Many people find themselves unhappy or unfulfilled in their current careers and may be seeking a change. Making a career change can be daunting, but it can also be an exciting opportunity to pursue a new passion or interest. In this blog post, we will explore some tips for job seekers in South Africa who are interested in pivoting to a new industry or role.
1: Understand Your Reasons for a Career Change
The first step in exploring alternative career paths is to understand your reasons for wanting a change. Is it because you’re feeling unfulfilled or burnt out in your current job? Are you looking for a new challenge? Or perhaps you’re interested in pursuing a new passion or interest. It’s important to understand your motivations for making a change so that you can be clear on what you’re looking for in your next career move.
2: Assess Your Skills and Interests
Once you have a clear understanding of your reasons for wanting a career change, the next step is to assess your skills and interests. Take some time to identify your transferable skills – these are skills that you have developed in your current role that can be applied to other industries or roles. Also, consider your interests and passions. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? What are your hobbies and interests? Identifying your skills and interests will help you narrow down your career options.
3: Research Alternative Career Paths
Once you have a clear understanding of your motivations, skills, and interests, it’s time to research alternative career paths. Start by looking at job postings for the roles that interest you. What skills and experience are required for these roles? Do you have the necessary qualifications or experience? If not, what steps can you take to acquire the necessary skills or experience?
It’s also a good idea to speak to people who are currently working in the roles or industries that interest you. Reach out to your network or attend networking events to connect with people in the industry. Ask them about their experiences, the skills and qualifications required, and any advice they have for someone looking to break into the industry.
4: Get the Necessary Training and Qualifications
Once you have identified the alternative career path that you want to pursue, it’s important to get the necessary training and qualifications. Depending on the industry or role, this may require going back to school or obtaining certifications. Research the requirements for the role and determine what steps you need to take to acquire the necessary qualifications.
In South Africa, there are many institutions that offer vocational training and certification programs. Look for accredited institutions that offer programs in the field that you’re interested in.
5: Build Your Network
Networking is an important part of any job search, but it’s especially important when exploring alternative career paths. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with people on LinkedIn. Build relationships with people who work in the industry or role that you’re interested in. They can provide valuable insights, advice, and potentially even job leads.
6: Be Open to Starting at the Bottom
When pivoting to a new industry or role, it’s important to be open to starting at the bottom. You may need to take an entry-level position or an internship to gain experience and build your skills. Don’t be discouraged by starting at a lower level – view it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
7: Highlight Transferable Skills on Your Resume and in Interviews
When applying for roles in a new industry, it’s important to highlight your transferable skills on your resume and in interviews. Emphasize the skills that are relevant to the role and industry, even if they were developed in a different context. For example, if you’re applying for a role in marketing but don’t have direct marketing experience, highlight any experience you have in communication, project management, or data analysis. These are all transferable skills that are relevant to marketing.
During interviews, be prepared to discuss how your transferable skills make you a strong candidate for the role. Use specific examples to demonstrate how you have applied your skills in previous roles or projects.
8: Be Patient and Persistent
Pivoting to a new industry or role can take time and patience. Be prepared for a potentially long job search and be persistent in your efforts. Don’t get discouraged if you face rejection or setbacks along the way. Keep networking, building your skills, and applying for roles that interest you.
Exploring alternative career paths can be a challenging but rewarding process. By understanding your motivations, assessing your skills and interests, researching alternative career paths, getting the necessary training and qualifications, building your network, being open to starting at the bottom, and highlighting your transferable skills, you can successfully pivot to a new industry or role. Remember to be patient and persistent in your efforts, and don’t be afraid to seek advice and guidance from others who have made similar career changes.