When considering your next career change, remember that your résumé doesn’t define you: You aren’t required to look for a job in your current industry or even know what occupation you want to move into before starting your search.
Today’s job seekers have access to postings from all sorts of companies with the click of a mouse — or a tap on your smartphone — on websites like Indeed.com. Using technology allows you to easily explore different career opportunities to find the right spot for you.
You’re not alone in your thirst for a career move: Recent research by the Indeed Hiring Lab found that 81.5 percent of employed job seekers explore occupations other than their current one, and less than half search for a new job in the same category as their current job.
By doing a little extra exploration online, you may learn that your “perfect match” was a job you didn’t even know existed. It’s normal to look around, and if you’re thinking about a career transition, here are some things to think about.
Occupations to consider
Tara Sinclair, economist at Indeed, recommends healthcare.
“People in healthcare appear very satisfied with their career choices — even those in the lower-salary support positions are surprisingly keen to stay in their chosen occupations,” she said. “Plus, there are many opportunities in all sorts of healthcare fields, with relatively few job seekers currently considering moving into healthcare.”
Other obvious choices include computer and math-based careers, but there are also many opportunities in business and financial sectors.
If you’re currently in working in the food industry or in personal care, you’re definitely not alone in considering other options. Based on other job seekers’ searches on Indeed.com, you should research administrative or sales positions.
Although exploring and applying to different jobs during your search might be a good path for you, try to avoid “random acts of application.” Don’t send your résumé to every job opening in your city. Instead, be strategic and thoughtful about your applications. If your skills could apply to two different paths, consider creating two résumés, each one emphasizing your most relevant skills for a specific job type.
As you shop online for a new career, try entering keywords reflecting your skills rather than job titles to find hidden opportunities. Then, as you read through the job descriptions, ask yourself, “Is this me?”
Sometimes you find your perfect job and realize you may not yet be qualified for it — don’t let that discourage you. Instead, think of your search as a dartboard: your dream job is the bullseye, but you should also consider applying to jobs in the circles around the center to broaden your search.
A bit of flexibility in the initial steps of your job search could result in a great new career for 2015.