Six Steps to Switch Careers

Fantasizing over a more flexible schedule? Seeking a more substantial salary? Simply sick and tired of the manual, mundane tasks? Regardless of the reason, you have the itch to switch careers – and you’re definitely not alone. The average American changes up their role every one to five years

While some career trajectories start off in healthcare and then migrate their way toward government policy, switching careers doesn’t always mean switching industries. In fact, you can easily switch career paths within the same industry, just in different roles, such as moving to positions with more management responsibilities to fuel your career goals.

No matter your goals, reaching the division to switch careers is often followed by a feeling of “okay, now what?” Have no fear – the Guide to Graduate team is sharing six ways to seamlessly switch careers. Keep reading. 

Six Steps to Switch Careers

1. Do Your Research

A career change is a big deal, and can affect areas of your life outside the workplace, too. Before you make the decision to switch paths, conduct enough research on the industry you’d like to move to, the new roles you’re targeting, and the skills you’ll need to further develop to get there.

2. Be Honest With Yourself

Before you hit the job boards, it helps to first identify what exactly it is that you’re going after. 

Grab a journal (or a fresh Google doc!) and begin listing out what you like and dislike about your current role. Next, make a list of your strengths and weaknesses (or areas you’d like to work on) and cross-match them with key strengths in the industry and/or role you’re after.

3. Make a Transition Plan

Entering an entirely new industry without any experience can quickly send you to the bottom of the resume stack in comparison to more experienced candidates.

If you’ll need to go back to school to earn a degree, or sit in on a few continuing education courses to get a leg up, determine how long that will take and write out a plan to transition from one role to the next without jeopardizing income or job loss in the meantime.

While plans are meant to change, having a target goal or end date will help keep you motivated and on track.

4. Immerse Yourself in the Industry

Industry experts get to that level by immersing themselves in all-things industry related – books, websites, blogs, events, thought leaders.

Become aware of every resource and networking event available to you, and immerse yourself in it. The bigger the network you build, the more people you have on your side when it comes time to land a new role.

5. Redo Your Resume

Of course, you can’t switch roles with a resume that doesn’t speak to your strengths and experience that has led you to take on such a challenge.

Search the job boards to identify the top skills and expertise employers in your desired field are looking for, and align your resume to match it. You can also seek out the help of a career coach to help you fine-tune it to help get your foot in the door for interviews.

6. Intern, Interview, and Get Out There!

Even with years of prep, nothing can fully prepare you for a new role aside from jumping right into it.

Soak up every internship, interview, and volunteer opportunity you can land to not only further expand your network, but also bolster your expertise. You never know how much you may thrive without giving it a try!  

Have you successfully switched up your career? Share your experience with us in the comments!

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