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Making the successful leap into a new career

Published on Thursday, 24 Feb 2011

The improving economy and bonus payout around Chinese New Year are two major incentives for professionals to make a career change. Whether you are looking to pursue a passion or take advantage of an industry with growth potential, a new start can be an attractive yet daunting prospect.

Andrew Morris, Managing Director, Greater China, Robert Half International, offers some guidance on how to make the successful leap into a new career.

Assess your situation
Before you take the leap, evaluate your current situation and determine why you are looking to make a change. What are you looking for in a new profession and why is it important to you? Be clear about your motivations.

It is also important to evaluate your qualifications before making a career transition. What transferable skills do you have and how do they align with what your target industry requires? If you need to undergo further education, perform a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether it is worth the investment.

Do your due diligence
If you are unhappy with your current role, it is easy to think the grass is greener on the other side. It is important to research the industry and role that you are interested in. Part of your information gathering should involve informal meetings with contacts in the field to get an insider view of what the role and industry truly entails. This will allow you to understand your field of interest and uncover potential hurdles, such as new training or qualifications that you may need.

Perseverance pays off in the long run
Whatever the economic climate, a career change will not happen overnight. It takes time to build up a new set of skills and contacts. Be aware that you may need to start in an entry-level position until you gain the experience to take on a senior role. Patience, preparedness, and perseverance are necessary in the transition process.

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