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How to position yourself after a major career change

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Jumping into a new career may seem like a daunting prospect, but the reality is that there are many benefits to making a career switch. If you are one of the 75% of Singaporeans who are looking to make a career switch, you might find yourself in a new role fairly soon.

When the euphoria of getting a new job dies down and you’re sitting at your new desk, you may get that gut-wrenching feeling that you’ve made a big mistake and you’re nothing but an imposter in the new career you’ve set out for yourself.

Don’t panic! Here are our simple tips on how you can position yourself for success after a major career change.

Just get down to business!
Don’t waste time worrying about whether you have the right profile for the job instead, just get started and dive right into the job. Don’t be afraid to pick up seemingly difficult projects, but remember to listen and take advice from your colleagues. Working and learning on the job is crucial during this new period in your new career.

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Take time to upskill
Jumping into a new role may overwhelm you with new colleagues, new projects and a new environment to get used to, but this is a critical point in your career to make sure you pick up the right skills for the job.

On top of learning on the job, you can enroll in courses to upskill yourself, no matter what industry you are working in. Often your employer will be able to suggest some relevant classes or subjects, and remember that you can also use your SkillsFuture credit to offset costs for anything you want to learn.  And don’t forget that there are ways to make sure you can keep learning even when you are super busy.

Find your way with a mentor
What better way to find your path in a new career than with someone who has already been through it. Go out of your way to find someone who you respect, trust and can lean on to provide you with guidance in your new career.

Remember that it doesn’t have to be a formally structured mentor/mentee relationship set in place by your company – you can find an equally insightful mentor by just arranging frequent coffee catch ups with someone you look up to. Failing that, there are ways you can get sage advice without a dedicated mentor.

Look forward, but don’t forget your past
Remember, many jobs have transferable skills and some roles may benefit from skills that aren’t necessarily learnt in that specific industry. Remember that your employer saw something in you that drove them to hire you!

When it’s relevant or useful, you can use your experience from your previous career to complement your new job through a different perspective than your colleagues. However, don’t make the mistake of always falling back on this experience and prevent yourself from learning new skills and properly adapting to your new career.

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