Happy New Year!!!!! You made it! Now what? Time to follow through on those New Year resolutions you made while the ball dropped and your champagne overflowed on the new shoes Santa brought you. Energized by the positive vibes a new year can bring, you wiped off your shoes and resolved to finally make a career change and leave the 9-5 you hate.
But, now that January 2nd has arrived, you’re feeling the same pressure 48% of your peers are. How do you execute your resultuion. Where should you begin?
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Sitting idle and waiting for the moment to happen will leave you standing in the exact same place this time next year. You need an actionable plan and you need it fast.
First, Accept That Change Will Be Hard
Let’s face it, making a career change is a big deal. Whether you’re working towards an internal promotion, an external move or a transition to a new industry, making a career change isn’t as easy as flipping a switch.
Because there are a lot of things to consider, I recommend that you begin by building a career change plan and/or job search strategy 90 days out from your ideal time to start a new role.
While your timeline may fluctuate depending on the specifics of your goals, our team at Mentor Happy has found that 90 days is a realistic window to use and allows ample time to gain traction and establish your career move.
Where To Begin Your Career Change
The first step to pursuing is a career change is to define your specific goals. What type of position, company culture and salary are you looking for? What is the most important aspect of your next role? You may consider things like flexibility, time-off, the ability to work from home or a step-up in overall responsibility.
Clearly understanding your goals and how you plan to reach those goals is key to starting a job search or making a major career move. If you’re unable to answer these questions you’ll flounder to find the right position and will likely flop during interviews. You need to clearly understand what you want from this change.
Write A Compelling Story
Whether your career change is geared towards an internal or external position, you need a compelling resume and a complete job search correspondence plan.
It’s not enough to set it and forget it when making a career move. Creating one resume and cover letter that you send out repeatedly only serves to highlight your mediocrty. Instead, build a story that supports your candidacy for each role you pursue.
Show a hiring manager how you fit their needs and why you should be considered for the role. Take time to target a resume and cover letter for each role you apply for. This simple step will open doors while increasing the potential and currency of a job offer.
Also, because you’re not competitng in a bubble, it’s critical that you put your best foot forward. Use accomplishment based content to highlight your abilities and skill set when writing your resume and cover letter.
- Create a general resume. Focus on eliminating tasks and duties and add accomplishments.
- Use your general resume as a guide, then tweak it to target the content to each role you pursue. 67% of hiring managers expect a targeted resume and cover letter.
- Create a complete suite of job search tools such as a thank you letter, cover letter and resignation letter and target these items throughout your search as well.
Polish Your Image
The next step is to polish your online image. Update your personal and professional social media accounts.
Nearly 55% of employers report they actively use social media to make hiring decisions. It’s imperative that your social media accounts exhibit you as a professional.
- Clean up accounts that have inappropriate pictures or profanity that may cause an employer to question your professionalism.
- Mark personal social media accounts that may seem unprofessional as private if they are currently open to the public.
- Update your LinkedIn account or create an account if you do not have one. A professional headshot is highly recommended and is inexpensive to obtain. Create very focused accompllishment based content for your LinkedIn profile.
Begin Networking And Job Hunting Activities
Reaching out to your professional network is critical to launching a job search. Simply posting to availble opportunities online will prove to be a slow, frustrating process.
Supplement your online activities with outreach to past colleagues and bosses to let them know you’re looking to make a career change.
- Reach out to your network with a personal phone call when possible. Blanket emails are impersonal and easy to ignore. A direct outreach will put you on the radar of someone who may be able to supply leads or help you make contact with other hiring managers.
- Always use a cover letter when applying to a role. 47% of hiring managers look for a targeted cover letter.
As you begin creating your career plan and job search strategy it’s important to prepare for all aspects of your job search. For example, if you currently work in a business casual environment you may need to purchase professional dress clothes for your job interviews.
Get up to speed on current interview trends, interview styles and salary negotiaon teactics. The more you know, the better you’ll feel during your job search! Happy hunting – Carter