It’s subject that perplexes a lot of us, how best to change our career after our degree. There is nothing quite so disheartening as the growing realisation that you’ve chosen the wrong subject or career path. But it’s not too late to forge a career in the area you want, here are some tips on how to go about it:
Have a long hard think about what it is you want to do. Don’t put any barriers or objections in your way. Simply think positively, out of all the things in the world, what would you most enjoy, what would you most like to do? Or as a great lady once put it, if you don’t believe you can do it, no one else will.
Research the area in which you’d like to work. If you are still studying, then make an appointment with your university careers centre to discuss your options. Otherwise, make an appointment at your local branch of the National Careers Service by calling 0800 100 900 or visit career fairs to find out more about your chosen career. Such guidance will help you discover the steps you’ll need to take to achieve a career in your chosen field, from gaining specific qualifications to relevant experience.
Make connections with people working in your chosen sector and learn more about how they forged their career. If you can, find yourself a mentor who can help advise and encourage you along your career path.
Look at the job descriptions and person specifications that come with job advertisements for your chosen career. Take a long hard look at your skills and see how well your skills and qualifications match their criteria. Look at those skills you have that are relevant and transferable to your chosen career and also identify those skills you need to acquire. Looking at the person specifications can also be helpful in drafting cover letters and re-writing your CV to give you the best chance of finding a job in your chosen sector. Using resources found on websites such as CV-Library will help to do this.
Consider further study as a way to build up qualifications relevant to your chosen area of work. Look at the various ways in which you might be able to achieve this from studying a post-graduate conversion course full time to a short intensive course or part time study that fits in around your current work commitments.
Studying part time whilst working full time can be a challenge; it’s not like being a student the first time around. However, it’s not impossible either, between the flexible nature of some courses – such as those run by the Open University and some employers commitment to being more flexible, it could be possible for you to fit in further study around your job.
Consider ways in which you can build up experience relevant to your chosen career. Could you undertake voluntary work, work experience or an internship scheme? Any of these could provide a crucial opportunity for you to gain relevant experience and make useful contacts that could help you find your first salaried position in your chosen field.
A step in the right direction
If you simply don’t have the necessary experience and qualifications for your dream role, look at other jobs in the sector that might give you a foot in the door and a chance to work your way up the career or organisational structure. Look out for entry level positions that could be a step in the right direction.
Forging a path
So there you have some advice on how to change your career path after your degree, from identifying what you want to do; to understanding the requirements of the role and taking steps to achieving your chosen career. Take a step forwards today to forging a path in your chosen field of work.