From Stuck to Thriving
Posted June 28, 2024

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An outline of how to make a successful career change

By Monica Hoyer

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Career transitions can be scary and this is a modern job market, things are constantly changing. Maybe you’re looking for something new or your industry is evolving, career transitions are becoming increasingly common. Perhaps you aren’t fulfilled in your current role, you are looking for a better work-life balance, or wanting something that more closely aligns with your passions. No matter the reason, embarking on a career change is at times exciting and scary. I’ve outlined a map here to help you transition smoothly and confidently.

Understanding Your Current Situation

Getting a grasp on what you like and don’t like about your current (and past) roles is an important first step. This takes self-reflection and asking yourself some tough questions. Understanding what you love about what you do and inversely, what you don’t love. What are unique things that you can bring to any job you take on? Ask yourself why you are looking for a new role, what will be different about this job change versus other job changes. 

Knowing these things and keeping them top of mind as you read job descriptions and talk to hiring managers is key to finding a role that will be right for you.

Exploring New Possibilities

Armed with a clearer idea of your motivations and skillset, you can begin exploring the array of career paths available. Exploring online job boards will give you an idea of what is available and what piques your interest. 

If your industry doesn’t align with your list of motivations, don’t fret! Skills are often transferable across industries. The communication and problem-solving skills honed in a marketing role can be invaluable in a project management position. Don’t underestimate the power of your adaptability and the ability to learn new things.

Planning Your Transition Strategy

Once you’ve identified potential new career paths, it’s time to craft your transition strategy. If you notice that some skill gaps exist you have options:

  • Online courses and workshops
    • Often you can find courses on LinkedIn, your local community college, or former colleagues that can help you hone the skills needed.
  • Volunteer work to bridge the knowledge divide
    • Not only is this a great place to gain new knowledge, but it’s also somewhere you can meet like-minded individuals who could know about open roles or help you in your search.

Don’t forget to tailor your resume, highlighting transferable skills relevant to your target field. Quantify your achievements whenever possible, showcasing the impact you made in previous roles.

Network with individuals in your desired field, attending industry events or joining online forums. Meetup is a great place to find events in your area that are often free or low-cost. Informational interviews are a fantastic way to gather firsthand knowledge about a specific profession. Reach out to professionals working in your target role, and ask thoughtful questions about their day-to-day tasks and career paths.

Putting Your Plan into Action

Having a solid plan and knowing your strengths and needs in a new role, you are well-equipped to put your plan into action. Start applying for jobs and network with people in your target industry. This transition won’t happen overnight, but being patient and persistent will pay off in the long run. You may hit some bumps in the road, but keep in mind your why and your motivations. The payoff at the end will be great!

Additional Tips and Considerations

Your personal brand online is crucial in today’s job market. Make sure your LinkedIn profile reflects these goals and what your super skills are. Ensure your resume and cover letter showcase your unique skillset and highlight your passion for your chosen field. Embrace the learning opportunities and celebrate your progress.

Conclusion

Deciding that you need a career change is scary and exciting. You are brave to embark on this no matter where you are in your life. You do have the ability to navigate this transition with confidence and achieve your career goals. However, the road ahead may not always be clear. If you’d like personalized guidance and support, don’t hesitate to reach out for career coaching services. Together, we can create a roadmap to your dream career.

“The only constant is change.”

-iPEC Foundation Principal

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