1. Ask Yourself Why?
It is important to consider your reasons for wanting to change your career to become a validation engineer before going any further. What is motivating you to switch things up? If you connect with the following statements, a career change will most likely be a step in the right direction for you:
- You don’t enjoy the work that you are doing and struggle to get fulfilment from it
- You have changed your focus in life or seek a different kind of work-life balance
- You don’t feel challenged any more and don’t have any desire to reach the next level of your current career
- You have a passion that you are sure you can turn into a career.
- If you relate to the statements below, however, you may benefit from a role change instead:
- Your current workplace doesn’t have opportunities for you to progress
- You feel unchallenged and/or dissatisfied by the tasks required by your current role
- The environment at your current workplace makes you feel uncomfortable or unhappy
- You are unable to connect with colleagues.
2. Think About Your Current Skill Set
You definitely have plenty of transferable skills even if your new career is completely different to the job that you are currently doing.
A very important step, especially if you have not solidified exactly what your dream role is just yet, is to write down all your skills, including those that you possess but never get to shine in your current role, and take a step back.
Start highlighting the skills you will definitely use once you swap careers and think of what can help you stand out from the crowd. When starting a new career, chances are you will start at a lower position than you are used to, but your experience in a different job does not have to be a drawback.
Have you managed a team previously?
Are you used to working in a high-pressure environment?
Skills such as these will most likely set you apart from the other candidates of a similar level in interviews, and you never know what the interviewer is looking for – it may lead to an even better opportunity.
3. Start Learning
It is also important to take note of any obvious gaps while you are thinking about your current skill set. Is there anything you know that you will have to learn before you start your new career or skills you know you will have to master quickly to progress?
Mark off all high-priority items and create an action plan. There are numerous ways to learn something new and one of the best starting points is an online course.
Today, you can find online courses on virtually everything from history, art, and science to languages, digital skills, and so much more. Look for courses designed to help you acquire workplace skills that are highly sought after by employers.
Plenty of other resources are available to complement your classes. You can watch videos by experts online, for instance. You can also download relevant educational apps. Pick up a couple of textbooks or spend your time reading through articles produced by thought leaders and experts in your sector.
Absorb as much information as possible, and find ways of practicing your new skills whenever possible.
4. Gain Real-World Experience
Nothing compares to real-world experience, but securing the first opportunity is far from easy. If you are looking for employment as opposed to taking the entrepreneur route but are struggling to get your foot on the ladder, you can do certain things to help your resume stand out.
Look for internships, part-time work, volunteering opportunities, or even joining educational courses offering experience in the workplace. All these are great ways to get started. Not only will you have something unique to discuss during the interview, it will also build your confidence in your own abilities.
A brilliant way to show off what you are capable of doing is to go freelance and actually get paid for it. It is a great way to bulk out your portfolio.
People actually do this on top of a full-time job for the purpose of testing the waters before making a career change. As long as there isn’t any conflict with your existing contracts, you should explore your chosen field before you switch careers.
5. Start Networking. Make Connections
Starting a new career is obviously an exciting journey, but you should ensure that you never forget about the people that you met along the way. Whether you have joined an online course with others, or you are volunteering somewhere, you shouldn’t lose contact once it is over.
Stay connected and regularly interact with others – it can open many doors in the future and you never know who you could help out too.
You should also be on the lookout for networking events in your local area. They are a great way to meet new people. Don’t be afraid to reach out to like-minded individuals too. A polite introduction through a direct message on platforms such as Twitter or LinkedIn can go a long way.