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3 Tips for Taking Your First Step to a Career Change

Taking that first step to change careers can be daunting. Consider these crucial points to prepare yourself for success.

At some point in your career, you may feel the natural desire to make a career switch, be it driven by dissatisfaction with your existing role, or the urge to challenge yourself to learn new skills. However, making that leap to a new role can seem overwhelming at first – especially if you don’t know where to start.

Luckily, you’re not alone in this journey. If you are one of these aspiring individuals looking for a career change, consider these tips below:

1. Understand what the future of jobs looks like

The digital revolution is well and truly here, and it’s rapidly changing the nature of work across all industries, especially in our post-pandemic world. Understanding which skills are in demand enables you to gain the right skillsets and experiences to stay relevant.

Seeking help in your job switch? Make an appointment to see a career coach to help with your job search.

Based on the Future of Jobs Survey conducted by the World Economic Forum, the job roles experiencing the highest demand are digital, such as data analytics, digital marketing, digital transformation and AI. Specifically for Singapore, this translates to the need for an additional 1.2 million digital workers by 2025, according to a report by Amazon Web Services. In line with this finding, more and more companies are looking to hire candidates with strong tech and digital capabilities. OCBC Bank, for instance, announced in March 2022 that they are looking to hire 1,500 tech professionals over the next three years to support their digital transformation efforts. 

Additionally, digital/tech roles have seen the highest salary increases in the past year. In fact, in 2022, 85% of firms in Singapore’s tech industry are giving pay raises.  Overall, taking a moment to align your new career path with the trends within the economy is key to a successful career switch.

2. Leverage your strengths and adopt a growth mindset

Changing your career does not necessarily mean starting over from square one. 

It is important to pause and reflect on the skills and experience you have accrued thus far. More often than not, successful career pivots require leveraging your existing strengths but re-contextualised by adding new skills and capabilities. This will allow you to change your career trajectory more easily than someone who is just switching careers impulsively.

Similarly, once you have acknowledged your foundation of both hard and soft skills, adopting a growth mindset is the next key step. Individuals with a growth mindset see the obstacles of career switching as a journey, embrace challenges, and learn from mistakes to springboard and supercharge their development. Setbacks will be inevitable, but how you react and respond will play a vital role in your success.

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3. Upskill yourself with the skills and experience employers are looking for

Recruiter and hirers primarily look for two things – the right experience and the right skills. As a starting point, WSG provides resources such as Job Transformation Maps (JTM) that outline the impact of key technologies and map the requisite skills for various job roles. Keep in mind that while hard skills are heavily sought after, soft skills are also equally important in employers’ eyes, so don’t neglect that aspect!

After identifying the skills and experiences needed, you can consider undertaking formal learning such as going to a graduate school or enrolling in Government-subsidised courses like RISE by DigitalBCG Academy. Other avenues include free online courses, listening to educational podcasts, and embarking on an internship.

This article is contributed by BCG Singapore. 

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