Career Switching Secrets

Career Switching Secrets


Career professionals always aspire to move forward in their career gaining promotions and all the benefits that come with being promoted in your industry. For many though, applying for a new position is a scary thought, with many job hunters asking themselves “why would the employer recruit me?”

Today you will learn the secrets to gaining a successful career promotion, we will look at two different job sectors – Medical and Educational, but many of the tactics discussed, can be used to fit your job sector.

In truth, most career professionals, these days will have three separate careers, some in the same job sector but in higher positions gained via a job promotion and for others in new industries. What all applicants for new positions need to understand, is employers recruiting for any positions will have a list of essential criteria they require from their new employee. If you meet these criteria (and if you can offer more) you will be offered the position.

The hard part is the application. Many employers skim through job applications and resumes making quick assumptions about the applicant. What you need to do in writing, is leave the employer in no doubt that you have the skills, experience, qualifications and personality for each particular role you apply for.

As the employer reads your application they will form a picture of you, in many cases this created image may not be true. You have probably done this yourself when reading a novel, the author starts to describe a character “a tall business women walks in through the double doors of the office, her expensive suit and the way she walks with confidence,  demanded respect” from this short description you have probably created an image of this person in your mind. Does your character have blond or brown hair? Why? Her hair colour hasn’t been mentioned yet. This generalisation is made by employers too, they read your application and make an opinion about you, if their opinion fits with the image of the type of person they want to recruit, you will be offered a job interview, if not then your application will be rejected.

The truth is we all make opinions and generalisations every day, it is one way our mind makes sense of the world we live in. what is important in the job market is the information you present makes a positive generalisations by the employer, which is especially important when applying for a promotion or new position.
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Two Career Switch Examples in 6 Easy Steps

Career Switch – Nurse to Health Care Manger

A promotion from a Nurse to a Healthcare manager is a logical step to take. Healthcare managers work in hospitals, care homes, public health organisations and consulting firms. There are some key steps you need to take to make this career switch, but first you need to ensure that the new duties as a care Manager suit your career values, as they vary a lot to the duties as a nurse

Step One – Gain Experience

Employers often look for applicants with a minimum of 3 years nursing experience. Before you start to apply for any Care Manger positions you need to meet this essential criterion. Effective care mangers need have an excellent knowledge of nursing, as your team will come to you when expert advice is required.

Step Two – Education

A bachelor degree is often the most common requirement for a Healthcare manager, but employers will also require a certain skills base to go with this.  In certain circumstance some employers will offer internal training schemes to support internal growth, as part of this programme you will most likely sent to university on a day release scheme to gain a healthcare management degree.

Step Three – Skills

The best nurse does not always make the best healthcare manager. The duties and skills required vary much from that of a nurse. When deciding whether or not to apply for healthcare management positions your first need to ensure you possess the required skills:

  • oral and written communication skills, as you will be required to  communicate effectively with a wide variety of individuals and professional groups including senior management teams and nurses
  • listening skills; during senior management meetings you will be required to fully understand the meeting agenda  and when required to, be able to  negotiate and persuade others
  • Initiative and leadership skills and the ability to gain the trust, commitment and cooperation of others. This is key when implanting new producers or when encouraging your team to meet new targets
  • An excellent knowledge on clinical issues, including the understanding of treatments and evolving medical technologies which is where your three years nursing experience comes into action
  • organisational skills;  to deal with a diverse range of challenges, this role will require a flexible and creative approach to  problem-solving
  • decision-making ability; being able to absorb information, analyses complex issues and understand data and trends, particularly in sensitive areas such as the allocation of funds or organising staff levels for a department

Step Four – Duties

Healthcare is a business and, like every business, it needs good managers to keep the business running smoothly Healthcare managers, plan, direct, coordinate, and supervise the delivery of healthcare. As a healthcare manager you will specialise in a certain healthcare sector or department.


The healthcare sector is changing rapidly with the introduction of new technology, medication and procedures which are saving more lives than ever before. These new changes are affecting healthcare systems and legislation, which as a healthcare manager will need implementing in the day to day duties of the working day.


Step Five – Do The Benefits Meet Your Needs?

Once you have the experience, relevant qualifications and you know you would enjoy the working duties of a healthcare manager, you need to check if the benefits meet your career criteria.

As a healthcare manager you will have the status that comes along with a managerial position. Compared to a nurse you will have more control of your time, you will make key decisions and the responsibility of those decisions rest of your shoulders. You can be creative and have the power to implement your own ideas. This role is financial better than that of a nurse, but more importantly for some, is the great sense of personal achievement gained in this management position.

Step Six – Apply

If you believe that this role will meet your needs and personality, the final stage is to apply. To make a career switch from nurse to care manager is easy, first read the job spec and ensure you fully understand the job criteria. Obvious I know, but essential.

Second target your application/resume/CV to the job criteria; what I mean here is, you may do 10 duties in your current role and the new employer has five of these down as essential criteria. Don’t waste time and space on your application by recording how you do all 10 duties, just discuss the five essential criteria to really sell yourself to the role you are
applying for. IE if you’re applying for a managerial role and record your managerial responsibilities

Finally, if you’re applying for, as an example as a health care manager and you’re currently a nurse. You can change your job title to Nurse/Manager. People make big assumptions on your job title, so if you are currently a nurse and you undertake some managerial duties use the slash icon on your job title. Now the manager will generalise and think your main duties are that of a manager.



Career Switch – Teacher to Head Teacher  

There are several steps to take from Teacher to Head Teacher. The logical steps are Teacher, Head of Year, Deputy Head Teacher to Head Teacher. There are some key steps you need to take to make this career switch, but first you need to ensure that the new duties as a Head teacher suit your career values, as they vary a lot to the duties as a Teacher.

Recently there has been an increase in graduate becoming head teachers through schemes such as teach first. Schools are seen as businesses they have budgets and need to meet targets; these targets include student attentions, student achievements, financial targets and quality standards

Step One – Gain Experience

Experience as a head teacher is gain through the several steps you need to undertake from teacher to head teacher. With each promotion (head of year, deputy head) your managerial and head duties will increase building on your skill set and knowledge base.

This experience and skill set can then be used in your application, highlighting how you meet the job criteria.

Step Two – Education

All teachers require a teaching qualification, and the PGCE is the most common teaching qualification required in high schools.

The most common head teaching qualification is a NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship) which takes around 18 months to complete, but is no longer mandatory.


Step Three – Skills

The role requires an ability to understand the complex workings of an organisation while also being able to resolve high school issues such as pupil attendance, pupil achievements and emotional and personal conflicts and challenges of staff and pupils.

You will need to be able to set high standards, plan how to achieve your goals and to influence others to get onboard with your new procedures and ideas.

A key skill will be your leadership skills. You will work with a variety of different staff members from teachers, to pastoral workers, heads of years, plus catering staff, janitors and external workers. You will need all staff to be positive about any changes you implement.

An ability to devolve responsibilities, delegate tasks and monitor practices is key as a head teacher. This requires excellent communication skills, being able to work under pressure and a key skill in prioritisation, planning and organising


Step Four – Duties

A head teacher provides professional leadership for the school which secures its success.

You will ensure the high quality education for all your pupils and set good standards of

learning and achievement throughout the school. As a head teacher you work alongside the school   governors to provide inspirations, guidance and boundaries to staff and pupils.


As a head teacher you will still teach lessons, this is minimal and is really so you have a

hands on understanding  of the day to day issues of teachers and pupils in your school. A head teachers main responsibilities are to implement a continuous development plan to drive the school forward. 


You will evaluate the performance of the school, manage the school finances and the schools administration.  You will ensure that school policies and practices take account of national, local and school requirements.


A key role of the head teacher is to ensure that all those involved in the school are committed to its aims. And to involve all staff in meeting long, medium and short term objectives and targets.



Step Five – Do The Benefits Meet Your Needs?

Once you have the experience, relevant qualifications and you know you would enjoy the working duties of a head teacher, you need to check if the benefits meet your career criteria.

As a head teacher you will have the status that comes along with a head of school position. You will set your own policies and mission to improve the educational results of your pupils.

Many head teachers find the head position more rewarding than that of a teacher as you have a real impact on many more pupils then a teacher. As a head teacher you can implement ideas that can have a real affect on pupils, exam results and teachers.

This role is financially better than that of a teacher, but more importantly for some, is the great sense of personal achievement gained in this head of school position.


Step Six – Apply

If you believe that this role will meet your needs and personality, the final stage is to apply. To make a career switch from teacher to head manger you will need to work your way up through the career ranks, from head of year, to deputy head and head teacher.

First research the school, is the school is underperforming the governors will be looking for a head teacher who can make quick and lasting changes with a direction of increasing the educational performance of the school.  Some schools will have a focus on support vulnerable students or students with disabilities. You need to ensure your application meets the values of the schools. With this in mind, don’t believe that your management abilities alone will get you the job, you need to ensure you can’t improve the schools performance and meet their values.

You will need to provide real examples of when you have met the criteria for the head position. This is why following the careers steps from teacher to head of year, from deputy head to head will help you with your application. At each stage you will be able to met the criteria and provide real examples of how you can add added value to the school you are applying for.

Finally, many schools will want you to provide ideas and suggestions on what you as a head teacher would implement to improve the schools performance. These suggestions need to be practical, realistic and you will need evidence how your idea will make a real impact.  

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Chris Delaney is a Career Coach  and the author of The 73 Rules for Influencing the Interview using Psychology, NLP and Hypnotic Persuasion Techniques

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