Statistics show that the average employee will change jobs at least 11 times in their working life and, for most people, moving into a new role is a fairly manageable transition. But what happens when you change course completely and launch a brand-new career?
Laurence Favier had spent more than 30 years in senior corporate IT roles when she decided it was time for an entirely new vocation. “As retirement approached, I knew it was time for a more fulfilling career. Something that would nurture me as I transitioned into retirement,” Laurence explains.
Drawing upon her decades of executive experience, Laurence is committed to becoming a business and career mentor and Joy of Business company facilitator. But even with her highly relevant background and extensive corporate knowledge, she felt the anxiety that comes with stepping into the unknown.
“Career change brings great fear – particularly the fear of being without a job. But fear is not something to avoid and you can’t let it hold you back from your dreams,” Laurence advises. Workforce experts estimate that every modern worker will make a complete career change at least once in their life. If you are looking to move in an entirely different career direction, Laurence offers the following advice.
- Prepare yourself for change
“When you start actively looking for change, you will begin to see and create opportunities. It may be a conversation with an old friend, or an advertisement that suddenly catches your eye – when you are committed to your new career, you will notice possibilities when they present themselves. Also, don’t hesitate to talk openly about your plans and your needs. You may be surprised how willing others are to help you.
- Engage Human Resources
“If you work in a large company, it’s quite easy to change careers simply by moving from one department to another. Human Resources teams often identify employees who have the right skills, attitude and willingness to move into a new career, so don’t hesitate to talk about your desires with your manager or HR representative.”
- Network, Network, Network
“If you don’t have the opportunities of a large company, all you need is a great network. Make connections with the people you meet – clients, competitors, suppliers, co-workers. All of these people will know you, appreciate your skills and attributes, and trust you. Speak to your network about your career desires and help them, where you can, to obtain theirs.”
- Use Social Media
“Social media is a great way to express your desire for a career change and get the advice and assistance you need. Let your personal connections know what your plans are, but also use social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook to reach out to professionals who can help you in your new endeavor.”
Importantly, Laurence says “Don’t wait for things to be perfect before taking the leap into a new career. Be confident, ask for help and resources when you need them, but don’t hesitate. And don’t listen to the nay-sayers around you – they will often judge you for the things they’re not capable of doing. In the end, I have found, they will admire you.”