This January, over 25 per cent of British workers considered a career move or a complete change.
With the unemployment rate at just 4.3 per cent, the lowest since 1975, and over a million new vacancies currently being advertised in the UK, Brits are in a unique position – the power has shifted from employer to employee.
Companies across a number of industries in Britain are desperate to hire staff, but simply can’t find the talent.
Our internal data at Adzuna shows a year on year increase in unfilled vacancies, and, as a result, there appears to be a growing trend of employers accepting applications from candidates with transferable skills and non-conventional backgrounds.
Christiaan Faberij de Jonge is a Kandahar Airport DHL worker turned British filmmaker. His story?
“Reinventing yourself can be scary, but so can your terrible job – especially when bombs are landing indiscriminately (and regularly) around the Afghanistan army base where you manage logistics for an international contractor. After around 12 months, I found the environment so tough to deal with that I decided to produce a play at the army base chapel. The experience changed me, and within four months I had quit the company and used my savings to go to film school. Now, 10 years later, I’m a first assistant director on features and television, mostly in the UK, using those skills I honed making deals and dodging mortars to manage the (sometimes equally explosive) personalities you find in the film industry.”
Inspired? Taking your first step towards a new career can be exhilarating, but daunting. It requires careful thought and consideration. Here are our top five tips to help you figure out whether to stick or twist – how to switch industries, develop new skills, and bag that dream job.
Pick up a side gig in the industry you’re considering moving into. Even if it’s unpaid work experience, you need to figure out if this is all a crazy pipe dream, or if it’s actually what you want to do.
2. Talk to industry people
Work your network. Use LinkedIn. Ask questions and meet as many people for a coffee and chat as you can. Don’t hold back and do your best to get a “warts and all” view of what it might be like.
3. Use your head, not your heart
Be passionate and do what you love, but don’t get swept up in the desire to find your “perfect” career. It can be paralysing.
4. Arm yourself with data
Benchmark the pay rates and do your due diligence. There are hundreds of free services online which give you a granular view of wages in all jobs and industries (including Adzuna). If you can’t afford it, don’t switch.
5. Nail the interview
Find ways to highlight your transferable skills. You’re going to get called out on your lack of industry relevant experience, so be prepared to counter- argue and succinctly explain why you’d be perfect for the job. This will likely be one of the toughest job interviews of your life, so be prepared.