Changing Career or Finding Promotion in Recessions

by A Guest Author

With employment figures showing limited signs of going in the right direction (upwards) it's a difficult and dangerous time for anybody thinking of changing career.  Perhaps it seems like a good idea to play it safe and stay in the same old job or perhaps the uncertain future for many companies makes seeking promotion seem like something that could wait until another day/week/month/year or decade.  However, if you are hoping to move on, or upwards, recessions aren't always the worst time to do so.  Not all companies have many vacancies or opportunities for promotion at the moment, so being prepared to take advantage of opportunities when the do come along is essential.

The Big Plan

As with so many things in life planning is crucial; whether it's a complete change in direction or a step up the career ladder.  With so many people available and willing to work, employers are spoilt for choice and filling jobs has only one downside for a company – they are swamped with applications.  For individuals looking to change or move upwards, planning can make all the difference.  Think about the jobs you can do and the jobs you'd like to do.  List your existing skills and any skill gaps.  If it's a complete change in direction, list any training courses you might need and if it's an upward move you're planning the same may well apply.

Detailed Research

With a sound idea of the types of job, or the promotion you're looking for and the experience or training you'll need, start researching the roles more thoroughly.  If you work in construction and are planning an upward move to Site Management or Supervisor status, then talk to existing managers and supervisors to find out what the job really entails.  If you are planning on moving jobs completely then find out everything you can from people who already do the job; online is a good place to start and blogs or forums often contain useful insights.  Some jobs can sound terribly exciting, but turn out to be less than thrilling in reality; this is a case of look before you leap.

Vital Preparations

Take any training you need to – either via correspondence, online or for real.  Even if you haven't got direct experience in a role, employers will look favourably on relevant vocational qualifications – it means they don't have to pay for you to do them!  Depending on the type of industry you are looking to move into it may be possible to take on voluntary work in the sector – if only part time – to get a feel for the role and some experience.  If you're planning an upward move mention that you'd like the chance to shadow an existing member of staff; managers will remember you're interested and willing to put yourself forward if a vacancy does come up.

It’s All About You  

When it comes to applying for new jobs, or promotions, it's a very good idea to stand out; there are normally a lot of applications and HR professionals are often already overworked.  Send a cover letter with your CV; many people don't do this anymore and it does make an impact.  HR professionals often admit that it's such a surprise, they actually read them!  This is especially important if you are looking to move into a new industry as it gives you the chance to explain why having worked as a chief executive of a well-known and newsworthy security firm for several years, you've suddenly decided you want to become a lion tamer.

The Right Place And The Right Time

Although changing careers or looking for promotion may seem like a risky step at the moment it’s not impossible and it could place you in an excellent position as the economy begins to recover.  Much focus by government and individual companies is being placed on growth at the moment and although it is slow in developing the next few years should begin to see improvements in a range of industries.  Starting anew now, may be the best time to make the change.

SMSTS courses for those in the construction industry can help to put you in the right place at the right time when vacancies come along.  In any field, or for any planned career change, researching, planning and training will help to make you stand out from the crowd.

This post was written by A Guest Author

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