Do you remember when you were 5 years old, being asked ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’. This was such a fun question back then, and I’m pretty sure most of us answered with things like ‘cowboy’, ‘princess’ or ‘pop star’. Some of us might have actually gone on to be one of those things, but for most of us, the excitement dulled over the years as being asked ‘what do you want to do when you’re older’ turned into ‘what are you taking for your GCSE’s’, ‘what will you focus on in your degree’ and ‘what career do you want’ – all suddenly with a lot less magic and a lot more urgency.
I have a couple of friends who have always known what they wanted to do. Since we were kids at school they just knew their vocation and it’s been something that’s ingrained in their personalities and is without a shadow of a doubt their calling in life. These are my friends who have become nurses, vets and teachers (I suppose no child really says they want a job in marketing or to sit in an office all day so this does make some sense)!
For the rest of us, and decades on from when the first questions arose, we still don’t know the answer. I’ve had a few jobs in my time and after uni when gaining a bit of corporate experience, I eventually settled on marketing, with digital marketing quickly becoming my career.
This was somewhat of an accident to be honest, as I only realised while working for an investor company that it was the marketing side I enjoyed the most, but after a few years of working in marketing it was clear to me that I loved it because it was creative, but working for my last agency I felt anything but creative and with corporate and business red tape, any joy I initially had, was well and truly sucked out of me and what I thought was my dream job, slowly became my worst nightmare.
I’m not alone in this, I know it. So many of us work towards certain goals, qualifications or career paths and then change our minds. You know why? Because we’re human beings! No-one wants to do the same thing day in and day out, and very few people want to do the same thing for their whole life, so having what we all recognise as a ‘mid-life’ or even ‘quarter-life crisis’ is actually just us become fatigued with something we no longer wish to pursue. Do you eat the same dinner every night? Watch the same show on repeat? Talk about the same thing, holiday in the same place and wear the same clothes for years and years and years?
The answers to some of these things will be a yes, because there will always be things that we enjoy throughout our lives, but by saying ‘you know what, I don’t want chicken for dinner every single night anymore’, no-one will judge you, and if you’ve found yourself questioning whether you want to continue working in the same industry for the foreseeable future, you’re not in the minority.
Lockdown and the last 18 months has changed how we all view our work and chosen careers. This might be for the better, with many companies embracing working from home, employee culture and making the most of looking after their staff, whereas a lot of us will be seeing our self worth, reevaluating our time and output and questioning what makes us happy work-wise for the first time.
Because my blog is centred around fashion, beauty and lifestyle, I know a lot of my readers are very into, well all of those things, with a lot of you chasing dreams of working in one of these industries.
If this is something you’ve considered before but not pursued, this could be the sign you’re looking for. I made the decision to change my career, to work for myself and focus on this as my full time vocation and even though it’s been a bumpy ride – I’ve never looked back.
You may be thinking ‘I don’t have any experience in the industry I want to move into’, but this is probably where you’re wrong. Since owning my own business and working with various clients, I’ve realised that experience in that specific industry is incredible, but in some instances bears little to no value if you have skills elsewhere. Of course, industry knowledge is key, but if you’re skilled in what you do then chances are your talents are transferable.
Here are the four main factors to consider if you’re looking to make a career change.
Don’t Discount Your Experience
Education and careers are not linear and I can’t stress this enough. If you don’t have a degree in your ideal role, or years of experience in this industry then don’t write it off just yet. A degree in any subject holds a huge amount of weight and demonstrates your dedication and abilities, as well as experience in previous roles, internships and side hustles. You might not think you have the right experience, but you do have experience and that’s what counts. If it’s fashion you want to get into then a fashion recruitment agency, will be able to help you position yourself in the best way, and can help to find the perfect role for you. There are also lots of resources you can find for your specific niche to help gear your CV and LinkedIn towards that particular line of work.
Harness Your Transferable Skills
So, you want to get involved in something like fashion, but you’ve only ever worked in HR for a corporate firm – amazing! You want a foot in the door with a fashion brand but have done marketing for a charity – epic! All businesses have the same, or very similar components.
Every client I’ve ever worked with, no matter the industry, needs marketing, PR, HR, comms, digital teams, web developers… the list goes on. Chances are, you have all the skills you need to work in fashion, you just need to keep doing what you’re doing right now, using the same methodology but for a different brand or business – it’s that simple.
Think Outside of The Box
I’ve changed my industry before, and have worked with different brands and businesses many times, and the one thing I’ve noticed time and time again is how beneficial it can be to have a fresh pair of eyes over things.
Having a background that differs from the role you’re applying for can be very appealing. It’s easy for industries to become stagnant, and by having new concepts and ideas brought to the table can really shake things up a bit, so if you’re thinking you need to fit a niche to score your dream job, it could actually be the total opposite!
Have No Regrets
Totally cheesy I know, but I’ve lived with a small handful of regrets and I’m now making it my mission to address these regrets, do what I can to fulfil them now and get rid of them for good. Take the leap, make the change, dip your toe… you’ve heard these generic ‘go-getter’ phases a million times before but there’s a lot of truth behind the words. Don’t wait until it’s too late to change your vocation and if you’ve thought about a career change then what is it you’re waiting for?