The dictionary defines Career as an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress. That definition is simply saying that we spend majority of our lives working and secondly that promotion should come with our careers. So, because of those two factors, it is important that we should be in a career that we love and secondly, our career path should come with progression.
Two of the common reasons why people change their career path are: they do not like their job and secondly, they do not have the opportunity for progression. In this post, I bring you some TIPS on how to go about changing your career paths. Changing your job or Career Path should not only be driven by all the things you don’t like about your current job. It should particularly be driven by the things you enjoy very much…..your strengths….the things that make you come alive: e.g. customers, communication, coaching, people etc.
Finding a job that embodies all the things that make you come alive, would help you maximise your strengths and possibly help you find meaning in the work you do. To find that job, sometimes you may have to change your career path, sometimes you may have to change your department in the same organisation and sometimes you may have to change organisation altogether
Changing Career Path within the Same Organisation:
If the option to switch departments is the next best step for you, speak to your Manager with your WHY, PLAN and RESULTS you have in mind. For example, I need to change department to maximise my coaching skills which in turn would help me train people leader to lead better. Know that when your own personal objectives would help solve some business objectives, your Manager or Organisation is more likely to invest in your growth, career change or career progression.
When it comes to job or career change, you need help especially from the person you report to, for example, your Manager. A lot of times, professionals try to force their way through change thinking their Managers won’t support them BUT sincerely, many people leader (Managers) have been equipped to nurture talents in the work place, so use the help of your Manager to effect the change you want to achieve on your career journey. While in some cases this may not be the case, do your best to have a solid professional relationship with your Manager – you need them in your career change or progression, especially when it is an internal career change you are seeking.
When seeking an opportunity within the same organisation in a different department, here is a step to take:
- Check that your skills and experience would help your succeed in the new department you are interested in. If not, look for ways to close/bridge the GAPS on your experience and skills. You can take courses or shadow other people to learn those skills. To achieve this you need the support of your manager.
- Speak with your manager with your WHY, PLAN and RESULT as said before
- Speak with the Hiring Manager in charge of your desired department. Understand what kind of person they are looking to bring on board and what skills they have to have.
- Use the information in 3 above to prepare your CV and apply for the role
- Prepare for your interview
- If you do not get the job, be patient and wait. Don’t be too hard of yourself.
- Try again. Don’t give up.
Changing Career Path Outside of Your Current Organisation:
If changing organisation is the best route for you to change your career, you still need a WHY, PLAN and RESULTS….in simple words, why do you want the change, how will you achieve it and what results do you want out of the change?
In this case, the best option is not for you to start job hunting. Recognise what organisation you want to work at (up to 3), connect with people, at least someone who works in that organisation, if you can connect with more people and speak with them about the organisation. Then speak with someone who does what you want to be doing. Ask them, what they do on daily basis, the challenges, the wins and the perks: pay, benefits etc. Ensure to have your Job Change Why in mind when finding your facts
Ask yourself, if I got a job in this organisation (ABC Inc.) and in this capacity (mid-level), would it bring me closer to fulfilling my WHY and get the RESULTS I want…
Once you gather all your information, from your findings, plot your exit from your current organisation by:
- Do a skill analysis. Is there a GAP in your skill set and plan how you would upskill. For example, taking on courses or taking on more responsibilities with your current functions.
- Update your CV with skills and experience that would help your land the job you are looking to get
- Continue to prepare for interviews. Be flexible to be able to attend those interviews
- Don’t announce your exit just yet
- When you get the job, manage this professionally by letting your Manager know your intention. Remain professional, never ever burn bridges. Your paths may cross again.
- Say your goodbyes and stay in touch with your former colleagues and co-workers.
While career change or changing jobs can be like a major career move, it is doable if we approach it the right way. When taking on this challenge of career change, it is always best to have an end picture in mind and slowly work your way there. If you need help with your job or career change, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be my pleasure to help you on your journey.