Looking for a career change? Why not do it?

By Las Rodrigo – Head of Recruitment, Links International Macau

As a recruitment consultant working at a recruitment agency in Macau, I frequently come across candidates looking for a change.

Let’s face it, we have all thought about a career change at some stage in our respective careers.

I actually made a change myself over 10 years ago from retail into recruitment, but no one really prepared me for the transition. I went from retail to sales – it didn’t look too hard on paper… but I was wrong!

Many of us think or say something like this: “I’d like a total change from what I have been doing for so many years.”

So why don’t we do it?

There is nothing really stopping you from making a change; anyone can do it, but we are often held back by a number of things, such as:

  1. Fear of not succeeding. How will I adapt?
  2. Peer pressure/family pressure – “stick to what you know”.
  3. Salary reduction – a new change often involves a potential cut.
  4. “There’s nothing really out there for me” – or, rather, not actually knowing what you want to do.
  5. “I’ll never be able to get in to that type of role/company” – a negative/limited mindset.
  6. Buy ins/retention bonus/shares etc. to stay in your current company.

These are just a few reasons for which you may not actually follow through with a proposed change, but it’s certainly worth thinking about if you are unhappy in your current line of work. Have a plan of where you want your career, or your life, to go in the next two to three years.

No one has that crystal ball unfortunately, but there are a few things you can proactively do to ensure that, if you really do want that career change, you can make it happen.

  1. Define exactly what you want to do, the ideal and realistic type of role.
  2. Speak to your family and loved ones, as emotional support also helps.
  3. Identify at least five companies you would like to work for and target them proactively.
  4. Look at your finances and prepare to take a salary reduction and be able to manage this for at least a year.
  5. Speak to someone externally who knows about these companies (this could be a recruitment agent or someone who has worked there before).

Fear of change is often the main driving factor that stops us from actually making a change. Then there is also the market telling us that certain people with certain skill sets cannot do another type of role. This might be true in the financial markets or in the medical industry, but everyone has an entry level to start somewhere and, if you have the right qualifications, then why not try?

If you really want something and you have done your homework, then go and at least try. Of course, you also need to be realistic in the type of role you are after.

If you would like any further advice on how we can help with making a career change, please don’t hesitate to contact me.