THE ELITE CAREER BLOG

The Seven Stages of Job Hunting: Navigating Career Change

At Elite, we understand that navigating career change can be both exciting and terrifying. On the one hand, you might be completely jazzed at the prospect of starting fresh in a new industry and learning everything that it has to offer. On the other, you may be petrified of leaving the safety net of that job you’ve been in for so long and that you could do with your eyes shut.

We’ve been there – we’ve faced the fear, made the leap, and reaped the rewards. Now we’re here to help you navigate your career change. Grab a cuppa, and let’s get started!

What are some of the most common things holding people back from making career changes at this stage?

  1. Fear of failure

Ah, that old and familiar chestnut – almost all of us will have experienced it before. That thought in the back of our minds that we could never in a million years do something new. That fear that someone will laugh at us, or we’ll be ridiculed for daring to do something different. It’s important to remember that you’re living your life for yourself, not for others. When I decided to leave a demanding role in the NFP sector to re-train as a Chef, I lost count of the number of people who told me I was mad. I quickly learned to tune them out – they received a polite ‘Thanks for your feedback’ while I kept moving forward and focused on my goals.

That’s not to say it was easy – there were times when things were so tough that I wondered if I had made the wrong decision. Things didn’t always turn out the way I wanted them to, but the experience enriched my soul and ignited a passion within me – that’s a win in my books! Know that everyone will have an opinion when you make a bold career move – but the view that matters most is your own. Changing careers can be scary, challenging, and demanding (sometimes all three at once) – but also oh so rewarding. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back from trying something new – check out these great strategies for overcoming your fears.

  1. I’m too old for this

Say it with me: No. You. Are. Not.

You are never too old to choose happiness and fulfilment. You are never too old to pursue a career that lights a fire within you. You are never too old to succeed.

I fell into this mind trap myself. I was 29 and thought it was too late to change careers – I was over the hill. It wasn’t until a wise person pointed out to me that I’d probably be working until into my sixties, which meant I had a good 30 years ahead of me of work and could probably fit in quite a few career changes during that time if that’s what my heart desired. Seven years later, one baby and one pandemic that has devastated the hospitality industry – I’ve changed careers again, and I’m thriving. There have certainly been ups and downs along the way. Still, I’m so grateful to my past self for making that brave initial decision to change careers – I’ve learned so many valuable lessons and have grown immensely as an employee, a partner, a mother, and a friend. Age truly is just a number – don’t let it hold you back from choosing a career that sparks joy. Need some further inspiration – here’s a list of highly successful people who changed careers after turning 30.

  1. Money, Money, Money

I’m sorry for the cliche, but here it is – money doesn’t buy happiness! Sure, having a high income can be great – and for some, it’s a necessity if you’ve got a Sydney or Melbourne-sized mortgage.
But money often doesn’t bring fulfilment. Money doesn’t always equal job satisfaction. It’s worth considering what your priorities are – if you’re feeling unfulfilled in your current career, the chances are that any potential drop in income will be offset by the happiness your new career brings to your life.

It can be terrifying to leave a career when you’re used to the level of income that it provides – but there are ways that you can mitigate the financial impact. Perhaps you might make a plan to change your career in six to twelve months and spend the period leading up to that saving like mad to make the financial transition easier. There could be subsidies, grants, or scholarships available to you if you undertake study to facilitate a career change. You can find some great tips on preparing your finances for a career change here.

Here’s our advice for making an informed decision on your next career move.

  1. Figure out what it is that you really want to do

For some, this can be the most challenging part of all. You might know what you DON’T want to do, but you’re no closer to figuring out what you DO want to do. Perhaps you’ve loved working from home during the pandemic, and you’re looking for a career that offers that ongoing flexibility going forward. Or you might be sure that you’d love to work with children, but you’re not sure in what capacity. If you don’t know the right questions to ask yourself, it can be difficult to cut through the noise and hone in on what’s important to you in your career. Luckily for you, our Founder, Adriana, has written a cracking blog here that breaks down the whole career change process and identifies some simple strategies that you can use to figure out what you really want to do.

  1. Assess how a career change is going to fit in with the rest of your life

While we are huge advocates for going after your dreams, we believe it’s critical to do your research. By all means, take that leap, but make it an informed leap. If you’ve identified what you want to do, it’s time to ask some tough questions to determine whether it truly is the right move for you right now. If there’s a massive obstacle in the way, how far are you willing to go to overcome that? Are you prepared to take a pay cut or return to tertiary study? Are you prepared to relocate or work two jobs for a while if needed? These can be confronting questions to consider, but it’s an integral part of the process. Doing your due diligence now is key to making an informed and rewarding choice. Check out our blog here for some great self-reflection tips to help you through this stage.

  1. Get your resume up to date

Now that you’re ready to make your move, it’s time to bring your resume up to scratch. Don’t sell yourself short with a resume that doesn’t reflect how genuinely unique you are –  it’s your first opportunity to make a lasting impression on a potential employer, and you want to make sure it’s a good one! Your resume should showcase your relevant skills and experience and demonstrate to a potential employer what value you will add to their business – why you are THE ONE for the job.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got your back – check out our blog here to assess whether your resume is ready.

How can we help you navigate a career change?

At Elite, we love a bold career move – we’re made such moves ourselves, and we stand ready to cheer you on and help you succeed. From refreshing your resume to interview coaching, there are several ways that we can work with you to reach your career goals – no matter what your chosen profession.

  1. If you’re confident in your writing skills, you could enrol in our Resume In A Day course. This course provides a guided approach full of videos, resume templates, and prompts to help you write and format each resume section.
  2. If you want professional assistance, we can help by writing a resume, selection criteria, or interview coaching – just get in touch here and let us know how we can help!
  3. If you want a little support and guidance setting an intention for your career, and plotting out your goals to achieve it, we have a FREE webinar that will be perfect for you.

I hope you enjoyed Part Five: Navigating Career Change and feel ready to make that move that you’ve been thinking about!

This blog is the fifth in a series about navigating the opportunities, potential pitfalls, and changing priorities of planning and managing your career.

If you or someone you know are looking for a job for the first time, check out Part One here.

Or, if you are no longer a graduate and would benefit from a few tips and tricks to build a meaningful and successful career, you can read Part Two here.

Maybe you’re wondering how to build a successful career in your chosen profession – find out how in Part Three here.

Or, perhaps you’re looking to return to work after taking parental leave – if so, Part Four here has got you covered.

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