- The start of a new year is a natural time to consider a career change.
- Even amid a global recession, it’s possible to find and nab a new role.
- Executives and strategists say a successful transition is about working systematically.
- Business Insider regularly interviews experts about changing jobs and careers. You can read all about it by subscribing to Business Insider.
The start of a new year can get people wondering: “What am I doing with my life?”
If you recently lost your job, fear it might happen, or are just looking for a change, it may be time for a career pivot.
Yes, there’s a global recession underway. But it’s still possible to find a new role. That process may involve making big changes and overhauling your entire lifestyle — or it could mean trying a different role within your current team.
Below, Business Insider has listed the best (and most practical) career-change and job searching advice we’ve heard from a range of experts, plus super successful folks who’ve revamped their own work situations. Use these stories as inspiration for your own career transition in the year ahead.
Searching for a job during an economic downturn
Scouting out new opportunities doesn’t have to take a ton of effort. Networking is one strategy — you can let friends and colleagues know you’re looking to make a change and see how they can help. Remember: People like to be helpful, especially if all they have to do is send an introductory email.
You can also take advantage of online courses that will help you develop technical skills or softer skills like leadership. (Bonus: Lots of them are free.) When you do start applying, you may realize that there are more openings than you thought, since many companies are trying out remote and flexible work.
Finding your career confidence
Self-doubt can quickly sabotage a job search. And while trying to believe in yourself is nice, the best way to develop confidence is to prepare thoroughly. You’ll want to slowly ramp up to the eventual career change, maybe by doing some consulting or freelance work on the side. You’ll also want to have a backup plan in case the transition doesn’t work out as expected. All the while, talk to folks who are in the role you want. They can tell you how they got there — and what they wish they’d learned sooner.
Acing the interview and asking for more
These days, many companies have taken the interview process remote — so be ready for the possibility that you might not meet your coworkers until after you get the job. But the same advice applies to in-person and virtual interviewing: Think about how you can add value to your prospective employer. You should be able to clearly articulate your own value proposition in an interview.
Knowing what you’d bring to the table can help you negotiate your compensation, too. Do some research beforehand so you know your “market value,” or what someone in your role and industry, with your experience, might reasonably earn.
If you want your dream job
The career ladder is dead, say some executives and academics. It’s been replaced by a career “jungle gym,” in which professionals make lateral leaps between jobs and industries in the interest of taking on new challenges. So don’t be afraid to pursue an opportunity that doesn’t seem like the next step up.
A helpful framework endorsed by talent leaders is to consider whether the job will allow you to do something you love, something you’re good at, and something that the business needs. Ideally, you’ll check all three boxes.
Making tough decisions at work
Think twice about quitting just because your job is boring. If it pays enough to allow you to pursue your passions outside of work, or if it has other perks like great benefits and a short commute, it might be worth sticking it out. The decision is ultimately a very personal one.
At the point where you’re seriously considering quitting, take care to make a graceful exit. Thank your boss for all they’ve taught you; you might even recommend someone else for the job you’re leaving. Keep doing stellar work until your very last day — you never know when those connections might come in handy.