Making a career change can be daunting. Between the unknowns of a new role to the effort it entails, it may be a stressful time to say the least. But in the end, switching into a job you love can be incredibly rewarding (just ask any of these people). So to make this transition easier, we’ve put together some crucial steps to help you ensure that your career switch is a successful one!
Do your research
Before you do anything, you should research the career and make sure it’s what you actually want. Does the average salary align with your financial goals? Is there high growth potential, or are the available roles fairly stagnant? How many job prospects are there in your area? Check out Payscale and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find insights into the state of the industry.
Then, look into the details of the job itself — look online and talk to others within the field to learn more about what the day-to-day will actually involve. After all, even if you’re ready for a career change, you don’t want to go through all the work only to switch into a career you don’t enjoy.
Enroll in a training program
If you’re stuck in an office job but dream about becoming a chef, you’ll need to get some credentials. And while getting additional training or certifications isn’t always necessary, it will definitely be helpful. Not only can it show potential employers that you’re willing to put in the time and effort to improve your work, it will also make sure you’re up-to-date on industry trends, skills, and technology. And since there are many short-term career training programs available, depending on the career you’re entering, you may not even have to invest in a years-long degree program!
Network — inside and outside your current company
We know, networking can be intimidating. But it can be the key to your career switch. Getting to know people in your potential field will enable you to better understand the job (Remember, you want to know what you’re getting into!) and can help you along as you look for new positions. First, talk to people within your company. Your coworkers on other teams are a good intro to the field, and you may even be able to transition into a new role within your current company.
Additionally, there’s also networking outside your company. Attend conferences and meetups to get to know more people familiar with your desired career track. This will increase the breadth and depth of your understanding of the industry, and can also be useful when looking for a job beyond your current employer.
Update your resume
This goes beyond simply making sure your current role and skills are included. You’ll also want to include target keywords for your prospective career. After all, someone hiring a UX designer will be looking for some different skills and characteristics than someone hiring a sales rep. Find out what industry words recruiters want to see on resumes. And since several companies use software that scans for keywords in order to cut down the number of resumes to read through, this can be especially important. One thing you’ll want to avoid, though, is using vague and overused cliches — like the words found on this list from Indeed.com!
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