How can candidates make a successful career switch?

Research has found that 60 per cent of employees intend to make changes to their careers as a result of the pandemic. The shift that has taken place over the past year has made people rethink many aspects of their lives, including their career path. Priorities have changed; employees may want more time with their families or are now considering how they can help leave behind a legacy for others. The disruption of the pandemic has changed the world of work and forced employees into new situations, enabling them to re-evaluate their career.

Transitioning careers is difficult under normal circumstances and doing so during periods of change can be daunting too. Despite this, according to a survey by Joblist, 80 per cent of those who switched their career wished they had made the move sooner. So, how can you make a successful career switch?

Identify skills

Switching between sectors, such as from commercial finance to charity finance, may seem like a significant change, but many of the required skills are transferable. Even if the sector is different, your experience and skills still count. Soft skills, for example, are highly transferable and identifying them can help you to understand how they might bring value to a new role. Other transferable skills, such as problem-solving and leadership, are incredibly valuable for employers.

Certain roles, like finance or IT may be similar in all sectors, but you need to think more laterally with other roles. Consider upskilling through classes, online course or taking further qualifications.  By developing your own skills, you can demonstrate a willingness to learn, which will be attractive to employers.

Consider values

Your core values should provide you with significant direction as you begin to decide on a new role or industry. Whether it be intrinsic values to do with the practical task and what you gain, such as leadership or helping others, or extrinsic values such as recognition, job security or high wages, these principles are crucial to a successful career change.

If a company’s Employee Value Proposition doesn’t align with your own values, a career switch is unlikely to provide you with contentment.

Start networking

Your personal and professional network is a good place to start identifying new opportunities. If you are considering a move into the third sector, engaging with the sector through volunteering and attending events is an effective way to broaden your network and gain experience.

Gaining this exposure is one of the most important ways in which you can develop your knowledge and understanding of the market.

Look at remote opportunities

A number of organisations have switched to long-term remote working with even more supporting opportunities to work flexibly. Remote working opens new opportunities for career changes. Your geographical location is no longer a priority, so you can apply for roles that previously would have been too far afield.  

Engage recruiters

Working with a recruiter is advantageous when it comes to navigating a job switch. Recruiters know what hiring managers are looking for; they can use their expertise to advise on specific skills needed, recommend qualifications, and invest time into your journey. Recruiters can introduce you to connections in the industry and help build networks.

Particularly for finance roles, where the market for talent is saturated with high-quality candidates, maximising chances to enhance your visibility and access to new opportunities is crucial.

Switching industry doesn’t need to be stressful. The pandemic has created an environment of change, and new opportunities are constantly evolving. By gaining the right knowledge and support you can make a successful career switch.


If you’re searching for your next role, then get in touch today to see how our consultants can support you.

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