Our Middle Eastern culture has always been hung up on the notion of choosing a “safe” and “reputable” study major with little regard to one’s abilities and personal preferences. That’s why many job seekers consider their university degree as generally definitive of his/her respective career. So they end up living their whole lives doubting their career choices and dwelling over what they perceive to be missed opportunities.
The good news is that you can conform to the general realm of your degree and still be able to tweak your career path according to your passion. Nonetheless, the idea of taking risks beyond that, and pursuing a career that is unrelated to your degree is not endorsed by many, and is generally perceived as an ill-advised choice. Even though it is fairly prevalent amongst other societies, it has a faint existence in ours. Such conceptions are unhealthy and are predecessors of employee dissatisfaction, lack of productivity and turnover.
Although this may contradict the image projected by many about making such a decision, following your dreams, irrespective of the circumstances, prevails over all. You shouldn’t allow people’s disapproval to prevent you from attaining a fulfilling career, in which you are engaged with your work and passionate about it. The truth is, this venture can seem quite daunting, but the upside is that you can still capitalize on and make use of the transferable skills that you have acquired so far through your career/education, which will give you a head start in your new career. Here are some tips from Akhtaboot on how to make a smooth career change.
1. Accept the Fact that Nothing is Guaranteed
Before you take the plunge, you need to make peace with the fact that “nothing is guaranteed”. That’s why you need to create a safety cushion to land onto in case you fall. In other words, don’t abandon your current job (if you have one) or jeopardize its security before you really examine your dream field and procure your dream job. With that out of the way, you will be able to pursue a career outside the focus of your degrees, while keeping your expectations realistic.
2. Acquire Specific Work Experience
Although you may not have a degree in the field you’re aiming for, possessing relevant work experience and skills certainly does help. Apply for an internship, or do some volunteer work that pertains to your dream job. Doing so will show recruiters that you are not completely inexperienced with the job, and it will give you a glimpse of what you are walking into. Furthermore, it will allow you to realize whether or not you are truly engrossed in the field, and if you can really dedicate yourself to it.
3. Have a Plan and Persevere
If you’ve made this choice, you have to follow through. Even though this decision has a risk of backfiring on you, don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith and try. The odds may be against you, and there will be times when things will seem to be falling apart, but you must not feel discouraged. Follow an effective research method, and only target job openings that you actually have a chance of attaining. Look specifically for jobs that are flexible in terms of degree requirements, and be willing to settle for a job that may slightly deviate from your expectations. Most importantly, persevere and hold onto your aspirations, and remember why you started your journey in the first place. Expect downfalls, and be ready to recover.
4. Convey Your Passion Towards your Desired Career
Most job applicants within your target field will likely have an edge over you, as they have a CV that is more tailored towards the recruiters’ expectations. Therefore, you need to put in extra effort to customize your CV according to the job. Following tip #2 can help you objectively communicate this. Additionally, you can do so during your interview by sharing your interest towards the job, the reasons behind it, as well as your conviction as to why you are a strong candidate that will commit to the job – without coming off as conceited.
5. Accentuate on Your Strengths, Skills and Experience (In Both your CV and Interview)
Make sure that any useful skills and strengths you possess are clearly highlighted in your CV, and seize any opportunities to discuss them during your interview. Also, in case you have underwent some form of related work experience, don’t forget to draw the recruiters’ attention to that, and to point out what responsibilities you had, as well as the experience’s added value, and what it can translate into in the future. Doing so will ensure that you enhance your chances of landing the job.
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