change career became something common during the life of a professional. Whether you are looking for new horizons and knowledge or because your original field of work is saturated, this career transition it is more successful the better it is planned and structured. Here are seven steps to consider when looking for a new practice area.]
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Step 1: Describe your new field in detail
Be more specific than just thinking about nonprofits, IT, or finance. What sectors would you like to work in? And what would you like to do? Fundraising? Administrative area? E-commerce? Asset management?
This is your biggest challenge. Why should your company transfer you to another industry when there are available candidates in that same industry? The answer lies in the skills you have that you can apply in your field. How can they be used? Make a list of these skills and articulate them clearly.
Step 2: What jobs need your skills?
Through job postings and – more importantly – networking, find out which companies or NGOs seem right for you – and vice versa. Explore mission statements, corporate values, and cultures. Read news about them and search their job listings and job descriptions. The more connected you are, the more logical the transition will be.
Step 3: Create a new career development plan
Assess the needs of each organization and the qualifications for each position. Evaluate your skills and experience. Do they meet the needs of the market? Make a checklist. Where you agree, great. Where you disagree, create a plan and tactics to narrow the gap. Then run. Do what you need to do to bridge that gap: take courses, earn certifications, or even get involved in projects from other departments.
Step 4: Update your transition resume and profiles
prepare a resume and/or professional biography which represents your qualifications for the new field. Update your social media profiles to represent the future, not the past. Use keywords and connect with people who are doing what you want. Follow their posts, find the newsgroups they are in and learn from the topics discussed.
Step 5: Define your target companies
THE segmentation is one of the two most effective job search strategies. Once you know where you’d like to work, it’s easier to identify opportunities and give people the right answer when you’re networking and they ask, “How can I help you?” Remember, you can’t hit your target if you don’t have it.
Also, ask why you chose this organization. Is it because you like what they do, believe in their mission and agree with their values? Is it because they offer flexible hours or a friendly work environment? Or is it because you heard they have good benefits? This third reason is perhaps the one that has less force for those who seek this change.
Step 6: Build new relationships
Networking is the second most successful strategy, responsible for securing more than half of all jobs in the United States – across all industries. Keep your network active, not just when you’re looking for a job, but all the time. Always make connections. Think of all the ramifications a network of relationships, social or face-to-face, can have, and go.
Step 7: Seek professional support for your career
Career transition requires work, knowledge and support. Consider hiring a professional coach to help you plan and implement the transition. Find a mentor, if applicable, or a sponsor for your change within the company (Some companies have this type of program). It’s important to have someone from the outside who can complement your vision and help you in a new area. Just don’t go alone.