Many studies suggest that people are not likely to keep their New Year’s resolutions. In fact, according to Statistic Brain, only 8% are thought to actually achieve the goals they set for themselves. When it comes to a career change, many will have this at the top of their list. Yet for the majority, the fear of change and the obstacles in between may be too scary a prospect. Here’s why a career change is a resolution worth sticking to in 2017.
Research suggests that, on average, it takes between 1 and 2 years for someone to actually make a career move once they have decided to. This is usually because it is all too easy to get comfortable where you are. You may find that you are good at what you do, well paid and get along with colleagues, but fundamentally you are not engaged with your work and lack motivation to fully apply yourself. However, you will find that the longer you stay in a dead end job, albeit convenient job, the further you will be from your ultimate career goals. In reality, there are far better ways to use your time this year, taking small yet proactive steps to where you want to be.
There is no better time than the beginning of a new year, when you have a clean slate, to take a step back and evaluate what you really want from your career and how you are going to get there. The key to a successfully keeping your resolution to make a career move lies in setting yourself realistic, manageable goals. The more specific the better! When it comes to a career change, it may be useful to consider a series of minor changes instead of a big transformation, although this depends on each individual situation. Sometimes a big change will give your career the boost it needs. Here are some things to consider when planning your career resolution for 2017:
- If you are preparing for the next level up, it may be useful to spend the first part of the year trying to expand your current role. Taking on tasks that are above your current level will best prepare you for the step up and give you some talking points during interviews.
- Consider what your actual motivation is to move. If it’s about money or career progression, first explore whether your current employers are willing to negotiate a higher salary or promote you to the next level. Check out our salary calculator to get a better idea of what you should be earning.
- Take some time to sharpen up. This is particularly important if you have been out of the job hunting game for a while. Ensure that you have an updated CV and take some extra time to really hone it to perfection. Do the same when writing a cover letter, as this is often the first thing an employer will see. Lastly, brush up on those all-important interview skills! If you set yourself up for success, you’re already half way there. As Alexander Graham Bell once said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success!”
- Leading on from the previous point, it is a good idea to get your technical skills and experience up-to-date, to ensure you’re in the strongest position when applying for jobs. Knowing about technological advances and keeping about industry news will make you a desirable prospect for employers. It will also give you some material to impress them with during interviews.
- As the power of social networking increases exponentially, it is becoming more and more important to establish a strong professional network to aid your career progression. Building a network of the best people in your profession can help to pave the way for your next career opportunity if you happen to talk to the right people at the right time. It will also prove useful when you are looking to progress later on. In the life sciences industry, an increasing number employers will headhunt candidates through LinkedIn, so building a strong profile is a great way to increase your visibility and highlight yourself to these recruiters.
- Sometimes a big change does not always call for a step up. Often, exploring a different aspect of your role or moving away from it completely can be the right move. If this is the case, spend some time considering what your transferable skills are, and what options are open to you. Then make a step-by-step plan detailing how you can get where you want to be.
- Not sure what the problem is? In some cases, you may not be able to put your finger on why you need a change. You love what you do but you want to shake things up a bit. Why not consider applying for a new role in a different country? We live in an age where it is easier than ever to broaden your horizons and enrich your experiences. Working abroad will give you the chance to experience different cultures, learn about emerging markets and present yourself as a versatile and adaptable asset to prospective employers.
Whatever career change you decide to undertake, big or small, try to do something that will make your future self grateful. Make 2017 the year that you strive to join the top 8%! Kick start your job search by having a look at ProClinical’s current opportunities across leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies.