3 Tips to Changing Careers
Some years ago I worked with business owners who were interested in employing mid life career changers.
You might be curious as to why they were interested in this group, I certainly was. Over and over again I heard it's all about attitude.
I was at a business meeting discussing this very issue and one business woman summed it up "If a person in mid career has decided to change careers, train and learn new things, invariably that will mean being more capable in terms of technology and have up to date knowledge. That's certainly valuable. It says a lot about the person as well. They're willing to start again. They've possibly been learning and earning, so they're committed and disciplined. They've got some initiative and their interested in your industry because they've just decided to learn about it. And while they don't have any real experience of the industry yet, they already have considerable skills in other industries that I can tap into and direct towards my business. I'm very interested in someone like that, because they will be a company asset much sooner than a young person with no work experience or work ethic."
"There's one problem though," piped up another business owner "and that is they often expect to have the same income as someone with years or experience, or an equivalent income to what they were earning in another industry and that's simply not possible to do."
And there's the rub.
When you decide to change careers in the middle of your career you need to be clear why you are doing this and what your salary expectations are versus what the industry pays.
Your soft skills and attitude will definitely get you hired but will you be able to live on the salary of a first year, when you have the commitments of home, family and study debt to contend with?
So what can you do?
- What's happening to the industry?
- Is it growing and developing, shrinking or static?
- How is automation going to impact the industry in 5 years?
- Will the industry be there in 5, 10, 20 years?
- What skills does it need now and into the future?
- Does the industry have a skills shortage or a labour shortage?
- This information can be found by talking to the industry associations and checking out government statistics on the industry. (Do not trust information given to you by training organisations as they are usually only interested in getting people trained, not working in the industry.)
- What do they do?
- How do they enjoy their job?
- Are they happy, stressed, boring?
- How do you think you would feel working with them?