Career Corner: Preparing to Switch Careers


Sometimes you just realize the career you thought you wanted isn’t working out, and other times the decision to make a change is forced on you by factors like the economy. Regardless, switching careers midstream is stressful, but certainly not impossible.

Courtesy of Business Matters there are some basic steps any candidate thinking of going down a new career path should be taking. If you want to make sure you are prepared, see how many of these tips might help you.

Evaluate Your Transferrable Skills

Just because you are changing careers doesn’t mean you are starting from square one. Your first career undoubtedly gave you valuable skills. Rather than disregard that development, instead look for ways to reuse those skills in a way that you are passionate about.

What you gained from your original career is not worthless even if you don’t want to be in that profession anymore.

Develop Yourself Professionally

While you will certainly have transferrable skills, you will most likely need to put work into developing additional new skills for the different profession you want. How will you develop them?

Do you need to get a new degree? A certification program? Identify the gaps in your knowledge and start planning for how to obtain the experience you need.

Make Connections

One of the best inroads for any career is knowing people in that industry who can assist you. You can start by looking at your existing connections to see if anyone has experience in the area that interests you.

Regardless, you also want to make new connections. Start attending events related to the new profession to start familiarizing yourself with the people who are influential in this industry.

Prepare to Apply

The most important step is that you are going to have to retool your résumé for the type of jobs you now want. The way you originally wrote it probably isn’t highlighting the aspects of your experience that will be the most persuasive.

You may also need to acquire some new references, and acclimate yourself to discussing different aspects of your background in your cover letter. For a new career, you need to present yourself as a new kind of candidate.

It can feel like starting over to try and reestablish yourself somewhere new. However, the experience you have still gives you an edge and can be leveraged to transition you to a career that works for you.

If you would like more detail on how to successfully transition to a new career, read the article from Business Matters here.


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