Girls whispering

5 secrets to a successful career change

Here are some tips from those who’ve made the jump.

BY CREATIVE TOKYO

If you’re considering a career change, congratulations! Making a switch can be an exciting way to reboot your professional life and jumpstart your future. However, it’s easy to go in circles when you’re dealing with a lot of unknowns. Here are five tips to help you make a successful career change.

1. Do your research

The creative industry is very broad, so you need to identify the specific area you want to move into. Do you want to be a graphic designer, a copywriter, or an art director? Perhaps the coveted UI or UX designer, or even a software developer? Once you’ve pinpointed the role you want to pursue, find out as much as you can about what the day-to-day reality of that job entails. What kind of work will you be doing? How about the skills you’ll need? What is the competition like? The more informed you are, the better prepared you’ll be for making a successful career change.

2. Make a plan to change careers

Without a solid plan, you might be trying to change careers for months without making much progress. Create a timeline for yourself and see if it makes sense. By what date do you want to have switched jobs? Be realistic about your expectations, since you’ll likely still be working in your current job during the process. If you have family obligations, you’ll have to work around all those commitments.

Getting a new job in the creative industry, in our experience, often looks like this: 

  1. Gather information (includes networking, reading articles, watching videos)
  2. Make the decision to switch
  3. Learn the baseline skills required for the new career (videos, courses, and projects)
  4. Create a portfolio
  5. Start interviewing for jobs (or go down the freelance route, which we’ll cover in the future)
  6. Land a job!

3. Stay positive

It can be easy to get discouraged when you’re facing rejection or struggling to find the right opportunity, but it’s important to believe in yourself and your ability to make a successful transition. Additionally, staying positive will help you to maintain your energy and motivation, which are essential for making any major change. So if you’re feeling ready for a new challenge, remember to keep an optimistic outlook and you’ll be well on your way to a successful career change.

4. Network with others in your desired career

Don’t underestimate the power of networking. Changing careers can be all about connections, so get out there and start meeting people. Attend events, join relevant online communities, and make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date. The more connections you have, the greater your chances of landing your dream job. And who knows, maybe you’ll find some lifelong friends along the way! 

Here are some communities to consider joining: 

5. Ask for help when you need it

One important thing to remember is to ask for help when you need it. Whether it’s reaching out to a mentor or taking a class to learn new skills, admitting that you need assistance is an important step in making a successful transition.

Platforms like ADPList, the communities mentioned above, or even just reaching out to people on LinkedIn can be of great help. Speaking to real people can be key to getting personalized insights you just won’t find in a course or video. 

Conclusion 

So what are you waiting for? Start your research and get planning! And when in doubt, don’t forget to stay positive and reach out to your network for help.