SINGAPOREANS are currently enjoying record employment growth. With the buzzing economy, you might be thinking this is a good time to consider taking that career change.
While it is daunting, making an industry or career change today is not as extraordinary as you might think. A recent study conducted by human resource management company DBM revealed that one in two people who find themselves in a career transition change their industry or job function successfully.
The biggest challenge to changing careers is identifying your transferable skills and learning how to package them to appeal to an employer in a different industry.
There are several key considerations to keep in mind when contemplating a career change:
1 Plan for a longer job search
Changing industries requires research, which requires time. Assess your financial situation and make realistic decisions. You may have to consider an interim position or part-time work as a bridge to your new career. Stay optimistic and be realistic at the same time.
2 Use outplacement services
With more and more companies providing outplacement services to employees, it is to your advantage to use this service to get a new job. Many people in job transitions have testified to the critical role and contribution of outplacement services during their job search.
3 Gain new skills
A successful career change is based on setting realistic goals and making an honest assessment of your skills, then matching those against the current market conditions. If you need to gain new skills to move from one industry to another, consider taking up short-term courses that will equip you with the basic relevant skills.
Networking is the key to any successful job search, especially in the case of a career change. The most effective way to transfer skills to a new field or new career is by using your contacts. Companies are more willing to take risks on people who are referred to them by individuals who can account for the candidate's abilities and potential.
5 Learn the language
Every field has its own culture and language. Assess your skill set and align it with industry needs - then translate your skills into language that resonates within that industry.
6 Learn the business
Professionals today are expected to have an understanding of their industry, the current issues and the challenges faced by it. Do a thorough research of the company or industry you want to move into.
Making an industry or career change is not impossible, but it will increase your job search time and the amount of research you have to do to be successful.
Before you make any firm decisions, consider the positives and negatives carefully and seek advice from knowledgeable friends and colleagues, so that you can be sure you are willing to make the commitment necessary for a successful transition.