Changing Careers? It Pays to Prepare


Changing Careers? It Pays to Prepare…

Changing career paths can be one of the most exciting things you do in your professional life.

It’s a chance to start fresh, to take on new challenges, meet new people and accept new responsibilities.

Like all big changes, however, preparation is key in order to get the best possible result and to minimise stress.

Here are a few simple ways to make sure that you’re properly prepared for your move.

1.      Clearly define what you want before you start looking.

‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail’, the saying goes. Rarely is this truer than in the case of a career move.

Be sure that you understand exactly what it is that you’re looking for. Are you looking for something with better progression opportunities? Faster-paced? More hands-on? Whatever it is, know what you want from your move.

There are infinite career possibilities out there, and they all offer something different. Knowing exactly what you are looking for makes it far easier to block out all the noise and concentrate on getting something that addresses your specific needs.

2.      Learn about what you’re getting into, from people already in that field.

So, you’ve decided what it is you want to do.

The next step, then, is to try and understand as much as possible the sort of thing your new working day is going to involve. The best way to do this is, of course, by talking to people with experience in that sector.

You may not be fortunate enough to know people with the right experience personally. Fortunately, in this day and age you’re never more than a few clicks away from a professional in any industry.

Reach out to second- or third-degree connections on LinkedIn and see if anyone would be willing to speak to you for a few minutes. At the very least, you can always do a quick Google search for relevant information.

When considering a career change, it can be easy to focus only on the negatives of your current career and the positives of the one you’re planning to move into.

The new role may seem perfect – idyllic, even. But make certain that you properly grasp the bigger picture of what your new career is going to be like before you commit to a change.

3.      Change the content of your CV to reflect your new career path.

This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people simply use a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to their CV.

Depending on how big a change you’re making, you may not need to completely re-invent your whole CV. However, applying for a highly technical role with the same exact information you used when applying for your current non-technical role (or vice-versa) probably won’t yield great results.

Even if your new career isn’t night-and-day different from what you’re doing now, it’s still worth accounting for whatever differences there are in your CV.

For example, if you’re planning to stay in Development, but are simply looking to change programming language, make sure that your new CV highlights your experience in the new language as much as possible. Applying for a job that predominantly uses Python with a CV that predominantly talks about C# will simply slow your job search down and making it harder for people to see the value that you know you can bring.

4.      Brush up on relevant skills.

Chances are you already have at least a small amount of experience with whatever it is you’re going to be doing in your new role.

But polishing your skill-set however you can – whether by taking on projects outside of work, enrolling in a course, or simply just reading or going on YouTube for an hour or two per week– can pay dividends when it comes to tests and interviews.

With technical roles in particular, you may start applying and realise that the landscape of the role is quite different to how you first thought.

Technology is always changing, developing and adding new things – and while this is part of what makes it so exciting, it can mean that your new role will require you to be familiar with tools and systems you’ve never even heard of before.

While there’s a limit to how proficient you’ll be able to get in a short space of time, it’s important that you at least acquaint yourself with what these new tools and systems are, so that you’re ready for any challenge down the road.

At Saragossa, we pride ourselves not just on our ability to find people to fill roles, but also on our knowledge and experience within the professional and technology space. As a member of our community, we’d be happy to offer you clear, objective advice, information and feedback, so that you can be sure your next career move is the right one.

Saragossa are a talent provider specialising in the Financial Technology, Financial Operations and Data Science sectors. Our role is to match clients with high calibre candidates. Our work encompasses filling temporary contracts along with building permanent teams and resourcing projects. To find out more, please contact or call 020 7871 3666.