Considering a New Career Path? Potential Challenges to Overcome

Considering a New Career Path? Potential Challenges to Overcome

By Julius Choudhury

2020 has flipped many of our careers on their heads. The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on roles in a wide variety of institutions and fields of specialism. As governments around the world have implemented social isolation and lockdown measures to prevent and slow the spread of the virus, endless professions have suffered. Countless companies have collapsed due to being unable to operate and countless people are consequently now unemployed and looking for new roles. Some people are using this as a chance to switch career paths to something that could prove more stable and more consistently in demand. At the same time, the time off work has given many people the opportunity to reflect on their current career path and come to the conclusion that they want something different - something that will bring them more joy, more money or more of a challenge. It’s not all too surprising that record numbers of people are considering completely new career paths and are planning on using this time and these circumstances to just start anew. But if you’re going to follow a new career path, you may find yourself having to overcome some hurdles. Here are a few that you should focus on before sending your CV or resume off!


A Potential Return to Higher Education

Some of us are reluctant to get started on the new career path we know we’d enjoy because the role requires a specific degree or set of educational qualifications and we feel that we’re too old to head back to school. Sure, most of us do associate higher education with people who are just leaving compulsory education, generally aged between 18 and their early 20s. But what many people aren’t aware of is that many educational institutions’ student bodies have a large percentage of mature students. At the end of the day, this shouldn’t be all too surprising. There’s no reason that older students shouldn’t have the same opportunities and access to qualifications as people planning on getting their first job. Plus, universities and colleges are also specifically making courses more accessible to older students. While people heading straight to college from school tend to have few to no responsibilities so can move wherever they want and dedicate themselves to a full time course, older adults tend to have jobs or familial commitments that can interfere with this. This is why more unis are offering online courses where you can complete a course on your own schedule and from wherever you may be at any given time. For example, you can get a masters in social work online. Alternatively, you could consider part time courses. These take twice as long to complete, but offer a lot more flexibility and free time.


Pay

When you switch careers, you may need to accept a drop in pay. After all, chances are you worked your way up to your current salary in your current role over a course of years. When you start out in a new profession, you may have to head back to the bottom of a new ladder and give yourself time to work your way up. In this situation, you need to weigh up whether the change in your career path and the benefits that this will bring to you are worth a temporary drop in earnings. Alternatively, you may be shifting to a new career path that has a good starter salary that may even outweigh your current salary. Generally speaking, wherever logically possible, you shouldn’t let yourself be too put off a career move due to an initial reduction in earnings. The long term joy of working in a field you’re actively interested in should outweigh a brief period where you live on less money than you may be used to.


Crafting a Good Resume or CV

To get your foot in the door for any position, you’re going to have to come up with a good resume. A resume is a brief document that highlights your qualifications, training, experience and general suitability for a job. It’s your resume that will determine whether you get an interview or not. Start by ensuring your resume is formatted correctly. This will maximise readability and get yourself across in a matter of minutes. If you want to make things as simple as possible for yourself, you can use ready made templates. But otherwise, good formatting generally follows this pattern:
  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your email address
  • Your contact number
  • Your qualifications
  • Your previous experience
  • Any relevant training or completed courses
  • Extra skills such as any secondary languages or driving licence
Make sure to always spell and grammar check your resume before sending it off. This will prevent mistakes being made and making a bad first impression.


Interviewing

If your resume catches the recruitment officer or employer’s eye, you may be invited to attend an interview. This process may vary a little from company to company, but largely, you’ll attend the place of work or brand headquarters and meet the person you’d be reporting to or the employer themselves. The following steps should help you to make a good impression:
  • Research the company in advance
  • Make sure you turn up early
  • Make sure you are presentable and in smart attire
You should also make sure that you’re prepared to answer commonly asked interview questions. These could include:
  • What’s your previous experience?
  • Why would you like to work for us?
  • What draws you to this position in particular?
  • Why are you leaving your previous role?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Also make sure you have your own questions to ask. This shows an eagerness associated with the role.

These are just a few challenges that may pose themselves when you’re planning a new career path. But hopefully, some of the above information will help!

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