfolio of work on your own. Prepare for your desired career by studying programming, for instance, and building your own app, or even cross-training with other departments at your present job.
Step 3: Move to an Intermediate Job that Blends Disciplines
It’s possible that you’ll find yourself in a situation where your past jobs and your dream career have very few shared skills in common, making it difficult to move directly from one career to another. Many times a conversation with your manager about your career goals can open up opportunities to gain experience in other fields and help get you started in the right direction
Step 4: Set Appropriate Expectations
Once you’ve acquired the skills needed for your career transition, or worked to reframe your current skills for the new role, it’s important to set appropriate expectations for the positions and income you will be qualified for in your new career. You may have to start at an entry level position, or one requiring much less professional experience than you possess, if your skills do not translate directly. You may take a pay cut in the short term, but often times you can get your foot in the door and count on your previous experience to help move your career forward.
Career changes are common, especially as technology and social media are reinventing the way many parts of business work. Proper planning can make even a major transition an exhilarating life experience that will reenergize your work and positively affect your life. While you’re looking for that dream job, check out Accenture’s openings and see what skills you can translate into your next career.