5 Success Tips for Changing Careers
Written by the Job Transitions, Inc team
Are you feeling stuck in your career? Are you looking for a way to change things, but not sure how to go about it? If so, you're definitely not alone. A lot of people find themselves in the same position at some point in their lives. The good news is that there are plenty of tips for making a successful career change. Whether you're just starting to think about making a change, or you're already knee-deep in the process, read on for some helpful guidance.
1. Research your new career path
If you're thinking about changing careers, it's important to do your research first. There's no point in jumping into a new position if it's not the right fit for you. Research the job market and posted job leads that relate to your possible new career path. By investigating available job openings, you will be able to identify the skills and experience those employers are looking for. The more you know about the new industry and/or functional area you are going to target, the better prepared you'll be for success.
2. Make a list of your skills and strengths
Job seekers often have a wealth of experience and skills to offer new employers, but they may not know how to best highlight these qualities when changing careers. One way to assess your strengths is to make a list of your skills and experience. What do you have to offer that would be marketable to your new career path? Check out our short podcast on establishing and prioritizing your job-related and personal points of marketability, which will help you strengthen your resume towards your new career and improve your interviewing skills: Points of Marketability Podcast Episode
3. Network with people in your desired field
Networking is key. Meeting people who are already working in your desired field can give you valuable insights into what the job and/or industry is really like, what the job market looks like, and what kind of skills and experience you will need to be successful. Remember, most networking contacts will be glad to help you so don’t be afraid to ask them for an informational interview. Networking can also help you make important connections that can lead to actual job opportunities. So, if you're thinking about changing careers, make sure to reach out to professional networks for guidance.
If you are on LinkedIn, join relevant groups and become active in making comments, liking articles, and reaching out to appropriate group members for informational interviews. To learn more about this part of the process, visit our short podcast where we discuss strategies and techniques to secure interviews including visiting company websites, career fairs, networking & social media, search firms, and placement agencies: Strategies & Techniques to Secure Interviews Podcast Episode
4. Consider going back to school and investigating other learning platforms
If the desired career requires qualifications outside of your transferrable skills and experience, going back to school may be the right move for you and it doesn’t have to be a 4-year degree. With platforms like Coursera, many schools now offer flexible learning options making it easier than ever to fit this into your busy lifestyle. By going back to school or enrolling in relevant learning platforms, you can make sure that the new skills and knowledge you are learning will be what the new employers are looking for. Many learning platforms actually offer certificates in areas that will increase your marketability such as time management, critical thinking, communication, and technical skills.
5. Update your resume
If you're conducting a transition search, one of the most important tools in your arsenal is your resume. This document is what will sell you to potential employers, so it's important to make sure it is as marketable as possible for your new career. If you're changing careers, this is especially true - you'll need to highlight the skills and experience that are relevant to the positions you will be applying for, which might not be the most relevant in your current job.
Of course, writing a great resume can be tricky. Job seekers often wonder what format to use, how much detail to include, and what sort of language is appropriate. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there to help.
Follow these guidelines and soon you will be on your way to achieving your dream job. If you need any help along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free resume review. We can help you establish a solid foundation for your transition search.
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