Do you feel that you are currently at a professional standstill which requires immediate action to turn your career around? You are in luck, as the New Year is the perfect time to go in search for greener career pastures. Regardless of whether you are considering changing employer or moving into a new industry altogether, there are a few things to keep in mind to fully benefit from this season and future-proof your career advancement:

First of all, the winds of the economy are turning favourable with reports of the recession receding and the employment market opening up. Although it might be a somewhat easier undertaking for someone to go from one job to another in the same sector, a total career shift is also possible at this juncture. Because of rising demand for new and creative talent, recruiters might be more willing to consider candidates from seemingly irrelevant backgrounds, as longs as they possess the right skillset.

Some of the jobs you might want to consider are in the nursing, marketing, sales management and IT sectors which are always in high, long-term demand. However, joining any of these sectors entails a professional’s ability to keep their fingers at the pulse of new advancements in the respective fields.

Making the decision to change career path is not an easy one. You first have to identify what drives you and what puts you off in your current niche. Only then will you be able to make a judicious decision about where you want to go in the future.

Once you have found your true calling and decided which industry you want to move into, you will have to do your homework and consider what you can bring to the table. Have you developed skills along the way that are transferable?

The next step is to mingle with people in the industry. Sending out your CV to heaps of organizations will not be half as effective as meeting and networking with the right people. This way you will have the opportunity to show just how interested you are in working in the specific industry.

Furthermore, remember that “If it looks like a duck and swims like a duck, it is a duck”, so start behaving like you are part of the industry by attending industry events. Finally, go through your list of contacts; there must be someone you know who already works in your industry of choice and who can refer you in case of a vacancy.