Considering A Career Change In The Next Six Months? Take These Steps Now

By Sophie Richards on 20 July 2022

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​Deciding if it’s time to move on from your current role is a really big decision.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that recently you’ve been lacking in energy or getting bored easily. Maybe you feel a little pang of jealousy when your friends talk about their jobs. Or maybe your body is telling you enough is enough, you’re exhausted and need a break. All these factors are reasons to start prepping for a role change.

The good news is that now is a great time to be a jobseeker in defence industry. The industry is in full-on growth mode with nearly 4,000 new positions needing to be filled in 2022 alone.

There are some important steps to take before you make the decision to move though. Here are our must-do preparation pointers.


Think about what type of job you really want

It’s easy to get into a rut. Just because you’ve been doing a certain job for the last 10 years, that doesn’t mean that it’s the job you should do for the next 10.

Spend some time really getting to grips with what you enjoy and don’t enjoy. Write lists, divide up your preferences into need-to-haves and nice-to-haves and be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses; this will help you identify what type of job might work best for you in the future.

Consider what you imagine in your future, is it a role as a subject matter expert or in people leadership? Will you need an employer who provides you with the space for further study? Or do you want to have an employer at all, and rather work for yourself with all the flexibility of a contractor?

Once you’ve got some answers to those questions, then you’ll start getting good idea of the type of new role you should aim for.


Build and utilise your network

It’s important to utilise the network you have within your current employer before you leave it. Your colleagues, employer and clients may prove invaluable when it comes to learning of future employment opportunities. Ask your colleagues what they think your strengths and weaknesses are to give you guidance on what you can work on, and attend any work function or event you can to broaden your network.

Network is especially important in defence industry as it’s so small and tightly knit. The defence industry in Australia is made up of approximately 40,000 workers, representing just 0.3 per cent of total employment. It is also an industry very much driven by relationships. A lot of people working in the defence industry have come from serving in the Australian Defence Force, so there's a strong common bond and culture throughout the sector.

This means that reputation is key, and it’s vital to not burn any bridges if you can possibly help it. You want to make the best impression you can on people who have the potential to influence your future career.


Update your resume and cover letter

It sounds obvious, but it is vital to spend good time and concentration working on both your resume and cover letter.

We do recommend tailoring your resume and cover letter for each job application (for tips on how to do this take a look at our 2021 blog), but the structure and core content of both documents can be finessed in advance.

Kinexus have heaps of free material available to help support your resume and cover letter writing adventures:

Having a resume and cover letter pretty much ready to go means that nothing will stand in your way when the time is right to start applying for roles, or distributing your resume to your network.


Grow your personal brand

A personal brand is the widely recognised perception of an individual based on factors including experience, expertise, actions and achievements.

Your personal brand will be vital to your success in your future career, for two reasons. Firstly, having a good personal brand means you have a good reputation and are therefore more attractive to employers. Secondly, being active online and within your network means you’ll be more likely to hear about new and exciting opportunities first.

We already discussed the importance of networking, but it’s also really important that your online presence is up to date and professional. Your future employer is likely to google you, so this means it’s time for an audit of all social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is widely used within defence industry, so it’s essential that your profile is current. This means your photo, work experience and employment sections are filled in and correct.

Our 2022 blog captures some top tips on how to get noticed on LinkedIn, including utilising the recommendations feature, identifying yourself as Open to Opportunities and reacting to others’ posts. The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more likely prospective employers will know your name and reputation before you’ve even applied.


Consider contracting

There is so much work on the go in defence industry at the moment, that many workers are deciding the time is ripe to make the switch.

It’s true, there are some considerations to keep in mind. A shift from permanent to contract work means a change in job security and your finances as you shift from yearly salary to hourly/daily rate. But there are some serious benefits.

Increased flexibility, access to diverse technologies and projects, opportunity for increased earnings and exceptional networking opportunities are all benefits contractors experience. These benefits and more are the reasons so many experienced defence industry workers are making the shift.

To help you decide, read our blog herewhere we asked some real life defence industry contractors why they like it.


Build a relationship with a good recruiter

Recruiters can be incredible sources of industry knowledge. In an industry like defence, it’s so important to keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening where.

A specialist defence industry recruiter is likely to know what projects are kicking off, which employer has just started a hiring spree and which employers to avoid.

It’s worth expanding your network to include a recruiter in the know, and to keep in touch from time to time. You never know when your next dream role will pop up – but a recruiter might.


Six must-do preparation pointers

So to recap, if you’re thinking about making a career move in the next six months make sure you’ve covered off on the following points before you resign:

  1. Think about the type of job you really want

  2. Build and utilise your network

  3. Update your resume and cover letter

  4. Grow your personal brand

  5. Consider contracting

  6. Build a relationship with a good recruiter


For more advice on your upcoming job hunt, or to find out what opportunities are available in defence industry at the moment, give us a call on 02 9492 7500 or email us on

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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