The very thought of changing careers after 10 to 15 years of work can be daunting. But there comes a time when you know that you are no longer inspired by your work and you are ready for a change. With the experience you have under your belt, you want your next job to allow you to use your well-developed strengths and bring you fulfilment.
This is exciting in many ways, but also intimidating. Where do you start? Do you leave your current job and look for a new one? Do you stay where you are and look around while you are still employed? The first step for many people is to update their CV. Surely if you are ready with an up to date CV you can be on the lookout and send it out as you hear of interesting roles.
There are 4 reasons why this approach is not likely to lead to a more fulfilling role than you are currently in:
1. You need to determine exactly what a fulfilling role is for you
As an experienced professional your CV needs to clearly outline what you are looking for. You may not have an exact role in mind, but you need to be clear about your own definition of fulfilling work. As a start, think about the type of organization you want to work for, whether you want to work in a team, the type of boss you want (or don’t want) and the skills you want to use and the amount of autonomy you will have. For a more thorough look at determining what you want in a role go to the Loving Your Work free e-course ‘5 Keys to Getting Work you Love’.
Once you know what type of role would be fulfilling for you, you can include a clear objective on your CV outlining what you are looking for. This will go a long way to helping your CV land where it can take root.
2. You need to be clear on the skills and strengths you can offer in a new role.
We all have our strengths (and weaknesses) and a mid career change is the perfect opportunity to get clear on exactly what your strengths are so that you can leverage on them in your next role.
Our career strengths are not only the things we are good at. They are also the things that give us energy. The last thing you want is to move into a new role requiring similar skills as you have used in the past and realize that although you can do the job, it drains your energy. If it drains your energy rather than gives you energy it is not going to satisfy you for long.
Know what your core strengths are and highlight these on your CV. This is more likely to lead to you being able to use your core strengths regularly and to feel more energized and fulfilled in your work.
3. You need to have a clear timeline and strategy for making your career change.
Thoughts of career change are often something that develop over time as you gradually realize that your current role or career are no longer working for you. With this gradual realization it can become difficult to pin-point a target date or plan for change.
Yet a clear timeline and strategy for change are vital, as these will guide you in your search for something new. The timeline may be fairly general but it needs to be considered otherwise it is all too easy to put things off until you are in a desperate position.
A clear strategy to go with the timeline is also vital to help provide structure to your change. I often introduce my clients to a simple 3- step approach. This includes: 1) Getting clear on what you want. 2) Getting clear on what you have or don’t have in place now and 3) Deciding on the best options for moving from where you are to where you want to be considering what you want and what you have in place now. These options vary for everyone, but completing steps 1 and 2 before you attempt to write or update your CV will make the writing job much easier.
4. You need to have the right mindset for change
This is vital to making any change, but particularly for something as important as a career change. The way you think and feel impacts the actions you take and results you get. If you approach career change with a limiting or damaging mindset it is going to make everything from writing your CV, to talking to people about possibilities and even interviewing a more challenging process. For example, if you are upset, frustrated or de-motivated by your current working environment, you might unknowingly project those negative emotions on others, thereby coming across badly to prospective employers.
It often requires some personal reflection time to work out how you are currently thinking and feeling about career change and to then notice how this is impacting the actions you take and results you get. There is no one-size-fits-all perfect mindset to career change, but finding your own positive view and approach to the process will help you create a stronger CV and achieve better results.
If you’re considering a career change and want to make your transition as smooth and enjoyable as possible, talk to a career coach first. Fill out the form on the bottom of this page to set up a call with one of us. We’ll talk about how we might be able to help you, no strings attached.