Starting out a career can be a great experience. Whether you got a job straight out of high school and have been working hard to prove yourself or obtained a bachelor's degree to get your foot in the door, at various points, many of us realise that what we once dreamed of has not quite worked out the way we had envisioned. However, changing it can be difficult without appropriate training.
Take, for instance, 27-year-old Jennifer Goff. Speaking with Fast Company, she explained how after landing her perfect job, the flame eventually turned into a barely lit ember.
"I had adapted to the continuous deadlines and had established smooth, efficient routines – yet I was less absorbed by the work," she said. "I no longer had moments when I felt 'in over my head.' And, oddly, I missed that."
Many of us realise that what we once dreamed of has not quite worked out the way we had envisioned.
Having mastered her duties, she could have stayed and done well, but making a change proved to be the right thing for her to do.
"It was hard for me to say goodbye," admitted Ms Goff. "But I looked ahead to the benefits that could come from exploring the unknown."
Australians not confident in making a successful career change
In Australia, this desire to hand in your resignation and explore this unknown is strong, but actually following through with such life-changing intentions doesn't always happen.
According to a survey conducted in early 2015 by job seeking website Seek, 38 per cent of Australians were planning on changing jobs at some point during the year, but only 23 were expected to do so. As well as other reasons, 27 per cent of employees were apprehensive about making a change because they were concerned about whether or not they could prove themselves in a new position.
This is quite common when professionals have already climbed up several rungs, and know that if they were to start again, they'd likely have to restart from the bottom. For many, this could mean taking a major pay cut.
In today's working environment, however, organisations value soft skills. Communicating proficiently, working as part of a team, and pick up on new technologies and techniques quickly are revered in virtually every role.
But changing your career course often requires more than just a few transferable skills listed on your CV, especially if it is something that requires advanced knowledge. You may, in fact, require some additional training, such as a nationally recognised diploma or certificate, to ensure that you are not kicking off your new career in first gear.
A convincing cover letter may not cut it. You may just need to skill up to prove yourself.
Employers seeking workers from other industries
A recent study from LinkedIn found that the practice of hiring outside of an employer's industry is becoming far more common. For instance, internet companies are hiring almost 12 per cent of their workers from other industries, and even 8.2 per cent of management consulting hires are taken on without any directly relevant experience. As companies look to bring in fresh perspectives and competencies, looking towards the unknown can be a way to do this.
However, as a job seeker looking to venture into a new field rather than an employer scouting an candidate, a convincing cover letter may not cut it. You may just need to skill up to prove yourself.
For instance, US-based financial planning service LearnVest recently spoke to Jan Whang who traded in her text books for a set of dental instruments. Graduating at 33 after a relatively long career as a teacher, she never regretted that she hadn't made the change earlier for she learned so much from both experiences.
"Choosing dentistry out of undergrad would have been easier, but I don't think I would have appreciated it as much back then. Being a teacher helped me become more emotionally resilient and confident," said Ms Whang.
"If I had chosen dentistry first, I may have wondered whether teaching would be more fulfilling. But now I can say that I have no regrets or thoughts of 'What if?'"
Skilling up before making a change
Sometimes taking a risk like changing your career can be hard, especially if you aren't sure that you have the right skills, knowledge and training under your belt.
For many of us, if changing means taking a step backward then we'll often bite the bullet and stay. For those of us who have made the change, however, there are rarely any regrets about leaving an unfulfilling career and taking a leap into new possibilities, especially if you have taken the time to properly prepare.
By completing a course with LMIT, you can start at anytime and complete your coursework from wherever you are at a pace that suits you. This makes it easy to fit in time for your personal and professional development and means that you can skill up without having to sideline your current job.
Published by: LMIT