In a survey done by Indeed (a global jobs portal) in early December 2021, close to half (49%) of the 1002 Singapore workers (aged 16 to 55) responded, indicating that they may consider changing jobs in 2022. Amongst this group, many identified themselves as wanting a career transition.
Career transitions typically refer to a change in job roles – either in the actual job duties or into a new industry. Usually, the past work experience of the job seeker may not be considered as relevant, due to a difference in the job nature. This also means it can be harder to convince a potential employer why you are suitable for the new role.
To successfully transit into a new role that is unfamiliar to you – there are some simple steps you might want to take to make the transition as seamless as possible.
STEP ONE: Know your why
Ask yourself why you want to leave the current job situation. Is it a push factor or a pull factor? What is attracting you to the new job function or industry – a pay increment, work that appears more exciting, a greater learning opportunity or a chance to take on a new career path that has greater potential for long-term sustainability? Being very clear about your job change motivation, helps you deal with any self-doubts or concerns from others, which you may meet with along your transition journey.
If you are currently working, do as much research about your new role as possible. Imagine what your new position would feel like. Does it feel better than your current role? And if your answer is yes, dig deeper and ask what exactly is more attractive about the new job position or industry? What is motivating you and will it keep you motivated in the long term?
STEP TWO: Craft your narrative
Create your story to share the reasons behind your career change, highlighting your skills and talents that can be of value to your future employer. Try to match your past (experience) with your future (goals). Traditionally, recruiters hire talents based on their work experiences in the past. It is therefore important to rebrand yourself, with a focus on your potential. Changing your LinkedIn profile, redesigning your personal statement and preparing a brief elevator speech for self-introduction, are just some of the ways to get started.
Your personal brand is may evolve to include elements about yourself that are not solely linked to your past career. For example, instead of introducing yourself as a software engineer with 3 years of work experience, you might now choose to highlight your creativity, which you use to run a volunteer education project for less privileged children. This ‘non-work-related talent, skill and experience is likely to open a few more doors for you, especially if your new role requires creativity as a competency of choice.
Plan ahead by setting a timeline for yourself, to decide how long you will need to make the successful career change. Along the way, you will find the need to tweak your narrative in small ways, to meet the needs of hiring employers.
STEP THREE: Unlearn and relearn with a purpose
Part of the transition journey would require you to develop and exhibit a growth mindset when learning new skills for the new role. Make use of the new LHUB Learning eXperience Platform (LXP), Singapore’s largest subscription-based online learning mobile application where you can access 75,000 courses across 135 categories for in-demand skills coveted by employers in Singapore. Subscription starts as low as $5/month for NTUC Members, $10/ month for public.
Research on what skills are in demand, specifically the ones that would be very much required for your new job role. The sooner you can gain competency in these skills, the quicker you can list them as assets in your job application, adding to the value you can bring to a new employer.
Do not be afraid to learn, unlearn and relearn.
STEP FOUR: Start your transition journey
Every journey begins with a single step. Put your resume together, identifying the transferable skills that you possess which will be useful to your potential employer. Discover how you can make your resume pop and stand out amongst other job seekers.
Start putting into action some activities that will help you transit into your new job function easily. This might mean volunteering over weekends, job shadowing and conducting informational interviews with contacts who are in careers that you hope to transit into.
STEP FIVE: Spread the word
As career transitioners, you will find the need to depend on referrals and networks even more than before. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is well crafted to highlight how your past and future can be connected. Leverage on LinkedIn to start building up your career on a new path.
Career transitioning is not an easy process and many job seekers may end up finding a role that is somewhere in between your goal and your current state. But by embarking on your career transition journey, you are already going to pick up new skills and overcome new challenges. This path of growth is going to benefit your long-term career goals.
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