If you feel as if you’ve plateaued at your current job, you may be thinking about a career move. But even if you still think there’s plenty of room for growth, the coronavirus pandemic may have provided you with a reality check on the stability of your job. Regardless of the reason you’re considering a career change, now is a good time to think about how to approach it. There is some preparation you can do in advance of the transition as well as steps to take to land the next career of your dreams.
Decide what career aspects you want
When deciding on a new career, consider what aspects or qualities are essential for your satisfaction. For example, the coronavirus outbreak left many people unemployed because they could not transition their job to “work from home.” Consider if the opportunity to work remotely would be an important aspect of your future career. When choosing your next career, research if the career of your choice is trending and has a bright future. Some of the most sought-after jobs now and for the next decade include the following:
- Management positions
- Anything tech or IT related
- Registered nurses or medical practitioners
Look into additional training
Depending on the career change you wish to make, you may be able to leverage your existing skills, or you may have to learn new ones altogether. Do some research about your future career and what kind of qualifications and training are required.
Some types of training may take months or longer. It’s financially smart to continue working while you complete your new career education. While you’re at your current job, enroll for online learning or attend night school to pick up the skills and certifications you’ll need. Minimize your unemployment time by preparing for the transition while you’re still working if you can manage it.
Research if there are better opportunities elsewhere
You’ve probably invested years of training to get to where you are today. Perhaps what you need is a change of scenery instead of a new career. Look into job opportunities in other cities and states. You may find that you would be better supported in your existing career by making a move. The infrastructure may be better elsewhere, or the community may be closer to the type you’re looking to interact with. Even if you go ahead with a career change, a relocation could still provide you with expanded opportunities you would not find where you currently live. The key is to research what other cities have to offer.
A good way to find relevant information about other cities and states for job relocation is by joining social media groups in the areas on your radar. You may get valuable information from locals about what life is really like in the city of your choice. You could learn about what the economy is like and what other locals in the group like and dislike most about where they live. Social media groups can provide information about every aspect from moving to the best neighborhoods to recommended realtors. You may also meet new people who can help you network to find work or who could become part of your friends and contacts once you relocate.
Safely start the job application process
Once you’ve attained the certifications or training you’ll need and have an idea of the city or area you’d like to work in, it’s time to start the application process. Polish your resume; you’ll need it for every job you apply for. When putting together your resume or updating it, be mindful of your personal data and how it can be used.
While it’s a good idea to include your name, email address, and phone number on your resume, do not disclose your physical address or Social Security number. You don’t know who has access to the resume you submit or how it’s stored.
Consider cybersecurity methods too. If you choose to upload your resume to LinkedIn or a job website for employers to view, minimize the amount of personal information included. Don’t use and disclose the same email that you use for logging into your bank and financial accounts. Set up a free email account specifically for the job hunt.
Don’t just safeguard your information; protect the privacy of your references as well. Instead of listing the names and contact information of your references on a publicly accessible resume, include a brief statement such as “references available upon request.”
Keep things in perspective
A career change and the subsequent job hunt is never easy. It’s important to keep things in perspective by understanding that a career change is a process and doesn’t happen overnight. It takes preparation and work to get from where you are to where you’d like to be. Safeguard your sanity by maintaining a healthy balance of personal and work-life until you land your dream job.
About the Author:
Jori Hamilton is a writer from the Pacific Northwest who has a particular interest in social justice, politics, education, healthcare, technology, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @ HamiltonJori.