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Top tips for successfully managing a career change

If you feel your career is not taking off as planned, it could be time for a move

If you are thinking about a career change or moving jobs, these top tips to successfully manage the move will help.

Sharpen your skills

If your chosen new career involves a promotion or a change of direction, first make sure you have the qualifications you need. You may need to sign up for evening classes or distance learning courses, or you may simply need a refresher course to ensure you are abreast with the latest information or hone in on your management or people skills. You can find out whether you need new skills by looking at job descriptions, which will state what qualifications and experience are required.

It is not always what you know

Networking is the way forward when job hunting. Join business associations and look out for networking groups in your area. The personal approach is a great way to get an introduction to a company that you admire; in addition, the people you meet may know of jobs before they are advertised or can give tips on breaking into a new field or business.

Invest time in yourself

Do not start applying for dozens of jobs because you are desperate to leave your present position. Invest time in yourself by working out what you want and identifying your strengths and weaknesses. This will help in your job search.

Next, spend a few minutes every day – it could be during your lunch break or commute to work – to do something positive in your quest for a new job. This could be sending an email to someone who works in the industry, finding a course to enhance your prospects, or getting in touch with a contact who can help.

Apply yourself thoroughly

A ‘one-size-fits-all’ CV no longer works; instead, you should make sure your CV is up to date and adapt it for each job application. Fill in their forms correctly and spell check before you send them. Read the job description carefully and try to use the same words and phrases the company uses.

Create a professional brand

In addition to updating your CV, make sure your online presence is ‘on brand’. Prospective employers will be researching candidates; therefore, either create a LinkedIn profile if you do not have one, or make sure it is current. Take a look at your social media profiles and either add a new photo or change some of your profile details.

Keep the faith

Do not give up hope even if the move is not as rapid as you would like. Try not to get demoralised if you do not get an interview or are not chosen; it can take time to find the right job. Keep motivated by setting out a realistic timeline for searching and researching roles, applying, going for interviews and handing in your notice.

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