Once people advance to a mid-level executive, changing careers may seem like a daunting task. While some people in this position are content to stay put, others view it as stagnation and desire to move forward to the next level; however advancing to the next level is not always possible within the same company, so a change is inevitable. Other mid-level executives may want to branch off into another related, yet different, career field. Therefore, a whole new career prospect looms before them. Most presidents and CEO’s are in their position because they have spent a lot of time in that area. To change course after devoting so many years to a specific field or company is challenging, to say the least. Nobody ever said change was easy, but with these 5 tips, the task can be simplified.
Assess your strengths
It is time to take inventory of your strengths. Sure, you may have a resume (which we will get to later), but what tangible strengths do you have? Everyone has areas they excel in—strengths or abilities that may not always show through on paper. Maybe you have an ability to motivate those around you. Or, maybe every time you see a problem, you automatically break it down into bite-size pieces. As you think about your special talents, extract the skills necessary for each of these talents, and write them down. To use the example above, the person who is a motivator would write “leadership skills.” The individual who breaks down problems would list “problem-solver” or “analytical.” By doing this exercise, you discover the types of careers with which you would make a good match. Obviously, some strengths transfer to just about any career, but when you begin to look at the whole list, a few career ideas emerge.
List your preferences
Not only do you need to tap into your strengths, but if you are going to make a change at this point in your life, then you need to work in a setting you like, as well. Think about various work scenarios or workplace settings, and make a list of your preferences. What stands out to you in terms of strong likes or dislikes in the workplace? If you could change your work setting, how would you change it? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Do you prefer working with people in a team/collaborative setting or prefer to work alone?
- Do you prefer to initiate your own projects or follow another individual?
- Do you enjoy a fast-paced atmosphere or crave quiet solitude at work?
You may think of other preferences; write down what type of setting and work atmosphere in which you feel most comfortable. Different career choices will cater to different environments.
After narrowing your decision to a few career choices, it’s time to do the research. Find out more about each field. A professional staffing agency guides you through the process of connecting with the jobs that fit your skill, strength, and preference set. Staffing agencies have a network of professional job connections, facilitating the transition for you. Research at this point is really about mobilizing the agency on your behalf.
Update your resume
You may need to dust off or polish up your resume. Having a top-notch resume is important. If you feel a little rusty about updating your resume because you haven’t done it in a long while, click here for some resume tips from Bishop & Company.
The last step is to gain some outside help. Professionals who are in the business of finding people like you fantastic jobs have the expertise, the network connections, and the database to link you with a new career. Not only can they help you find that new job, but in much less time it would take you to find it yourself. They can look at an application and find potential matches in a short amount of time. This takes much of the difficult work out of the process.
If you are in a mid-level or executive position and thinking of changing careers, Bishop & Company has been placing professionals for over 30 years and would love to connect you with your next career. If you would like to discuss this topic further, please contact us today!