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    Making A Career Change & Where To Start

    AdcoreCareer

    Who doesn’t think about a career change from time to time or to change the course of your profession in life? We’ve all been there, feeling burned out from the mundane life of a 9-5 office job. Some of us had to go to college for several years to even get to this position, only to realize it’s not exactly what you’ve dreamt of and not close by any means of how you imagined yourself in your professional life. Most of us probably have these thoughts, but only a few of us also dare to make that professional shift. 

    So what are your options for a career change to a tech-oriented profession without any previous knowledge or experience, and how do you use your current set of skills, regardless of your previous job or experience, to your advantage? These are my personal thoughts on switching career paths, tips and tricks, and some Do’s and Don’ts from a recovering lawyer to a Digital Advertising Manager.

    Table of Contents

    Find Your Strengths 

    First of all, it should be acknowledged that not all tech-oriented jobs need special skills, knowledge, or experience in software development, and some of them may even be irrelevant to your current set of basic skills. Second, we should remember that the tech industry is heavily segmented into topics like Fintech, Adtech, Pharmtech, etc. 

    The process begins with setting goals for a profession or a position you want while assessing your strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you’re lacking technical skills but can compensate for that with any combination of these skills – leadership, sales skills, time management, managing, motivation, communication, eagerness to learn or even being a “people’s person”- all of which can prove to be valuable skills for every workplace. 

    Next, after assessing the skills we have in our arsenal, we should focus on what skills may be lacking. Is it English writing? Excel Sheets? SQL? (What even is SQL??) While it may have been harder to acquire new skills in the pre-Covid era, now you can learn any position, skill, or software from various websites and marketplaces that offer you free (or for a reasonable price) courses or certifications that you would need. I recommend using Amphy, Skillshare, Udemy & Coursera for that extra boost of knowledge & confidence. 

    At a certain point, the inevitable question will arise, “Why are you changing careers?”, and while there’s no correct answer, there are important elements to address and keep in mind while answering.

    When entering the job market for the first time, it is essential to remember that a bad home assignment, negative result, or rejection should not affect your job ambitions. Exploring the job market in today’s economy is very competitive; there are many people with many different skills while you’re just trying to get your foot in the door of a new industry. Second – you should set up your CV by the market standards – you can find many guides for an excellent and informative CV example on the internet with no problem.

    Hitting the Job Market

    After deciding on a desired position and path, understanding what skills we possess and/or lack, and acquiring our wanted newfound knowledge/certifications, we are ready to hit the job-seeking market. You start sending out your CV, and you hear back from a company for an interview – what do you do now? 

    The first and one of the most important things to do is to read about the company, what they do and how you will fit in their line of industry, and how you can contribute. Second, come prepared mentally and physically, meaning organize your mind and your appearance. While you may not need to show up in a 3-piece suit, don’t show up yawning or tired from the night before.

    You might not have the option to show your skills in a quick 1 hour home test or interview, so the company will rely on how you respond to different questions and the impression you leave. Each company is different, but the trade-off is simple, they want to see that you can learn new things and that you’re a reasonable and pleasant co-worker at the same time and eventually figure out how you’ll be able to learn, adapt and fit in both socially and professionally in the company.

    So, “Why The Change”?

    At a certain point, the inevitable question will arise, “Why are you changing careers?”, and while there’s no correct answer, there are important elements to address and keep in mind while answering. The first tip is not disrespecting your previous profession, job, or company. Make sure to emphasize how you’re striving to accomplish your professional goals, which have motivated you to find an alternate career path. 

    The second tip is to remember that most of the questions are behavioral questions that will try to assess how you react and answer to different questions and scenarios that are not directly tech or work-related and are more of personal skill. So be relaxed and concentrate on answering from your experience. 

    Making The Switch

    It is never simple or easy when making a career change. There are lots of benchmarks you have to abide by and overcome, lots of new scenarios and changes both professionally and personally which can be very stressful. You’re just starting out; there will be a learning curve for the near future, and it’s up to your motivation and determination to keep you going- not just technical skills. My recommendation is to start slow, work your way up, and focus on being a respected and essential co-worker.

    So let’s do a quick recap of what we discussed –  find and set a new career path, read and study about the company, position, and its requirements, assess your skills in relation to the position and upgrade those skills before applying.

    Conclusion

    Now that you’re ready for that change, it’s time to hit up the job market! Check out recruiters, HR of companies, friends that work in the field, or just apply the old fashion way through job searching sites and the career section of each company website. Regardless of how you get started, it’s important to stay positive and proactive at all times as this is what will set this process in motion and get you that dream job.

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