10 Steps to Break into a New Career with no Experience
Are you unhappy in your job? Chances are that if you have thought about packing it in, you are a little unsure and overwhelmed at the possibility of having to start from the bottom all over again in a new career.
It is a daunting prospect to change career paths and takes a lot of courage, especially if you have no prior experience in your chosen field. To help you break into a new career with no experience we have provided you with 10 steps to help you on your journey. A major regret a lot of retirees have is that they worked too hard in the wrong job and did not follow their passion. If you find yourself at a crossroads with your career, knowing these steps may make your decision a little easier.
1. Back yourselfStarting a new career is a leap into the unknown. Sometimes you just have to jump off the edge and make a plan on the way down. Breaking into a new career with no experience will be much easier if you have high levels of self-efficacy, resilience and confidence. If you truly believe you will be successful in your new career irrespective of the obstacles you will face, you are a long way towards making a successful transition. Furthermore, having confidence will impress your future employers and is a valuable asset to any organisation.
Also read: How to Know You Are Pursuing a Wrong Career
2. Acceptance you will have to start againWhilst having confidence is important, you also have to be a realist. Acknowledge the fact that you are starting from scratch. In all likelihood, your new vocation will require an entirely different skill set. Readjust your expectations of where your skill level, pay level and experience sit.
If you are prepared for this shock and have planned for this exact scenario, taking a few steps back on the payment ladder and a little hit to the ego won’t be as bad. You may find some of your skills from your previous job are transferrable and you can learn quickly.
3. Educate yourselfA majority of vocations these days require some form of qualification, whether that is a tertiary degree, diploma, certificate or course. Educating yourself in your chosen field before starting has a number of advantages:
- You can study via correspondence or online for most courses at the same time as working in your current job.
- You will get a great indication as to whether this career is one you really want to pursue before committing too far.
- You will start to bridge the gap in knowledge of your new career path.
- Even if you have no experience it shows prospective employers you have a willingness to learn about your chosen vocation before you start. This may open the doors for job interviews and start conversations about your future.
4. Offer your time for free at the place you want to workIf you are really passionate about starting a new career offering to volunteer at your desired vocation demonstrates your enthusiasm. You will find out if this is the job for you, gain a better understanding of what current skills are transferrable and what else you need to learn. What is more, you may impress your potential employer enough to be offered a permanent position.
5. Spend time updating your CV and LinkedIn profileIf you are applying for any job, employers will look at your CV and your LinkedIn profile. If you are looking to change career, keep all your information up to date. Demonstrate what skills you have and what skills you believe are transferrable. Emotional intelligence and people skills are transferrable across nearly every vocation. Also, make it clear your motivation for changing career paths. It is a great opportunity to display your passion, goals and show your willingness to seek out opportunities for growth.
6. Use your own network before exploring conventional job avenuesIf you have spent considerable time in one career already, you would have built up an extensive network of professional contacts across industries. If you are looking to change careers, tap into your own network to see if you can find a foot in the door with an organisation that you want to work for.
Friends, family and colleagues have a better chance of matching you with potential employers. They already understand your work ethic, strengths and weaknesses and how you would fit with your new organisation.
7. Plan for the long termTo break into a new career, you have to have a fair idea of where you see yourself in 10-15 years. Planning for the long term helps your break down your career change into small goals and provides great context as to why you are embarking on this new journey. Having lofty aspirations written down can also be attractive to prospective employers.
Also read: 5 Ways to Get Over the Anxiety Blues at the Start of Your Career After Graduation
8. Seek and you will findTo change careers make a point to meet people in that industry. Seek them out and learn from their experiences. Be genuinely interested in their story, ask for their advice and add value to the conversations. Anything can happen if you start the ball rolling with a few simple discussions. It is a great way to get on the radar of influential people and learn more about where you are heading.
9. Lead with your personalityIf you manage to land an interview or two for your new career use your personality as a major weapon. What does this mean? You have no experience and it will count against you in the interviewing process. To get around this emphasise strengths of your personality and how well it will fit with the organizational culture. Often this is more important than having experience and skills can be learnt quickly.
Use your story to explain your personality and do not volunteer information regarding your lack of experience. You may find that your story is enough to convince the interviewers you are worth giving an opportunity.
10. Be PatientRemember why you started and keep it in mind that good things take time. Your new career will not take shape overnight. Most probably it will take a few years to evolve to a point that you will be satisfied with.
If you are in your new career for the long haul then having patience will help you on your journey. One day you will be able to look back with fondness and realise how far you have come.
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