How to change one’s occupation?

Are you fed up with your current occupational situation? Low income, frustration, occupational burnout? Are you anxious to finally start your dream job related to your passion? There may be various reasons behind changing one’s career path. It is increasingly often that many Poles consider moving to another line of business. In many cases they are forced to do so by a dynamically changing labour market. Below there are several useful guidelines for those considering changing their occupation.

Learn about the expectations of the market

The decision to change one’s occupation is never easy and it always entails a number of obligations, even more so if we have devoted many years to learning and working in a line of business we are now planning to leave. Nevertheless, oftentimes the circumstances make it the only right choice. Whatever the circumstances, it is one of the most important decisions we make. Therefore, it is advisable to analyse current job offers prior to making such a move. This way, you will learn what the market has to offer and which professions are promising.

Learn what the experts think

Prior to making a decision about changing your occupation, you should learn what the experts think. The contemporary market is a highly dynamic environment. It is difficult to foresee exactly how the situation will develop within the next 20 years. This is where descriptions of qualifications available in the Integrated Qualifications System come in handy. These descriptions are often submitted and created by entrepreneurs and as such, they are a good source of information on the positions with shortage of employees or on the type of personnel in demand. It is also advisable to read articles and market studies offering occupational forecast. For example: experts believe that IT specialists will not face problems with finding employment for as long as several decades ahead. If this is the case, perhaps it would be a good idea to look for a course in programming, graphic design or website development?

Another reasonable approach is to attend a career expo event devoted to a given line of business and talk to a potential recruiter, who could tell us what to expect at a job interview and what are the requirements for a given position.

Analyse your strengths

What do you want to do? What can you do? Does labour market potential correspond to your competences? Prior to accepting a job in a given line of business, you should ask yourself if this is the right environment for you. Requirements as to occupational aptitude may vary depending on a given position. Therefore, these are some of the questions you should probably ask yourself: What do I enjoy doing? Which job-related activities do I find easy? What do I find interesting? What is the area I would like to develop in? It could be helpful to talk to a career counsellor, who could help you determine your aptitude. Verify your potential. Perhaps you will need to acquire new skills prior to starting a particular job. Reviewing descriptions of qualifications may point you to a right direction in terms of your education. You will know what you need to learn in order to acquire the skills required in a given profession. A new occupation requires learning new skills and therefore choosing the right line of business is crucial. Otherwise, we may be subject to occupational burnout and become dissatisfied with the job.

Define your action plan

Do you know what you want to do? If so, the time has come to define your action plan. The key question is: what needs to be done in order to achieve the set goal? Finding a job in a new profession may take as long as several months. Particularly if we require good employment conditions. Solid competence is required of employees on lucrative positions. That is why finding the optimal development path is so important.

Be consistent

How to go about it? How to acquire new qualifications? On-line courses or self-learning using handbooks and tutorials? Trainings offered by an employment agency? Private classes? There are many options to choose from. Switching to another line of business may be a lengthy process requiring consistent effort. It is not easy to stick to your resolutions.

It may be helpful here to follow the method of small steps, according to which one should avoid taking on too many commitments. In a long rung, a high pace may be discouraging for many people, therefore it is advisable to space-out all your steps in time in moderate “dosages”, e.g. make a resolution to devote 2 hours each day to learning new skills. This solution will be more effective than devoting an entire Saturday to the same task.

Another option is the Pomodoro Technique, where learning is broken down into 25-minute intervals. Each interval is separated by a short, 5-minute break, and a longer, e.g 45-minute, break is taken after the fourth consecutive interval. In this mode of work, your brain is not overloaded and you can still focus on the task at hand. It is important to eliminate all distracting factors during work, such as excessive use of social media on your smartphone.

I have the skills, what do I do next?

Let us assume that you have the competence to perform a given occupation, which you have acquired through self-learning and you start sending your CV to potential employers. How do you prove your skills before an employer? Completion of on-line courses may not be a sufficient argument for a recruiter. Surely a potential employer will be more impressed by a holder of a national certificate confirming occupational qualifications. This is precisely what the Integrated Qualifications System offers. With the system, you can verify your skills through the validation process. The IQS collects and descries qualifications in a widely accessible register. Confirmed qualifications are recognised both in Poland and abroad. This improves your professional prospects significantly and facilitates moving to another line of business or finding a new job.