Searching for a new job

Even once you’ve done your research and know exactly why a new career is right for you, there’s no guarantee that it will be smooth sailing from that point on.

“Cultural issues will always come into play, such as moving from the private to the public sector. Adapting, for instance, from a role that is team-based, to one in which you are working alone, is always a challenge,” Darke explains.

“In the end it’s all about risk assessment, but not all risks can be envisaged, and if things do go wrong, then acceptance is a key element in being able to move forward. At least you tried and won’t die wondering.”

He adds that one good way to get some insight into what a new career might be like before making any drastic changes is to try volunteering or doing work experience in your targeted career. Here are a few basic steps to follow at the beginning of your job search.

First steps

Write and call – Decide which companies you would like to work at and start off by sending letters to the relevant hiring managers. You can follow these up by calling. Don’t forget that some jobs aren’t advertised, so this technique will help you to cut through other competitors who are only looking on job search platforms.

Work for free – If a company you have contacted is not hiring, consider offering to work for them for free as a contractor. This is an opportunity to show how passionate you are for the role and the company. When a new job does arise, it could help you to get to the top of their list.

Volunteer experience also makes you more attractive to other companies, and a LinkedIn survey found that 41 % of employers considered volunteer experience as valuable as paid work experience, and 20 % of hiring managers had made hiring decisions based on volunteer work.

Keep trying – Even if you have contacted companies and they don’t have a position at the moment, keep checking back as something may arise in the future. Be careful how many times you message though, as too much contact can have a negative effect.

So you’ve searched for, and found, the perfect job – now let’s get your resume, cover letter and interview preparation underway and move to the next step.