Changing career can be a daunting task. Common concerns we get asked about include, how to switch jobs if I don't have relevant experience? What should I put on my CV? The great thing is, changing career at any point in your career is possible.
To give an insight into how you can make a switch and how to figure out what career might be suitable for you we spoke to a recently placed Cpl candidate, Martina.
In this Q&A Martina discusses switching career and some great tips for anyone else thinking of making a move.
Changing careers: Q&A
Tell me about yourself – What’s your job title and what company do you work for?
I worked for many years in banking where I built strong professional relationships and loved my time there. When the culture of banking changed a few years ago I decided to make a change myself, for the better, I hope!
I am now an administrator with the HSE working with a national project team called Making Every Contact Count. The project has a valuable purpose, training health care professionals to use every interaction they have with patients to promote a healthy lifestyle.
You recently changed your career path from a role in banking, what was that role like and what prompted that decision to move?
My time in banking was filled with many happy experiences and memories but the last couple of years were filled with a significant shift in banking culture with a move away from a more traditional customer-focused approach to a more sales-oriented one.
This cultural and organisational shift led to a lot of changes within the banking system where there was an increased focus on targets and less interaction with the customers. These changes led me to question my role and steered me towards my decision to pursue other options.
How did you hear about CPL and what made you decide to engage with a recruitment agency to assist with your search?
Cpl was recommended to me by my husband. He’d had a great experience with Cpl and encouraged me to make contact as he was sure it would be of great benefit to me. Engaging with Cpl offered me a variety of choices within a number of different sectors and access to a huge range of clients.
This was an added incentive as I was open to exploring new experiences in a number of areas. As well as putting me forward for job vacancies I was also offered guidance and tips to improve my marketability in a competitive job market.
Did you encounter any setbacks when you began your job search before engaging with a recruitment agency?
Yes, I had a couple of setbacks. Whilst I had administration experience my banking career was a dominant force and even getting called for an interview was difficult. Working with Cpl helped me to overcome this and opened up a number of opportunities for me.
Do you have any CV or interview tips for someone changing their career?
My advice would be to try and do a little research in the prospective new career you may want to pursue. Lots of colleges offer online short-term courses that will help you decide if the professional road you are taking is the right one for you.
I studied Payroll with Ipass and I did an advanced Excel course along with a short bookkeeping course and I absolutely loved them. Having Microsoft Office skills is a must for administration and doing these courses armed me with the skills to advance to a new career.
Remember all the skills and experience you gained from your previous roles are transferable to other roles, you just have to articulate this the right way.
What is the one thing that someone who has never temped before would find surprising about your job?
I think anyone hoping to move would be surprised at how liberating temping is. It is a two-way street, if the role suits you and the employer that is wonderful.
If it doesn’t suit either party, the recruitment agency will step in and appoint somebody else to the role. They will also find you other opportunities.
I love the fact that temping gives you time to develop and grow in a new job, knowing that your recruiter is behind you all the way whilst also looking after the client. It takes a lot of pressure off at the beginning of a new career journey.
What is your favourite part of the new role?
The learning aspect. My project manager, who I report directly to, takes a minimum of an hour per day explaining aspects of the role and delivers training to me via Webex.
She shares her knowledge with me to help me develop and become more independent in my role. She has thought me to be more confident, both as a person and in my job.
The project lead begins every group meeting on a positive note thanking her team for the work carried out the previous week. It is an open and honest environment that helps cultivate a healthy mind and body. In general, I love working with positive inclusive people.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone in a similar position that you wish you had known at the time?
My advice to anybody hoping to move jobs would be to value yourself, educate yourself, and don’t be afraid.
Feeling anxious about leaving security and salary behind is normal but having a healthy mind is much more important if you can afford it financially. Work is a huge part of our lives and if for any reason we feel let down or micromanaged it can chip away at us and even lead to ill health.
A good recruitment agency is a great support and from my experience, they are friendly and eager to get you a role that suits you.
In a lot of cases, they may know the recruiter in-house and will recommend you for an interview, in a lot of cases getting an interview is the hardest hurdle and for me, Cpl were a great help with this. My experience has been hugely positive.