Making a mid-career switch is a challenging proposition in any economy, much less in a year that’s been hit by a global pandemic.
But 2020 isn’t all doom and gloom. In fact, many companies are on the lookout for someone just like you – mid-career professionals who have the working experience and expertise to fit smoothly into their business, and a well-liked personality that’ll keep everyone’s spirits up!
We believe that making a successful mid-career switch isn’t only about “the economy”, it’s also about your mindset. And these five mindset hacks can help get you started on your next career.
1. Make up your mind
In your 20s, it’s acceptable to dip your toes in several industries as you decide on which sparks your passion. In your 30s and 40s however, you’ve acquired enough experience and skills to know what career path you want to take.
This is the time to make a commitment towards excelling in a career and industry that suits you best – based on your skills, talents and passions – then craft a plan for getting in.
2. Upskill to meet the needs of your industry
One of the first steps in your “mid-career switch plan” should be to level up your skills to match – or exceed – what employers are looking for. You can find out what skills, knowledge and expertise are desired by talking to people who are working in the industry.
Not sure where to start? Go online and connect with industry professionals on LinkedIn, Facebook groups or message boards. Then take action by enrolling in courses, attending workshops and more.
3. Become a person that your future colleagues will love
An often overlooked factor in recruitment interviews is a candidate’s kindness, friendliness and willingness to be a team player.
When organisations hire mid-career employees, they’re not looking for a fresh face to mould. They’re looking for someone who can jump into the team and make a positive impact – and how kind, approachable and helpful you are, will give future employers a strong indication of how well you’ll fit into the team.
4. Be prepared to start over
If your mid-career change-up involves moving to a brand new industry or role, be mentally prepared to start from scratch. This means possibly accepting a pay or position that’s lower than what you currently (or used to) have.
Remember, you’re in this for your long-term fulfilment. If it means taking a year (or two) to develop the skills and experience you need to make your resume more attractive to future employers in the industry, it’s well worth it!
5. Be open to every opportunity, including attachments
On that note, it’s also important to avoid some of the most common hurdles that mid-career professionals encounter.
One such hurdle is being too focused on getting the “perfect new start”. They place a lot of expectations on making a career switch and immediately getting their dream job – and when that doesn’t happen, they give up and often blame factors like age, discrimination, or “the system”.
Another common issue is waiting for the “perfect time” to get started. The reality is, there’s never a “perfect time” to start a new career. You’ll always face challenges and be seen as a relative newcomer in whatever industry you jump into. This is especially true during times like this, when a pandemic has inflicted a lot of uncertainty into many sectors across the globe.
Sometimes, the best way to enter a new industry is to get in at the ground level. Build up your skills by working at a company that will give you the opportunity to learn, gain experience and increase your value in the job market.
Be open to every opportunity that allows you to build up your resume, even attachments.
SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme
The SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme is ideal for individuals who wish to transition to a career or industry that they’re passionate about. Under the programme, you could be attached to a workplace for up to 9 months, where you will have valuable opportunities to:
- Gain industry experience
- Learn new, relevant skills
- Expand your professional network
- Raise your market value
All this and more, while earning a training allowance and becoming more marketable to other organisations in your dream industry.
Kickstart your new career
As 2020 comes to a close, here’s our final tip and “mindset hack” – think of this as starting a new chapter. 2021 can be the year you kickstart a brand new career and begin an exciting new life. It’s the fresh start you’ve been waiting for, and deserve.
*The SGUnited Traineeships (SGUT)/ Mid-Career Pathways (Company Attachment) Programme (SGUP-CA) will cease by 31 March 2022.