Our Experts | Courtney Reynolds
If you are thinking of making a career switch and you’re looking for guidance, a recruiter is a great place to start – if you already have an idea of your career vision. This doesn’t mean you can’t ask a recruiter to help you, but there are ways for you to create your career vision before you ever type up an email or pick up the phone.
When you become restless with your career, or if you’re just starting out in the professional world and are feeling lost, it helps to take a step back and figure out your likes and dislikes. As simple as it sounds, focusing on what you’ve always loved doing can help direct you into your next career.
Think back to your school days
What was your favorite part of the curriculum? Did you always love math? Maybe you had a passion for creativity. On a broader scale, perhaps you loved project-based work or being very busy. Knowing what kind of work you like, the pace or the skills needed to do it is a step in the right direction. Once you identify some of these likes and dislikes, apply it to the workforce and find jobs that meet these qualifications (more on that soon!).
In other terms of education, maybe you’re ready to go back to school altogether. Luckily, some colleges will post their classes early, and include the syllabus right on the website. Reviewing different programs, courses and detailed class descriptions can help you make informed decisions before jumping into an expensive education.
Try new things
If you’ve held or currently hold other jobs, internships or volunteer positions, reflect on the things you like and the things that you’d rather not do in your next position. Try to gain exposure in your current role by maximizing your experience and taking on work outside of your typical job description. For example, someone in sales can ask to run the numbers for the month or help build a new creative display, depending on their interests. This will help you try new things without risk and give you additional experience when searching for your next position.
Research, research, research!
Do a thorough investigation of the industry and job you’re interested in. You can never know too much before making a big career leap. Check out job descriptions, compensation, benefits, career paths and more on resources like LinkedIn, O-Net, PayScale and Glassdoor.
While you’re on LinkedIn, start connecting with people who have the job you want. You can join groups designated for networking, or for the industry you’re interested in. Send messages to people and invite them to get lunch or coffee. People love to talk about themselves and you can learn a lot from them. If you hit it off, they may even introduce you to their contacts or keep you at top of mind when they see opportunities arise.
If networking isn’t your forte, try joining a local organization and volunteering. You’ll meet like-minded people by doing work you’re passionate about. Best of all, you’ll create organic and personal relationships that can blossom into professional relationships as you build trust, all the while learning new skills.
Find an expert in your industry
Finally, it’s time to talk to a recruiter. Prepare yourself with some questions to ask your recruiter – they are career experts with vast knowledge of the workforce and different markets within it. You can ask them questions like: what jobs they are getting more of, which jobs are dying and what you can do with the skills you have. Recruiters are happy to help, but the more you know about your career vision and goals, the more accurately they can place you into your dream job!
Ready to talk to a recruiter now? Get in touch with us today!