If you’ve been thinking of abandoning your current career path, you’re not alone. Many people decide to switch careers for similar reasons. Either they’re not happy with the type of work they’re doing, they want to make more money, or they want a better work life balance.
Transitioning your career can feel hard. In fact, it can often feel impossible. Even after you’ve gone back to school to learn a new trade, it’s difficult to get new potential employers to see you beyond the walls of your old box.
The first thing to consider is the type of leap you’re trying to make. If you want to change both the type of industry you work in, and the type of job you have, it can be a bit more challenging. To make the fastest change, try either finding a new role in the same industry or sticking with the same role in a new industry.
For example, if you’re currently in event sales, but you want to move into the medical industry, you might try medical sales. Alternatively, if you’re in event sales, you could also try moving into an operations role within event planning. As you can imagine, it would be much more difficult to transition into an operations role in the medical industry.
If you’re interested to leap into both a new industry and a new job function, it’s not impossible, but it will take a bit more work. Here are a few suggestions for steps to follow when you’re facing such a challenge.
- Identify transferable skills – Consider all the skills you use in your current role. Which of these apply to other jobs or industries? Your transferable skills can be as simple as project management, organization, and leadership.
- Get experience – Look for opportunities to gain experience on your own. For example, work as a consultant on the side in your new field. You can also volunteer your time at a non-profit doing the new type of work you’d like to do in the future. Either way, ensure you document this new experience on both your resume and your LinkedIn profile.
- Further your education – Find classes you can take related to your new career field. This doesn’t have to mean enrolling in an entirely new college program. There are often courses you can take one at a time that will add to your understanding. These classes are also great to highlight on your resume and your LinkedIn profile.
- Rebrand yourself – Begin to update your resume and LinkedIn to reflect your new career goals. Keep your current job and experience, but start to integrate in your new future career.
- Practice your pitch – Most importantly, you should practice your elevator pitch. Be able to easily describe what you’re looking for next. During a transition, it often helps to also explain (at a high level) the background behind your desire to change careers. This can help the person you’re talking to see the logical progression from your current role to your next job.
One of the most important things to remember when transitioning careers is that it takes time. As you make the changes above, pay attention to the feedback you receive from those currently working in your new career field.
For example, if you hear something indicating you’re being unclear, be open to modifying your pitch or your brand. At the end of the day, you just need one person to take a chance on you in order to switch your career – but you’ve got to carefully communicate in order for them to want to take the leap with you.
I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search.
Author: Angela Copeland
Angela Copeland is Founder and Coach for Copeland Coaching, a great way to jump start your job search. Follow her on Twitter @CopelandCoach for tips on finding the perfect job for you.