Career Tips

Why Can’t I Change Careers?

For me, trying to change careers has been like trying to change my lifestyle habits. I get into a rut and don't know how to get out of it. FlexCoach Thai Ngo explains why, at times, we find it hard to change careers and what we can do differently.


You’ve been on your career trajectory with your current company for a while now – long enough to use your long-service leave to take a well-deserved break for a few months.  You’ve moved up the ranks, growing professionally, and you’ve worked on interesting and challenging projects.

But these days, your working week run like clockwork; same meetings, same duties, same people.  You love what you do, and the team you work with, but something is missing…

You’ve got more to offer, skills that you’d like to put to work on new projects, with new people.  You want a new challenge.

Brimming with self-assurance and a new-found lust for life, you start applying for jobs you are confident are perfect for you.  The phone doesn’t ring hot with job offers.  In fact, you’ve had not one reply.

You dust yourself off and consider more junior roles, roles where you can prove your experience and skills are transferable and work your way up.  Your inbox remains disappointingly empty.

Weeks and months pass, and your self-confidence is left in tatters.  Why is it so hard to change careers?!

The first and most obvious issue is that, unless you are applying for roles in a highly unattractive field of work or location, the likelihood is that you will be competing against people that have direct experience.  Whilst progressive recruiters and hiring managers are hiring for cultural fit and ‘promise’, for many others, the path of least resistance will be the one taken – and applicants who most clearly ‘fit’ the role are likely to get the interview.

A chronological resume concentrating on your past roles and experiences may not be the winning formula in this scenario.  It’s time to deconstruct how you sell yourself, and craft a resume that is more focused on your skills and competencies, both personal and technical/professional, and helps you to communicate how you will add value to potential employers.

A good way to start this process is to take a look at 6-7 recent jobs that you have applied to and look for patterns in the job descriptions and required skills.  What unique skills do you have that are common to all (or most) of those jobs?  What common characteristics does each of the jobs and companies have that attracted you to apply?

Now, craft a resume that clearly articulates the unique skills and attributes that you offer, and how they can be applied to the jobs and organisations that you are interested in.  Give examples from your past experience and, where possible, add supporting references or recommendations from previous managers or colleagues – LinkedIn recommendations is a great tool for this, without having to tell people you are in the market for a new job.

Writing a resume is something MANY people struggle with.  It’s often hard to talk about oneself and to think clearly and objectively about your strengths and development areas. Condensing everything you have to offer into a couple of short and engaging pages is also quite an art!  If you struggle, enlisting the help of a career coach can assist in identifying your value proposition and to prepare a winning CV.  FlexCareers offers FREE 30-min chemistry sessions with their panel of coaches, and it’s a great way to ensure you ‘gel’ with a coach before moving forward with further support.

Finally, once you have your winning formula on paper, it’s time to turn your attention to the next phase of your journey – your elevator pitch! When that recruiter or hiring manager calls you to conduct a phone interview, you need to be able to clearly and succinctly communicate why you are perfect for the job – check out these blogs by my fellow FlexCoaches for more inspiration!

About Thai

Thai Ngo FlexCoach FlexCareers

From humble beginnings as a Factory Worker, overworked and lacking real direction, Thai has now managed to take control of his life’s path and found a career that is the best fit for him. He is now proud to be a successful Business Owner, Career Coach and public speaker.With 10 years corporate recruitment experience, he has learnt to take the recruitment blueprint and break it down into its core structure. Providing deep insights on how and why you are marked and judged throughout the recruitment process. Explaining how the decision is made to hire an employee from the recruiters perspective.

Having interviewed over 10,000 people in his career and providing operational and strategic recruitment expertise across industries such as Finance, IT, Telecommunications, Government, Utilities, Education and Mining, Thai’s coaching has helped individuals gain employment in corporate companies by providing clarity on career paths as well as arming them with insider-recruitment techniques to succeed.

You can connect with Thai for a FREE 30min chemistry session to discuss your coaching needs here.



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