Signs That it’s Time for a Job Change

job change

Many people go through a tough time in their career where they are unhappy and feel as though they’re not making any progress. They work for the same company for years and eventually lose the motivation they once had because they aren’t getting promoted,  receiving a raise,  being considered a leader or getting respect as a veteran in the business.

Once you notice your work ethic and your overall feeling about your job changes, it is time for you to consider making a career change. Here are some signs to look out for:

Work is negatively affecting your personal life

When you were first interviewed for the job and got a feel for what type of company it is, you valued the fact that they respected your life outside of the office. They made it clear that your work would not interfere with your family life, yet over the years the company has seen changes that prove otherwise.

Whether it’s new leadership or the same leadership changing their values, these adjustments can have a negative effect on you as a person. They may have tightened their grip on the control of the business, giving you less creative freedom to do what you were doing in the beginning. You start to feel controlled and your decision making power is gone.

Spend some time evaluating your job. If you feel as though you can excel elsewhere then begin to look at making a career change that will make you love your job again.

You’re only assigned low-priority assignments

Despite working for the company for a few or more years, you notice that with every big project they have to complete, you are never a substantial part of it. You’ve proven time after time that you are good at what you do and would be a positive asset to these assignments, yet they are always turning to others for help.

If you notice that people who don’t have the credentials that you do are getting asked to participate in the high profile projects while you are not, it is time to consider leaving and looking elsewhere.

It’s taking a toll on your emotions

Whether it’s the immense pressure that your manager is putting on you to make the best presentation possible for the next client meeting, or the blame for a mistake being placed on you when it wasn’t your fault, your emotions begin to crumble. Often times when a person’s job is so grueling and filled with negative experiences, they lose sleep, become upset over it and they spend their hours away from work constantly thinking about it. All of these negative feelings affect the way you look at the company and your work ethic.

Other signs that let you know that making a career change is what you need include losing your passion for what you do, disagreeing with the direction the company is going, feeling unappreciated, and no longer having a positive relationship with your boss.

When people think about making a career change, they often let fear stop them. It is vital to always love what you do and not allow your work to negatively affect your personal life. Finding a new job, possibly one in a different industry, will give you a fresh start and get you back to the positive feelings you had about your career in the beginning.

Speak with career professionals that will listen to what you’re looking for and find the best career match for you. Soon you’ll see a noticeable difference in your attitude towards your work and personal life. Don’t let the fear of a job change stop you from making a decision that will have a positive impact on your life!

Resume Strategies for Career Changers

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC GetInterviews.com

Analyst, New York, NY
Marketing Director, Mid Atlantic States
Investment Banking / Private Equity Analyst, New York, NY
Manager – Strategy & Business Development, Washington, DC
Junior Analyst, West Conshohocken, PA

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Are you considering a change in direction in your career? If so, you are not alone. Economic downturns often result in consideration of new, more lucrative career directions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American will change jobs at least ten times over his/her lifetime and will make a complete career change three times. A thirty-year career with one or two companies is no longer the norm. People move, change jobs, change companies, and change their minds on a regular basis about what they want to do with their working life. Handling that change on the resume can pose a challenge to job seekers.

In the past couple of years, we’ve seen many people who have lost their careers due to the economic situation. Mortgage, real estate, and construction industries have dried up from underneath the professionals who worked in them. As a result, these individuals and professionals in other distressed industries are often seeking to return to a career field in which they previously worked, posing a resume challenge.

Returning to a prior career field creates an organizational problem with the resume, especially if the most recent career field is not well-related to the earlier one. How can you show the employer you have good experience in business analysis, for instance, if the first thing they see on the resume is your experience in mortgage sales? The challenge faced is establishing the focus of the resume from the start. That means a powerful summary and core competencies section right at the top.

A summary is the most important part of the resume. It has to establish the focus of the job search, show how you are qualified for that focus, and engage the reader to read further into the resume. If the summary does not engage the interest of the reader, he/she will not give the rest of the resume the attention needed to clinch the call for an interview. In a career change situation, the summary is even more important because it has to do double duty – persuade the reader to continue reading and set the idea in the mind of the reader the job seeker has the right qualifications, even if they are not exemplified in the most recent employment experience.

The wording of a career-change resume is crucial. Most career fields have similar base functions – customer service, team work, project work, or business sense. Some have similar skills such as sales and customer service; business analysis and financial analysis; or operations and project management. Other career fields are very dissimilar or require licenses, certifications, or specialized training. Regardless whether where you are going is similar to where you are now, the wording of the resume in terms of similar functions, common duties, and supportive accomplishments can help you make that switch.

Additionally, selection of information can make a significant impact on the effectiveness of the career-change resume. Often, the most important factor in information selection is what is excluded from the resume. When making a career change, it is very tempting to “throw in every fact” in hope that it will have some kind of impact in the mind of the reader. Unfortunately, the result tends to be opposite. Too much information overwhelms important facts and the reader has trouble seeing the real qualifications in the “static”.  When constructing the career-change resume, consider information presented to the reader very carefully. You have a limited amount of space to make your argument and you don’t want to waste it with irrelevant information that does not support your goal.

It’s not just what you’ve done in your career; it’s what you’ve achieved. When making a career shift, showing good performance can help you make the jump, even if the performance is not in your new career field. Skills will take you only so far and then it’s more a matter of attitude, drive, and willingness to learn. You can show those traits by demonstrating how you’ve performed well in your career to-date. Employers are more likely to give an opportunity to someone who shows drive than someone who just shows skills on the resume.

Career-change resumes can be challenging to construct. Make sure you understand clearly what the requirements of your target job will be in terms of both hard skills and soft skills. Look at your experience clearly to identify what will transfer well. Identify points of achievement that demonstrate an attitude of ambition. Coalesce all this into a document that sells your performance while showing your transferable skills and you will have a winning career-change resume.

About the Author:

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

Five Best Bets for a Career Change Resume

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC GetInterviews.com

Investment Banking Analyst, New York, NY
Associate Consultant, Boston, MA
Trading Analyst / Trader, Los Angeles, CA
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With the economy soured, many industries have simply dried up in terms of growth. For example, construction, automotive, and mortgage services have taken big hits over the past two years. People in these industries have not only seen their own jobs disappear, but most of the other jobs in their industries have evaporated as well. As a result, they often face an unexpected requirement of a career change. But how do you take experience from one industry and translate it into another? Here are some career change resume best bets.

1. Shift Your Paradigm.

Consider Joe. He’s been in construction all his life, moving from laborer all the way up to construction supervisor. He’s never considered a different career until now. Construction work in his area came to a screeching halt eighteen months ago. Nothing is happening in construction in his area and he’s unable to relocate due to family concerns. He knows he must make a career change but he doesn’t know what that change may be.

If you’ve been in the same career field for twenty years like Joe, your career field has become ingrained in your identity. Joe thinks of himself as a “construction guy”. He must start thinking of himself in a different light and translate that to his career marketing documents – his resume and cover letter. When Joe talks to people in his network, he cannot present himself as a construction professional looking to do something else. He must make that career transition mentally before he will make progress in his job search. That mental shift must also come before he constructs his career change resume. Joe found working with an employment specialist helpful because it gave him the necessary objectivity to see his career in a new light.

2. Know Where You’re Going.

Joe wasn’t sure what else he could do besides construction. As a result, he sought some career exploration assistance to help him find a new career direction. He wanted to pursue something that would offer him opportunities, interesting work, and financial reward (like a paycheck!). There were many resources available to Joe, many at no cost, which could direct him. Workforce development centers often offer counseling and job retraining options. Do a little research to see what is available in your area.

Once Joe determined where he wanted to go next in his career, his resume could be built to support that goal. The goal must come first, though. It is impossible to write an effective career change resume if the new goal is a mystery. A great resume is written with a goal in mind; the strategy of information selection and organization must support that goal throughout the entire resume.

Not only should a general goal be developed (such as home inspection for Joe) but details surrounding requirements of the new goal should be researched and understood. Will new training be required? What is the outlook for the new career field? Does it look favorable for the future? What skills are needed for the new job? Knowing all this information at the beginning will help you outline a plan for reaching your goal and give you a beginning strategy for creation of your career change resume. You will understand what skills you need to pull from your background and bring into your new resume.

3. Know Where You’ve Been.

If you’ve been in your job for a long time, it is likely you’ve not prepared a resume in years. You may not have thought about your experience and skills in terms of value to a different industry. When faced with a career change, it is very important to capture the scope of work you’ve done in the past and ways you have contributed, excelled, and succeeded.

A career change resume starts with an in-depth look at your past career history. The more information you or your resume writer has at hand, the better. Information selection will be important in constructing the career change resume. General information about job roles is not always helpful. For example, Joe noted he had experience working with zoning variances. That was pretty general. Upon questioning, Joe further explained he had to present project plans multiple times at municipal council meetings, meet with city engineers, and create PowerPoint slide shows to illustrate physical aspects of projects. Those details provided a lot more information about specific skills such as presentation, negotiation, and contract management which could be helpful in the career change resume.

4. Understand Your Assets.

Skills such as presentation and negotiation were not skills Joe fully realized he possessed until he started examining his background. He had simply thought of his experience as “zoning variance” knowledge. Breaking down his generalities with the help of his writer showed him specific skills he could take to his next career field. You can do the same thing. Think of what you do in general terms and then break that down into specific skills. Some of those skills will be transferrable and some won’t apply. First, you have to understand the skills you have and be fully cognizant of them. Only then can you start to construct a resume that will highlight those transferrable skills that make you qualified for the new career direction.

5. Establish a Clear Focus.

When a hiring manager reads your new resume, you don’t want him/her to be confused about your goal or qualifications. Many people make the mistake of producing a general resume when making a career change. They assume the hiring manager can connect the dots and understand their goals. That’s not the case. A career change resume needs to spell it out. It needs to establish the goal and then clearly show skills and experience from the past that support that goal. The resume must show how the needed skills exist, how they’ve been used to excel in the past, and make it clear the job seeker has “what it takes” to do the job.

Career changes can be scary, but in the long run most people say they were good change, offering opportunities to learn new things and meet new people. If you are facing a career change, look at your experience very critically. Get objective viewpoints on your plans. Understand you have value to industries outside your traditional career path. And finally, look at the career change as a new beginning, rather than an ending. A positive attitude will carry through into your resume and you will enjoy better job search success overall.

About the Author:

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 75,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!