Tour guide turned dairy assistant, a bartender turned fruit picker, and a pilot who turns in flying for sheep shearing – due to COVID-19, many job seekers affected by the pandemic have had to prepare and pivot their careers in a different direction.

We’ve spoken to our Talent Consultants at HainesAttract about what to consider when looking to change careers.

  • Research the job market

Do your homework: investigate the industry and how it performs in your area. Is the sector you are looking to get into dominant in your region? There are various ways to research the market. The quickest way to get the gist of whether the industry is hiring is to research major job boards such as SEEK, TradeMe, and Indeed. Type in your key words and see how many relevant results you receive – most job boards let you select the classification and location to gather the right information.

70% of jobs are not posted online, so to get an idea of potential employers in your area utilise Google Maps and a tool many people forget about – the Yellow Pages. Available online, you can search via industry.

  • Connect with the community, not the job

For career changers, don’t always go after the job; get in touch with the people. Connect with people in the industry and be part of the community to stay updated on the latest news and find opportunities. Utilise social media pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, and industry websites.

  • Retrain

If you need to retrain be sure to research the right course. Not all courses lead to a guaranteed job. Find out about the course’s employability rate before committing.

  • Know your strengths

Make a list of soft and hard skills required for a specific job and match them with your personal qualities and experience. If you don’t have direct experience or the required skills, think about the related experience that might be useful. For example, a calf rearer working on a farm with small animals – although you might not have experience working on a farm, focus on your passion, patience, and empathy for animals. List any volunteer work you’ve done with animals. For farm work it is also useful to have the ability to drive a manual vehicle.

When reaching out, don’t ask for a job but rather the skills and knowledge their ideal candidate would have and ask from advice on any training and qualifications you need prior to applying for a job. You will be surprised at people’s availability when asked for help!