Getting laid off is one of the major fears that employees have no matter what industry they are in. This fear is further elevated by the current pandemic, which has shut down many industries and businesses that needs manpower.
However, if you find yourself laid off, don’t panic!
This lay-off may be the next best thing for some people because it may be the opportunity that they have been waiting for to switch careers.
Admittedly, changing careers is a very difficult and daunting task. Not everyone is willing to do it and not all can do it. However, there are ways to solve this problem and make a successful shift to a new career.
Even though I didn’t get laid off, I did switch my career from customer service, sales and operations to freelance writing and recruiting. I even went as far as to deliberately pick industries that I haven’t work in before. I thought it is good to expand my network, challenge myself, and gather new knowledge at the same time.
Have a plan in place
Before you focus on a career change, ask yourself if you are ready to let go of your current career. As we mentioned above, you can’t just go for a career change on a whim because it is a huge undertaking. You need to think it through because there might be no turning back if you decided to go all in.
Ask yourself what you want to do, what skills and experiences that you have to help you shift to a new career, and which ones you should let go. You should also identify the industry you want to work in and find which companies have the job openings you need to start a new career.
If you think that you lack the skills for your new career, enroll in necessary training courses or check free web resources to learn from.
It is also important to have a sufficient nest egg in case the new job fails. This way, you will have an assurance – the money and time, to go back to your previous profession as a fallback.
With a clear plan in place, it is time to establish your network. You can start doing this by looking into the company you wish to work with and build connections through social media. Search your friend list if there is someone who works for the company of your interest or knows someone who does. Surely, someone will always know someone who knows someone! You just need to start and ask around.
Using your connections will help you learn more about the new industry and the company you want to work for. Every network you create can get you more opportunities faster.
Of course, you need to remember that you have to build trust and a good relationship with your new acquaintances. By doing so, they can genuinely assist and support you in your career change.
Don’t think about the salary
When switching careers, it is important to note that your salary will drastically change once you go on board in your new job.
With this being said, don’t have high expectations when it comes to your salary because after all, this is like your first job. You have to start somewhere and prove yourself in this new career before you can demand an increase.
When you think that you are doing a good job in your new work for a longer period, you can consider asking for a raise or a promotion. In time, employers will know your value that you do not need to demand an increase to have one.
I was in the education industry as a sales consultant, but I wanted something more from my career so I switched to customer service in an IT call center. As I didn’t have any background nor IT-related certifications, I did not get the managerial role. However, I managed to negotiate for one-year probation, their usual probation period was 3 months, as a customer service assistant to learn about the industry and improve on the job within a year. I told myself that I will get a promotion and a significant pay raise after that year by performing well and satisfying my peers and superiors. If not, I will choose to walk away. It was quite a risky decision, but I know that if I can’t do a job well enough to have a good impression, then I will certainly not be happy at that job in the end.
Undoubtedly, I got the promotion with a huge increase in my salary at the end of the year.
While it is not going to be easy to change careers after being laid off and especially if the industry you aim to join is something you have not done before, remember that it is still possible. If you have a clear plan, determination, and patience, you can successfully shift to your new career with less stress. I have done it a few times in my career and I have no regrets in doing so.
In the end, I expanded my network and consequently, opportunities started opening up. I am more than happy that I decided to change my career path than to stay where I am before.
Looking to switch your careers? Check out these articles to help you out:
Inspiring Stories From Folks who made A Career Change
5 Famous People Who Made Surprising Career Changes
The Career Change Manifesto – Your New Life Starts Here!
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