5 Tips for Launching a Second Career

Millions of workers are still quitting their jobs. If you’re considering a new career, Korn Ferry offers some steps. Let’s take a closer look!

May 16, 2022 – The pandemic has left many people recalibrating their career choices. Americans quit 4.5 million jobs in March—a record. Some are burned out; others want more purposeful work. Whatever their reasons may be, many employees are looking at transitioning into a second career, experts say.

“There might be some initial hiccups but finding a new line of work isn’t impossible,” said Brendan Gallagher, a managing consultant in Korn Ferry’s non-profit and higher education practice. “If you’re leveraging the skill-sets that you have into something different, it can work really well.”

A new report from Korn Ferry offers some tips to get started.

Go Soul Searching

Before jumping into a second career, spend some time on self-reflection, says the study. “Being intentional and developing clarity about what motivates and energizes you, as well as the area in which you want to work, should be the first step you take,” said Lemise Dajani, associate principal for leadership development at Korn Ferry. It’s a crucial factor that often gets overlooked. “Create that north star, that vision of what you’re looking for,” she said, “and use that as an anchor for anything else that you do.”

Network with Everyone

Like all career-related matters, networking is key. The Korn Ferry report recommends that you connect with your current peers, senior leaders, coaches, and recruiters. “Have conversations with your colleagues, both internally and externally, to get the wheels turning on what you want to do,” said Mr. Gallagher. “If you’re switching to a new field or industry, conduct informational interviews to learn more about the required skill-sets and the types of roles and challenges you might face. If you’re making a big transition, it’s important to know what you’re stepping into and be prepared for the challenges.”

Research and Upskill

“Research companies and jobs online to better understand what you’re looking for,” said Ms. Dajani. “If it’s a different industry, you might not be familiar with the market leaders or the best companies in the space; it’s essential to gain knowledge about those things,” she said. Experts also suggest upskilling by taking courses or certifications that might make you a more desirable candidate. “Upskilling yourself in the technicalities of the market you’re trying to get into is definitely one way of showing your interest in the field,” said David Power, a principal at Korn Ferry’s global fintech, blockchain, and crypto practice. “Upskilling is also a great way to network, as you’ll meet people from the industry in your courses.”

Revamp Your Resume

The Korn Ferry report says that you can revise your resume to align it with your intended new position or industry. “Create two to three versions of your resume based on the broader areas you might be interested in,” said Mr. Gallagher. “You always want to curate your resume based on the position or industry you’re going to,” he said. Highlight existing skills that may be applicable in the new industry and job. Additionally, leverage your cover letter to elaborate on any projects or experiences that can transfer to your new field of work.”

Position Your Brand

“Think about how you can sell yourself; you need to rebrand yourself and tell a story that promotes areas relevant to your switch,” said Ms. Dajani. “Talk about yourself differently and connect the dots for people, because it may not be obvious,” she said.

“Identify transferable skills, be adaptable, and position yourself as someone who can fill an existing gap,” said Mr. Power. “If you’re a senior executive, he adds, you can get involved in boards and find companies in emerging industries that are scaling: Typically, they’ll need people who’ve had long careers with bigger, more established companies to advise them.”

Veteran Recruiters

Korn Ferry is a Los Angeles-headquartered executive recruiter and leadership consultant and the largest globally and in the Americas as ranked by Hunt Scanlon Media. The firm’s 8,600 colleagues serve clients in more than 50 countries. 

Talent Retention & Recruitment Strategies for Turbulent Times

The upheaval that began on March 11, 2020, resulted in dramatic ripple effects in all industries – including, of course, those that ensure a safe, secure and abundant food system. Supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, implementation of safety equipment and protocols, and stay-at-home orders upended standard operating procedures and forced on-the-spot decision making, according to a new report by Kincannon & Reed. Endless Zoom calls, dealing with on-edge customers and consumers, and helping teams simply manage life through it all – fear, confusion, anger, frustration – made for an environment that business leaders have never seen before. It’s enough to make a person throw in the towel. And many have.

At every level of business, talented employees are self-reflecting, reassessing their priorities, and walking out the door in what HR professionals have deemed the ‘Great Resignation.’ Scott A. Scanlon, CEO of Hunt Scanlon Media, calls it the ‘Great Escape.’ Others, of course, are taking advantage of early retirement as part of the normal employment work cycle. In fact, roughly two million more people than expected have joined the ranks of the retired during the pandemic, according to the New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis.

Mr. Gallagher is responsible for client and candidate advisement, executing recruitment strategy, and business development. Prior to joining Korn Ferry, he spent five years as a recruiting relationship manager with Wharton MBA Career Management.

Ms. Dajani is an experienced leadership and professional development consultant and coach. She is driven to help people find their passion and tap their potential. Ms. Dajani is skilled in coaching, assessment, design/facilitation of workshops and driving change.

Mr. Power works with established and growth companies, focused on executive searches, appraisals and leadership development consulting. He currently works with clients in fintech, digital assets, blockchain, defi, and crypto.

Related: Hiring Top Talent in Unprecedented Times

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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