Every day, thousands of people decide to switch careers either by choice or because of the changing nature of organizations, work and workplace. However, changing your career path is not an easy task, especially if you have financial, professional and personal obligations that must be constantly met.
Even though it might seem complicated or impossible to achieve, you can successfully transition to a position in a new industry by implementing the right job search strategy.
Here is how:
Define your skillset
Perform an honest assessment of what you do well. Start by clearly defining what you are genuinely good at and what you enjoy doing the most. Then, write down the areas where you already excel and explain how those abilities are transferable and valuable for the new career field you have decided to pursue.
Ask the experts
Find people who are in a role or company you’re interested in or with previous experience in the career field you’re exploring and ask for their professional advice. Don’t be afraid to approach them to talk about your new career goals and ask for some recommendations; you have nothing to lose! The worst thing that can happen is that they say “no”. However, if this ever happens, make the best out of this situation and ask them to refer you to someone else who can help you.
People with experience in the field can give you great real-world insight, describe what the position involves, recommend any educational certifications or courses you might need to take, become your mentor, or even offer you a job in a related field!
Develop new skills
Do some research to determine if you need any credentials or courses to land a job in the new field. Sometimes it’s necessary to go back to school and take some classes. However, there are plenty of online platforms that offer courses or certifications at a lower cost (or for free!).
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in computer science, communication, marketing, or you just want to learn a new language, here are some FREE courses you can take to develop some new valuable skills and increase your chances of landing your dream job!
- Harvard University’s Introduction to Computer Science
- Diploma in Social Media Marketing
- Introduction to Public Speaking
- MIT’s Spanish I
Talk to recruiters
Something that might help you to speed up the career change process and have a smooth transition is to request assistance from a recruiter. When you work with a recruiter, you’re not completely alone in your job search! Recruiters understand the job market and can typically assess your value as an employee based on your skills and experience. Also, they will help you with your resume, cover letters, get ready for interviews, and set realistic salary expectations. Often, recruiters have visibility into jobs that companies don’t post publicly, so this can also be a great way to have access to a greater variety of opportunities.
Apply, apply, apply!
Perform an extensive job search and identify a few opportunities that reflect your new career preferences. Before you apply, make sure you write a cover letter that shows your career objectives and draft a resume that reflects why you’re a good fit for the position you’re applying to. Once you have a strong new resume, send it to all job posts you have an interest in, even if you don’t meet all the technical skills or the years of experience in the job description. Sometimes, hiring managers prioritize specific attributes and if you are a top-performer in one or more of these, you might be considered a great fit for the job!
The key is to be persistent! You will get more rejections than a person who has previous experience in the field, but the right opportunity will present when you less expect it!
Even though changing you career path seems scary and sometimes uncertain, it will lead to have a more fulfilling and rewarding work experience. Give it a try!