When you walk into work dreading the long day you have ahead of yourself, perhaps it’s time to find a new job—or dare we say it— a new career?
Over the past few years, job-hopping has increased in popularity, with 64% of workers favoring the action, according to a 2018 survey conducted by staffing firm Robert Half. Switching jobs can lead to a higher salary, better job satisfaction, and more. Although there are plenty of advantages of saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new, the job hunt can definitely be intimidating, especially if you’re searching in a new industry.
Whether you’ve been in the same cubicle for a decade or just started your job a year ago, it is never too late—or early—to switch careers. When it does come time for a switch, you will need to spend some time sprucing up your resume and retargeting your skills. A lot of the skills you’ve perfected in your first career can actually be relevant to your second career. All it takes is a little rewording, fine-tuning, and retargeting. Luckily for you, we are here to help you do just that.
Top-notch communication skills are essential to success in any workplace. How can you be productive if you can’t communicate properly with someone? Communication skills are so generic that they are very easy to retarget.
Perhaps you are moving from a sales position to a management role. As a sales expert, you probably have a lot of experience speaking to potential customers and ultimately, convincing them to purchase your good or service. In addition to your oral persuasion, you’ve most likely developed written tools to help you in your sales expeditions.
When applying for a management role in a completely different industry, are any of those traits applicable? Well, all of them are. The management role may require you to develop presentations and speak at company-wide meetings. While you may have never actually done those things, you’ve still expressed expertise in the skills essential to performing those actions.
Those written tools you created? That proves your writing can capture the attention of the reader—and business presentations better capture the attention of your audience. And all those customers you spoke to on the phone? That shows you have no problem speaking to others in any type of setting. If you want to get technical, you can even share your sales results with your potential employer to further prove the quality of your communications skills.
Now it is your turn to put what we are preaching into practice. Reflect on the communication tasks, both oral and written, that you have had to perform at your current job. Next, take a look at a job description in the industry you have your eyes set on. Can you rework your current skills to match the requirements for the new role? Chances are you can!
Everyone is a leader in their own right. Just because you are in an entry-level position doesn’t mean you are necessarily at the bottom of the totem pole. To us, leaders are synonymous with go-getters. Essentially, they want to move the company forward and they typically work well with others.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what position you are applying for or what industry you want to step foot in. Leaders are always needed and strong leadership skills will always set you apart.
Morton T. Hansen, University of California, Berkeley professor and author of Great at Work and Collaboration, claims leaders should possess three qualities: productive paranoia, empirical creativity, and fanatic discipline. Today, lets focus on the last one.
Hansen recognizes that discipline can mean a lot of things, such as “working hard, following rules [and] being obedient.” However, Hansen’s research uncovered discipline as consistency. The leaders he examined expressed “consistency with values, long-term goals and performance standards; consistency of method; and consistency over time.”
Consistency is important because it shows dedication and a commitment to getting a job done. How have you demonstrated consistency in past leadership roles? Did you set a recurring goal over time and did you consistently meet your standards? If the answer is yes, be sure to share that with your potential employer. Companies want to see that you are a goal-oriented, reliable achiever.
It may sound obvious that employers want employees to have solid listening skills. However, this is still a skill that some people just do not promote enough.
This is actually a really easy skill to make relevant to any career or industry. Those that are good listeners are usually the ones that learn from their mistakes and improve. Picture this: You are working as a web engineer. One day, the system you have been developing crashes. Devastated, you turn to your boss for advice. He gives you some advice, which you in turn follow. Because of your willingness to seek and accept feedback, you are able to resolve your problem and learn from the experience.
Now let’s say you are that same web engineer who wants to kiss coding goodbye and start a new career path. That one incident we just discussed could prove to be very valuable to future employers. Although you probably won’t run into any system crashes or technical issues in your new role, the fact that you asked for help and implemented the advice is worth millions.
It’s hard to ask for help. It’s hard to admit you made a mistake. But, what matters is that you have the ability to swallow your pride and learn. It’s a trait that is difficult to teach but is coveted in the workforce.
When beginning a new career, knowledge of the technical skills required for the industry is always important. However, if your knowledge base is limited or still growing, be sure to highlight all of the soft skills that you possess.
As a worker, you must know how to communicate, you should be a leader, and you definitely need to listen. When in doubt, think about the experiences that you’ve had in your past career and extract all of the basic skills utilized in those incidents. Those skills are what you can then relate to your new position.
Ready to start the search for your new career? Call iGenCo today and be sure to look for Part 3 of our Navigating Your Career series!