An overwhelming majority of Malaysian respondents who participates in Monster Malaysia’s #IMadeTheSwitch survey – 87%, to be precise – expressed the desire to change career paths. Nearly half of those stated that they sought better financial stability, while 29% were frustrated by the lack of growth in the industry they currently work in. Monetary concerns were not the only factor that drove people to explore alternative options, though, as 45% cited the need to be involved in something more challenging and purposeful as one of their main reasons to seek greener pastures.
Most people typically face more than their fair share of hurdles when attempting to hop in to a new industry. Given the sizeable portion of people who wish to explore their options and branch out, it would be prudent to advise potential job-seekers on how to alter careers with ease:
Do your research
Going into a new industry blind, without possessing any knowledge pertaining to jobs, qualifications required or prominent hiring companies will only end in disappointment. Instead of selling yourself short and jumping in feet-first, find out as much as you can about the industry you wish to transfer to. Having an idea of what’s out there will mentally prepare you for whatever challenges you could face when hunting for work.
Talk to the right people
You may have a glamorised perspective of what it might be like to work in the industry you plan to switch in to, but the reality could be completely different. But you won’t have a clear picture of itr until you’ve had a few enlightening conversations with those currently involved in the scene. You’ll also build a few valuable connections along the way. If you have close friends or family working in the industry you aspire to move to, you already have a head start, but if you don’t have any current contacts in your desired industry, seek out industry-specific networking events, conventions and other large gatherings where key executives and professionals are bound to be in attendance. Be sure to get their contact details and to follow-up with them.
Brush up on your knowledge and skills
45% respondents in Malaysia cited lack of experience to be one of their biggest concerns when contemplating a job change, while 18% admitted they worried about obtaining additional qualifications. Make up for what you lack in real-life experience with knowledge. If you are making an initial foray into the new industry, it’s possible you will not have the preferred qualifications or work experience. For instance, if you’ve spent all of your professional life as a paralegal and wish to become a chef, you likely wouldn’t know much about working in a professional kitchen. Take this chance to return to university to upskill, or to enroll in online classes or night classes, which are often suited to the needs of working professionals.
Edit your résumé
In its current state, your résumé probably won’t appeal to recruiters in another industry. But with a few tweaks and modifications, you can ensure you’ll be noticed by your prospective employers. Highlight the skills which are transferable or relevant across industries, and how you leveraged them to achieve great things. If you have been taking extra courses or qualifications, mention those, too.
If you’re interested in changing career paths, don’t let a mental block stand in your way – it is possible. You just have to make it happen.