12 Tips on Changing Careers

by McKenzie Chapman   Ulticareer  | Goals  | Job search  | Advice  | Opportunity  | Career decision  | Choose happiness  | Job satisfaction  | 

It’s not uncommon to have many different career paths throughout your lifetime. People change over time, and our skills and desires grow with us. This means that feeling the urge to seek a new career isn’t something to be afraid of, but something to be embraced and explored.

If you’re considering switching careers, read on for advice on how to change careers.

1. Volunteer

If you’re not sure about what career switch you want to make, try dipping your toe in the water by volunteering at something related to the interesting careers you’re curious about. This way you can try to feel out your interest in the field, but perhaps also learn what type of position you would find the best fit.

2. Reframe your LinkedIn, Cover Letter, and Resume

You’re starting a new career, so you also need to update your cover letter, resume, and social profiles to reflect your new ambitions. There are likely many skills you learned in your current career that can be translated into your new path. Identify these and highlight them when finding a new career.

3. Educate yourself

Do your homework. Try to know as much of the ins and outs of your new career as you can before actually starting a new job. If you need to prepare yourself by taking special classes, reading key texts, or by meeting people in the industry, do so before, or as part of, your job search.

4. Know what you want

In you research, it will be clearer to you what you want out of this new career. What are the aspects of your current or past career that you like, and what do you dislike? Find out how you can seek out a career that has more of what you like.

5. Take action

Don’t just dream, but take action! Form a plan, make goals, and work on what you want every day. Even little steps taken every day can help you get to where you need. It’s important not to dream of the perfect moment, it will never arrive. Instead, make a plan and put in the work.

6. Be willing to start from scratch

Depending on what type of career change you’d like to make, you may need to begin from scratch. A new career may require a new skillset and a new education. Before choosing what new career you’d like, consider how much you’re willing to relearn and how much of a drastic change you’re really willing to make.

7. Freelance

In the same vein as volunteering, try out freelancing in your new career before making the leap to full time. It’s hard to juggle freelancing when you’re already working a full time job, but it can help you build a new network in the field you’re looking to branch into.

8. Be honest and be humble

When you’re starting a new career, you won’t know everything. You’ll lack the experience to be truly competent, even if you’ve worked a long time in a different career. Admit when you’re wrong and ask for advice when you need it.

9. Be patient

You won’t immediately grasp everything you need to know, so be patient. It may take years for you to fully transition into a new career. Just know that if you plan well and do the work, you’ll be able to make a successful change.

10. Use your network to find connections

Reach out to everyone you know to find out if they have connections to your new career. Also, work on expanding your existing network by attending networking events and joining professional groups.

11. Identify companies you admire in this new field

When looking for a new career, you’ll find that there are good and bad places to work, just as in your current job. Do your research on the best places to work so that you don’t find your jump to a new career spoiled not by the career, but by the company.

12. Rely on your support system

Changing your career can be a time when you’re working harder, longer hours. You’ll need to let your friends and family know about your plans so they understand you’ll need some extra support during your transition to a new career.

If you want to change careers, it requires hard work and a genuine interest, but you can definitely make it happen. Do you have any additional career change advice? Share it on UltiCareer to help students, or anyone, get to know what your type of job is really like!

on UltiCareer to help others on their job search, get to know what your type of job is really like.

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