Career change advice (from someone who's been there, done that!)
Updated: Oct 22, 2019
Having successfully pivoted my profession back in 2015 from being a ‘suit’ in the ad agency world to digital recruitment, I often speak with people seeking advice on how to do the same thing and change their career based on my own experience and what I’ve come to learn in my new role.
People seek to change their careers for various reasons; their goals have shifted or values changed, they want to try something new, or they’ve discovered new interests that they want to incorporate into a new job. For whatever the reason, navigating a career change can be a daunting prospect. Now with Chinese New Year been and gone, bonuses being settled and hiring budgets getting released, I thought it would be timely to share some useful tips to help navigate this change.
What are your motives, interests and skills?
The first things to consider when planning a change is why you want to make it and why now’s the best time to do it. As a start, I often ask questions prompting people to evaluate their current/past job satisfaction, identifying which aspects of the job they like and what what they’re looking to let go. Most importantly, identifying what are they looking to change. It could be situational, we often speak with candidates who are looking to move to the Lion City, or expats who’ve recently moved that are prompted to reflect and feel it’s the right time to bite the bullet and make the move.
What are your transferrable skills?
While upgrading your skills through courses such as Coursera or General Assembly can help you upskill, you will increase your chances of success through highlighting your transferable skills to match the new role. Do your research and highlight your competencies, responsibilities, achievements in your CV and match them up to the job descriptions in question.
Build up a network of contacts:
Often applications on job boards such as LinkedIn is not the best way to a new career simply due to the sheer number of applicants, and (sometimes) HR only reviewing people with explicit experience. My recommendation, talk to people, particularly hiring managers in the role/function you want. The beauty of Singapore is people more often-than-not love to network, so reach out to people and ask about the work they do as this will help you find out whether you would in-fact like the role, and whether you could be suitable. Put yourself out there, set up coffee meetings, head to networking events, and ask for referrals.
Be patient and realistic:
Whether you’re just thinking about changing your career or already speaking with hiring managers, be realistic that you may need to take up other jobs, or what I like to refer to as stepping stones, first in order to reach your end goal. Consider alternative roles within your current industry which utilise the knowledge and skills you already have, gain experience and network before making the next move.
If you’re looking to make a change, or simply want to have a chat about your next move you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org