Planning to embark on a new career can be very exciting. After all, the anticipation of new responsibilities, renewed energy to excel in a new role, and a fresh perspective to your career goals can be exciting.
However, a career change does not just impact you, but also your family and friends. A career switch can be a life changing decision especially for mid-career switchers who often have to “restart” their careers. This means having to take on a junior position and a lower salary, which could be a problem for adults who have a higher standard of living and mounting bank loans. It is also not uncommon for mid-career switchers to report to someone who is younger than them.
5 steps to plan a successful career move
We understand that sometimes, “enough is enough”. There is more to gain to switch careers than to be stuck in one that you do not enjoy and dread doing every single day. If you feel stuck at a career crossroads, consider the following action plan that might just convince you to jumpstart your planning and help you define your next career move.
1. take a career quiz or play a game to assess your preference
If you have no idea where or how to begin your career planning, you can start by understanding your values and motivations. To achieve this, you can try taking online personality assessments or career quizzes.
With the help of psychometrics, cutting-edge machine learning models and data analytics, tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator will reveal your personality, career interests and aptitude. What’s more, these assessments will recommend career paths that match your personality and offer in-depth insights into careers you might never have considered.
Playing games might also trigger new ideas for your next career. They can help you figure out what you're interested in, what you're naturally good at, and the range of careers that you could thrive in.
Most of these online assessments are free and provide rather in-depth insight to your personality, so kickstart your brainstorm process and discover your potential strengths and career preferences.
2. think back on your childhood, reclaim your dream job
Do you remember what you were doing for fun as a child? Oftentimes, that's the truest indication of what gives you the most joy and fulfillment. Try to make a career out of those inclinations and experiences.
If you had enjoyed fixing your broken toys and building train tracks as a kid, you might relish a job in the engineering or project management space. Or if you had spent your childhood unlocking your precocious artistic talents, you may consider a career that will allow you to get in touch with your creative side.
Your childhood interests and pursuits may very well reveal your dream job, so you could try reclaiming and take charge of them!
3. consult with a recruiter or career coach
Need an expert opinion on your future career options? With their strategic counsel, specialised recruitment consultants and career coaches could be your guiding lights.
Seeking an outside perspective can be very helpful in determining your next career move. Not only are they unbiased and objective, but they can dispense informed and bespoke career advice.
Working with a career coach will expose you to traineeship and upskilling opportunities, illuminate the career path that you will find fulfilling and open your mind to new possibilities for your future. The good news is that such services are easily accessible.
Mid-career professionals located in Hong Kong SAR and Malaysia will also find themselves spoilt for choice when it comes to the selection of a dedicated career coach. Since its inception, Loving Your Work has offered one-to-one career advisory sessions and high-quality assessment tools for mid-career and senior professionals in Asia.
Alternatively, you can speak with our specialised recruiters, who have in-depth knowledge about the industry and labour market as well as employer insights to better consult you on your career search.
The best part about working with our recruitment consultants? You will be exposed to a panoply of employment opportunities and better yet, they will help you send your resume to your dream companies to increase your chances to get the good fit job for you.
4. discuss your career plans with your loved ones
In addition to approaching a third party for advice, consider seeking guidance from the people who know you well.
Sometimes the people closest to you might understand you better than you do yourself. Not only are they more likely to be cognisant of your passions and personality, but they may see the solutions to your problems more clearly than you do.
When your career planning process feels too complex and out of your depth, remember to take a deep breath. Choose to borrow strength and wisdom from the ones around you. Reach out to your loved one. Sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with them. Seek their honest opinion on your interests and what you might excel at in time to come. Who knows, they might have the connections to help you find what you need.
5. build connections and find new opportunities
Once you have an idea of the type of career you want to pursue, take the next steps toward landing the role. That might mean going back to school, pursuing training in a new field or participating in internships or traineeships for a chance to learn on the job.
While you prepare to acquire the skills needed for your new career, take active steps to expand your professional network. To increase your exposure to more opportunities in your chosen industry, establish connections with professionals and thought leaders on business networking sites like LinkedIn. Make good use of these connections to find a mentor that can help guide you as you navigate your career changes.
Patience leads to a successful career. Whatever path you take, remember to be patient with yourself. Career changes will take effort and time, but if you're changing careers for the right reason, you will feel extremely glad that you’ve made that decision.
Download our comprehensive digital career guide for tips and tricks on how to prepare your resume and interview. Once you are ready, you can reach out to our specialist recruiters. You can also visit our job listings for the latest in-demand jobs and find the field that suits you well.