How to change careers at any age – part 2

The success of your career change depends on you obtaining enough new knowledge

This is the second part of a five-part series dedicated to breaking down how you can make a successful career change at any age. If you have not done so already, I encourage you to check out the first part, about obtaining new knowledge.

With knowledge about your new profession, you can easily see where you are good, and any gaps.

The second crucial stage to successfully changing careers is to establish and put to use, all the valuable experience that you have already gathered to date. Building on your new knowledge about your new profession, you are ready to start reflecting on your experiences gained.  More importantly, you will have a better idea about which experiences you have so far that will add most value and credibility to your story and resume/ CV. Plus you will be able to spot any gaps and fill them.

In other words, you want to identify things that you already have experienced and things that you have not. Making sure you have sufficient knowledge and experience will help add important credibility to your story with prospective employers, therefore giving you a better chance of landing a role in your new profession.

Without the right skills and experience, you will lack crucial credibility when applying for jobs

Why is this? This is because of one simple fact: before a prospective employer will hire you, they have to be sure you will add value to their company. Nothing helps prospective employers check this mental box more than if you have examples and experiences to draw on in the interview stage of your change in careers.

It is a matter of trust. Think about it this way. Whoever the person is who are making the hiring decision, their reputation and success is on the line. That is why you have a recruiting process in the first place, so that the people hiring can make an educated guess at who is the most likely to succeed in the role and therefore add the most value. The intensity to find a candidate who can come in and hit the ground running becomes even greater when the position is higher up in the company. So it is vital that when changing careers, in order to keep your career momentum that you bring to the table sufficient experience and skills for the job you are applying.

So reflect on all your experiences and learnings to date. Think about what you currently have that would be impressive to a prospective employer. For example you might ask yourself the following questions:

  • How does your current experience stack up against the general role requirements for your new profession?
  • Which areas of your new profession are you strong in, and which areas are you weakest?
  • Is there anything unique you can bring to the new profession, something about what you have learnt or experienced which will add a fresh perspective and source of value to any prospective employer?

In order to answer these questions, you will have to have built up your new knowledge about your chosen ‘Switch’ profession. You will want to have a great grasp of the role requirements for the likely role level you will be applying for.

Check out our FB page for this week’s additional insight on a useful method for easily assessing your potential strengths and weaknesses against the job requirements of your new profession.

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