When changing career from law, do you have to retrain and work your way up the ladder again?
If I was given £1 for every time a lawyer said to me that they would like to change career but cannot face retraining or working their way up the career ladder again, I would be earning a very decent side income. However, it is a common misconception and can be the cause of lost opportunities for those who think in this way for it is possible to change career without retraining and without working your way up the career ladder again.
Here is an example…
A while ago I met Jessica who worked in the legal sector. She was 28 years old and desperately wanted a career change. However, having spent time and money on her legal training, she did not want a career change to take her back to square one. She had worked really hard over the last few years and wanted to use this experience to move her forward in her career.
Jessica’s passion was to work in the charity sector but she was concerned that in order to succeed she would either have to work as an intern, gain work experience or complete a course to equip her with the necessary skills. However, she had no need to be concerned. To get where she is today, she did not do any work experience, she did not apply for an internship and she did not complete a course.
What did she do instead?
She closely examined her transferable skills from her legal career to date and personal life and matched them creatively to job specifications. She also networked within the charity sector to find out about other people’s experiences within the sector.
What was the end result?
She obtained a job with a charity and loves it! Furthermore, she only had to accept a slight decrease in salary in comparison to what she had been expecting.
During a catch up with Jessica, she said that some of the best advice she received before she obtained her new job included:
- Don’t set your sights too low; and
- Remember to use your existing skills and experience to your advantage.
There are of course some professions where formal training is necessary. However, there are also many jobs that don’t require this. You may already have the transferable skills, experience and network to be able to change career in the direction and at the level you want. All you need to do now is ensure you sell yourself well and go for it.
A career change can be made through good use of your existing skills, experience and network.