For most of us, this is how the story goes: at some point in high school, we decide what is it that we want to do with our lives, we gear our high school years towards receiving tertiary education (if required), we complete our qualification, we start an entry-level job in our desired career, and off we go on our career path.
But what happens if you are all the way down that path, already at the point of working in your chosen field for years (or decades!) and you come to the decision that this is, after all, not what you want to do? Whether it is because your chosen field does not ensure a financially stable environment, or it is not challenging or stimulating enough, or there are not enough opportunities for a career in the field, or it simply turned out to not be what you thought it would be. Or, in uncertain times, your industry has ended abruptly, and you have no choice but to start over?
So, what do you do? Do you take a plunge and start all over again?
In the PLUSES column:
- Just think of how fantastic it will be for you if you are in a career that is right for you, that has the financial rewards that meet your requirements, that has a future, that makes you happy.
- Some aspects of your current career might transfer to the new one, putting you perhaps on not quite the bottom rung of the new ladder.
- You have insight and confidence now that you did not have the first time around when you embarked on a career.
- Any number of years still ahead of you before you retire, means you still have that many years to work in your new career. Already in your 40s? You still have 20+ years to work in your new career.
In the MINUSES column:
- If you are advanced in your career, it probably means that you are also advanced in your personal life with more demands on your time and finances if, for example, you have family or mortgage responsibilities.
- Change that brings a financial strain for any period of time, is stressful.
- Demands to your time, if you continue with your current full-time job while attending courses or otherwise preparing for a new career.
- Any uncertainty about the new direction (and there might be a lot of uncertainty), will be stressful.
Yes, I want to take the plunge and start over, what are the first steps?
The very first consideration, be it as a school-leaver or a change in career later in your life, is to determine what demand there is in the market for your chosen profession. The StaffMatters team is a good place to start for advice because we can reliably give you a good overview of current trends in the Cyprus market. True, trends change, and our knowledge is specific to the Cyprus market at the current time, but it is nevertheless valuable information for you to consider.
Research the qualifications that you would need (if any) and how to obtain them; research what requirements are set by which companies for you to start there; research how to get your foot in the door; research, network and connect with people who could possibly help or give you your first opportunity.
If you are undecided about which direction you would like to go into, consider possible career choices by asking someone you know if you could shadow them at work. Cast your net wide and consider all types of sectors. Enrol in various short online courses.
I have chosen a new direction. Now, how do I make it happen?
Tony Papadopoulos, the owner of StaffMatters Recruitment, is one of the top recruitment specialists in Cyprus and his advice: “Be prepared! Most employers would favour those job seekers who will hit the ground running, who will be effective in their role as quickly as possible, immediately if possible. Most employers are not looking for a novice, to give someone a chance to get a start in a new career. But that does not mean it’s impossible. It just means you must be aware of the challenges and be very well prepared. If you are going for an interview for a job in a field or industry that is unfamiliar to you, you will lose to more experienced and more knowledgeable candidates. Do extensive research. Read everything you possibly can about the new career. Speak to as many people in that industry as you possibly can. In an interview, you will have to know everything about the job if you are going to impress the interviewer.”
Tony goes on to say that you should focus on the strengths and skills that you bring to the new job. You need to know which of your strengths are valuable in the new career, and how to highlight those skills and talents during the interview.
The challenge will always remain, however, that employers might not even give you the chance to get to an interview. Based purely on CVs, your qualifications and experience will be measured against others who had been on that career path for longer and more successfully than you. As experienced recruiters, Tony and the StaffMatters team can assist to bring your profile and situation to a client’s attention, with those employers who we know would be willing to consider such candidates. Tony’s advice: “You will have to do a lot of work to get a foot on the ladder of a new career. Network, network, network and research, research, research.”
“But,” he goes on to say, “the rewards are a career in which you are happy and which compensates you for your work and in which you have a future.”
If you would like to speak to one of the expert recruiters at StaffMatters for our insight into the Cyprus market, please get in touch at +357 25341383 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to assist in any way we can.
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