How to completely change career

Have you ever wanted to completely change career? James Cluskey is a former professional tennis player and coach (he once coached Richard Branson). Now he’s a recruitment specialist helping other athletes find new jobs after sport. Here are his top tips for finding a new work life in a new environment.

james cluskey

Whether you’re a professional sportsperson retiring at the age of 30 and changing career, or an accountant looking to get into sales, the transition can be a daunting experience. I head up the sports desk at Mason Alexander helping place elite athletes into thriving companies. 

Apart from sport, we work across many areas including financial services, accounting, legal and sales. Below is our eight-point plan for people embarking on a complete career change. 

  1. Understand your motivations – We all go through ups and downs during our careers. Why do you want to change careers? Think about your motivations and if this is the right decision for your future.
  2. Use your network – People love to give advice. Look at your network and make contact with people currently working in the desired area. Arrange a call or coffee to understand the sector and day to day work involved, and gain a greater insight into the field you want to work in.
  3. Online research – Review company websites and LinkedIn; see who works where, their backgrounds, how they got there and understand more about the business you want to enter.
  4. Go to events in that sector – Look for events relevant to the industry your looking to get into. Go to these events and talk to people from the sector and see if is this the career you want to move into.
  5. Approach a market expert – Approach a recruitment firm with sector experts who can provide you with market insights. A good recruiter has established relationships with companies and they can get your CV to the top of the pile. Following point one, it’s essential to deliver a clear understanding of your motivations and strengths prior to meeting a recruiter. The better you present, the more value a recruiter can add for you
  6. Tailor your CV – Using a recruiter, build a professional CV and tailor it to highlight transferable skills for the job or company you want to apply for.
  7. Prepare for the interview – The key to performing well in an interview is preparation and it is essential that you do the groundwork in advance to ensure you perform to the best of your ability. A recruiter will also be able to provide you with key tips and provide information on what the interviewer will be looking for.
  8. Upskill while you’re in your current role – If you’re looking for a move in your career then there’s a good opportunity while you are in your current career to upskill in that area. If you are an elite athlete then do a qualification in something that interests you. If you are an accountant and want to get into sales then do a sales course to add to your CV and see if it’s for you.

A MUST READ: The six questions you need to know for every job interview.