An estimated 76 percent of workers today aren't very satisfied with their jobs, with more than 40 percent of them planning to switch jobs in 2017. As a career expert, one of the most common requests I hear is people don't just want to change jobs or employers, they want to change in to an entirely different career path or industry.
This is not easy to do. It's similar to going ninety miles an hour on the freeway and suddenly wanting to change lanes. You can't simply cut over to the other lane without first signaling and checking your mirror. There are steps and challenges to switching careers - and most people don't have the patience or tenacity to do them. That said, if ever there was a time to make the change, it's now. BUT, the window of opportunity won't last for long...
Lowest Unemployment Rate In 10 Years = Companies Forced To Lower Their Expectations
In general, companies prefer to hire people with industry knowledge and relevant skills and experience. Especially, when the unemployment rate is higher and they feel they have more candidates to choose from. But today, we have the lowest unemployment rate we've seen in a decade: 4.5 percent. Recruiters are struggling to find the right talent and the word of their failure to do so is trickling up to management. As a result, we're seeing companies start to ease up on their requirements. We're also seeing some build training programs so they can lure workers from other industries to them. Which means, if you've ever wanted to switch careers, now is the time!
3 Tips For Making A Career Change
If you want to take advantage of this situation, here's what I advise:
Step 1: Choose a career path that leverages your professional persona. If you want to get hired in a new career, you need to be clear on how you add the most value in the workplace so you can justify the cost of hiring you. We call this your, "professional persona." Keeping in mind, the company is going to have to swallow the fact that you'll need to be trained more than someone who has the exact skills and experience they prefer, you must be able to emphasize the immediate value you will provide to make their investment in training you worthwhile. Your professional persona conveys that. The good news is, there are plenty of quizzes and tools you can use online to determine this.
Step 2: Get your interview bucket list together. Trying to apply to jobs online is a complete waste of time for career changers. The ATS (applicant tracking system) companies use to sort applications will automatically toss you because you don't fit the standard requirements. Instead, you need to pull together a targeted list of potential employers that hire for the new career you wish to enter. Then, you need to connect with existing employees at these companies and strive to set up opportunities to learn more about the employer and what it would take to get hired there. Given that referral is the No. 1 way people get hired today, when you switch careers, you have to proactively create those referral networks manually.
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Step 3: Get focused on social media. Find and follow employees (especially, recruiters!) from the companies on your bucket list. They will likely be commenting online about their employer and the work they do for them. This can be one of the easiest ways for you to introduce yourself and engage them in an initial dialog. When done right, it can lead to taking the conversation off social and onto email, or even, by phone. These are crucial steps to getting noticed and referred to hiring managers.
Remember, Recessions Are Cyclical!
This low unemployment rate will not last forever. Historically, recessions come every 10-16 years. Which means, we could see an adjustment in the near future. Thus, if you want out of your current career and into a new one, now is the time to make the extra effort.