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Career change

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Roaster, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. Just wondering whether anyone had been through a significant career change. There is a lot of uncertainty at our company at the moment and I am putting out the feelers for what potential options I have.

    Did you have to take a pay cut to change career?

    How did you do it - did you follow your nose / get lucky / go through a recruitment consultant?

    Do recruitment consultants exist for people looking for a career change, or is a person looking for a career change too much of a tough sell for them to bother?
  2. I can only suggest this. If the ship is looking like it's going to sink, then start looking for a way off asap. Career change is no different to looking for a new job as far as employment agents care. They only care about getting paid while doing the least legwork possible. Get your CV and references in order, and start looking/applying now. As for the rest, it's more about who you know, and a bit of luck. Think of people who you know who are in the career you're looking at, and quizz them for recommendations and advice.
  3. For me, I went from Customer Service training to analyst/reporting work. They lowballed because I lacked experience and qualification, but took me cause I was capable. Single biggest tip I can think of though, is to throw away the resume.

    A traditional chronological resume does naught to convince an employer of your worthiness when you're looking for a career change. I found success using a skills based resume, re-written to address the skills of each particular job.

    The basis of them is to identify desired skills, and relate your experience and skills in relation to each, rather than listing jobs and skills that are irrelevant to the role you're seeking.

    Best of luck, can be tough, but incredibly rewarding too!
  4. Changing career can be a stressful time. 11 years ago I decided to get out of the RAAF after 13years. Whilst I didn't take a pay cut as such, but going from paying the subsidised housing you do in defence to paying a mortage certainly felt like a pay cut.

    I went through employment agencies, the paper and used my contacts to find a new job. I didn't find the employment agencies very helpful, they didn't seem very interested in helping me so it really came down to contacts and the paper.

    Like JuzzyDee, I would suggest you get your resume sorted out and get help with it. I'd suggest having a couple of versions that highlight different skills depending on the job you're going for.
  5. i got my fingers crossed we get retrenched where i work :)
  6. I went through a significant career change.

    Started my career as a Pastry Chef - served the four years of my qpprenticeship, then worked in the hotel and restaurant scene for a number of years.

    After getting married, decided to do a career change - worked early mornings (2-6am) and late nights (6-11+pm) at a local bakery and restaurant whilst training and picking up some contract work here and there during the day... eventually made the change and became a network engineer. Spent a number of years in the field designing/building/maintaining networks, and now teach in an Advanced Diploma of Computer Systems Engineering at NMIT.

    In my time at NMIT I have taught numerous students who have come in later in life looking for career change, and they have gone on to rewarding careers in CSE/ICT.

    Go for it if you want a career change - it's a very common thing to do, and quite refreshing.

    The transition can be hard work, but the rewards are out there.

  7. The best that I can say about recruitment consultants is that they work for the people who pay their wages. In other words, not the person looking for a job.

    If you can afford to pay for professional advice on how to change careers, do it. But make sure you will get what you pay for.

    Most jobs these days require that you have at least started training yourself in their field, so you might like to think about getting that started, too.
  8. Depending what career path you want to take, you can try and do a short course to get a head start.
  9. Do it mate. Its a big step but you will find you get heaps of self satisfaction from it.
    I was a chef/restaurateur for twenty two years. I loved food and never thought I would leave it.
    But life's funny and can kick you hard in the nuts sometimes.
    Anywho long story short; At 40 I lost it all in divorce and didn't have a clue what to do with myself.
    I had been paid to do what I love all my life.... getting a real job was like hell.
    So anyway my other great passion was bikes. So I became an instructor.
    It will take time to learn and you may have to do hard long hours to get to where you want to be. But perseverance will get you there.
    I just quit being an instructor and got my optical fiber splicers license. Doing a postie contract to keep me going till the optical work takes over full time.
    Must say its fun cruising around on a CT110 for work. Specially as I do a beachfront run. Whales and chicky babes too good.
  10. thanks very much for the insights dudes. One of the hardest things i am finding is taking the plunge - it is definitely daunting and stressful. Respect to those who have gone before me!

    I did a MCom but graduated right at the time of the financial crisis so it has been sitting unused for the last few years as I was grateful just to have a job.

    I guess the lesson is that it is tough, but worth it? I wish I could skip the tough bit...
  11. I am a master at career change. I went from boat builder (laminator) to contract electronics to instument fitter (sparkie) to hardware engineer (electronics) to software engineer. I now am a partner in my own software business. Next year I am going back to uni to study law. I also do photography and signwriting as a side business.

    Get out and do what you love. I could not handle spending my whole working career doing the same thing, but thats just me. I have taken pay cuts, but I have also acheived massive pay increases (ie hardware to software, and sparkie to electronic design).

    If you take the plunge, you get addicted. Do it, its worth it. As long as you can pay the bills. Enjoying yourself is worth way more than money.
  12. DO IT.

    It's the most refreshing and empowering thing you can do.

    Read my blog in my signature - the latest entry is all about a complete life change / redesign.

    Jobs - in order I've worked them:

    Gardener/house cleaning - costume fancy dress shop - colorado clothing - bp service station - outbound calls re: forklifts - receptionist at science company - administrator at science company - receptionist at energy company - receptionist at law firm - waitress - outbound calls for energy company - inbound calls for glass company - inbound calls for luxury car company (whilst working for a bike store on saturdays) - manager of 4 holiday units

    NOTE - specifically the last two.

    you will be absolutely fine.

    TRA - agree 100%. Get out and do what you love.

    I have taken pay cuts and have also achieved pay increases. Not as much as you, yet to get some qualifications etc.

    But just do it. Redesign, reinvent, re-do your life over. Even if it's just a job - it will significantly affect whom you are and how you feel about things.

    Good luck.

  13. Oh - and DO NOT USE A RECRUITMENT CONSULTANT if you can avoid it. Not heard a single good story from them. Nor has my experience been any good with them either.
  14. The stress is totally self induced. Its like the first bite of a pineapple. Seriously you will wonder what you were stressing about once you have taken the first step.
    new life, new people and new adventures.
    I wish you all the best champ.
  15. relying on a recruitment agency is a waste of time!

    said one thing, did another, which amounted to nought!
  16. While not complete career changes I tended to change industry/role every 12 to 24 months until I landed in IT. Each time I changed job I was looking for something different enough that it would constitute a change but leveraging some of my existing skills to get me in the door.
    I definitely second what JuzzyDee said, most roles/industries share common skills (customer/vendor management for example), it might mean re-writing sections of your resume to tailor it to each job you apply for and explaining some of your motivations in a cover letter but it is definitely do-able. While some of your skills might not be specifically what they are looking for you should be able to make a case that you can adapt what you already know to suit their business and learn the difference reasonably quickly.

    Only other thing I can really add is there are a lot of grey area jobs that don't have a specific canned skill set or title so they tend to get less applicants, people tend to throw job titles and specific skills into searches on Seek or MyCareer rather than just browsing through for the odd/non specific/bad description ads that would suit someone in your position.

    Finding one of those gigs in the industry you want and then building your skills and experience towards your chosen field might mean you can do the change with minimal drop in $$. It might not be the dream job but it may allow you to work out what aspects of another industry you want to pursue so that you can put yourself in a position to get the job you actually want in 12-18 months.
  17. Just do it. I started out as an apprentice mechanic when I left school at 16 and worked my way up to be service/site manager at a Jeep dealership in the city by the time I was 30 (Youngest service manager in the Jeep network). For me it was a case of getting what I wanted to soon I think. I quit late last year and set up my own electrical Test & Tag business after doing a 1 day course. The business has been ok but not great so I have also been working at a motorbike shop on Saturdays and at a new car bond storage yard. I have just pulled the plug on my business as I will be starting on another new job in 2 weeks. I will be working as a straddle driver down the wharf (least qualified and highest paying job I have ever had). Since leaving the auto industry I have had a heap more time at home with the family and am only drinking 2 cans a week down from 2 bottles of Beam a week. So as I said just do it you can always go back the the old if the new is not what you want.
  18. I left a career in *censored* ( gag order ) and have started a business as well as being a full time uni student in construction management and engineering

    oh and I am 40
  19. Steer clear of recruitment agents if possible. They are just after a quick commission/kickback frrom the hiring company if they can place you. They have no real interest in you. It is nothing personal, recruitment is a cut throat field and they just want to make commissions.
    Maybe hang around your current job and wait for a redundancy payout to help kickstart your next career ?