Are you considering changing careers? Whether your field is becoming obsolete or you’re just not as interested in it as you once were, the choice to begin a new career takes a lot of research and planning. Here are some things to keep in mind to make the transition easier.
If you know the career into which you’d like to transition, you’re ahead of the game. If not, see our previous blog post for tips on choosing a career. Once you’ve got it narrowed down, it’s time to network. Talk to as many people who are in your prospective field as you can. See if they know anyone who’s hiring, and always let them know you’re looking for work in their field. You want to be the first name that comes to mind when they see a job opening. They’ll also let you know which skills you’ll need to get into the field.
Your chosen career may require additional training. Look for opportunities for on-the-job training to enhance your skills. If you think you need PowerPoint skills, for example, ask to sit in while a coworker proficient in the software uses it. Finding ways to learn skills for free can help you transition to a new career faster. If you can’t learn a skill at work, enroll in additional classes.
You may have all the skills you need to begin a new career, but if your resume doesn’t show that, you won’t get far. Highlight the new skills you’ve cultivated and transferrable skills (like conflict resolution, team building and organization) that you’ve honed at your current job. Make sure your resume is tailored to the new job search; the skills most relevant to the field should be first. Don’t forget to create cover letters that explain why you’re looking to change careers and which skills from your current career can help you add value at the new company. Skills from your former career may be exactly what a prospective employer needs.