Paralyzed by the Thought of a Career Change?…Identifying Your Skills is Key!
Let’s face it! The very thought of making a career change is gut-wrenching, bringing instant pangs of anxiety to even the most seasoned career professional. We often see this at Key Corporate Services. Candidates contact us desiring to make a career change. They could be motivated because they lost their job. Or, they feel the malaise of being stuck in a job that lacks advancement or personal growth opportunities.
Regardless of the reason, it’s not uncommon sometime during a 40-year work span to at least consider making a career change. But, the further along in our career we go, the harder it can be to make that change. Part of the difficulty in breaking the inertia of status quo and making the change involves psychologically-induced barriers.
While many of us may desire to make a career change, we’re unable to do it because we are not mentally prepared for it. Considerations about the effect a change might have on one’s personal life and family life have to be made. Is relocation okay? Will this change result in new schools for your children? Is the job market such that you can successfully make the change in the shortest timespan?
Identifying skills is the base level for any career change.
As a major executive recruiter, our specialists at Key Corporate Services primarily evaluate qualifications when matching candidates to client positions. While other factors like personal suitability may be considered, it is the skills and experience that are most important.
It’s our belief that anyone thinking about making a career change should first analyze their skills. Think about the skills you have accumulated in prior jobs and how you have used them. Then, consider the subskills associated with these skill sets. For instance, if you say you have project management skills, a future employer will need to know exactly what that means to them. They want to know the subskills of project management that you can bring to the position. Just stating you can finish a project on time and on budget is not enough. You need to identify the subset of skills such as the ability to influence the people who participated in the project. You need to share the effective teamwork you practiced with other departments to achieve success.
Identification of your skills is a platform from which you can show potential employers what you can do. It will also provide you a basis for self-evaluation related to any career change and whether this is the right time to begin marketing yourself to new employers.
When making a career change, pack your toolbox with skill-based credentials.
While the credentials highlighted on a resume may be sufficient to land an interview, it remains the candidate’s responsibility to effectively explain during the interview how those skills were utilized. How did each skill promote success for the company?
By showing employers where your skills have taken you in the past you begin to convince them that those same skills can also take their company to new heights, even if you don’t yet have direct experience in their industry.