You decide that your career needs a change of pace and make the plunge from one industry to another. Handling the job search well is key, especially if you're in uncharted territory. Discover three actionable tips from a career coach who decided to move on to another type of career.
Management consultant Al Dea, writing for The Muse, explains that after 5 1/2 years in the management consulting field, he decided to switch to product marketing at a tech firm. Dea notes that his time as a career coach let him practice what he preached to his clients in terms of his job search.
1. Think First, Act Second
Perhaps the most important thing you can do when starting a job search is to spend time in reflection before looking for a new job. Determine the high-level skills you bring to the table, and write down your most important strengths in terms of your personality and soft skills, and what skills you want to develop in the future.
Ask your friends, family and colleagues about what job they think would suit you best. Getting a second opinion to match or counter your own thinking can open up new options that you may not have considered before. Asking yourself and your friends hard questions leads to honest answers as you begin a job search.
2. Seek Advice
Don't be afraid to seek advice from people who went through what you are about to do. Surround yourself with supportive people who can keep you on the right path and give you sound advice. Your family and friends are the ones closest to you, but consider talking to colleagues who jumped from one job to the next to find out the lessons they learned. Your family and friends cheer you up when you're frustrated, but colleagues can put you in touch with a hiring manager, recommend you to their boss, help you apply for a job at a company and prepare for an interview.
A support network with helpful advice makes you realize that you are not alone. Those who love you and care about you want you to succeed just as much as you want them to succeed. There's no harm in relying on others to help you through a transition period.
3. Tap Into Your Network
Reach out to targeted people in your network, either through LinkedIn or via email, for relevant advice about your job search. Ask your contacts what their job is like, what skills they need to succeed and what their industry is about. These conversations help you identify relevant skills you need for a particular position.
Set up a time to talk to your contacts in person or over the phone to get more details. Make it a discussion over morning coffee, afternoon lunch or evening happy hour depending on what suits you best. Use these meetings to branch out and grow your network because these people could be the ones responsible for hiring you at some future date.
All of these tips have one thing in common to keep in mind during your job search: You cannot do this alone. Talk to your family, colleagues and networking contacts for effective results that can land you a dream job on your next step up the career ladder.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net