Protect your data
At some point in their professional lives, a lot of people ask themselves, “Should I continue working at this job or pursue a different career?” There are a few steps to take when making the change to ensure a smooth transition. If you’re considering a career transition, check out this guide.
Career transition is more than just switching jobs. When planned right, it’s an opportunity for you to explore and pursue a career that aligns with your interests and long-term goals, while leaving your current employment on a positive note.
In this blog post, we’ll explain:
The meaning and importance of career transition
How to switch careers in a professional manner
Career transition involves discovering and pursuing new employment opportunities typically outside of your field of expertise. This could be a job in a completely new field, like switching from accounting to human resources. Or it could also be another industry (for example, switching from manufacturing to the banking sector).
According to a recent poll, more than 52 percent of Americans are contemplating switching careers and 43 percent are actively planning a career transition in 2023.
There are several reasons people consider switching careers. In some cases, it’s the pursuit of better opportunities, while in other instances, it’s due to personal reasons. Here are a few common causes of a career transition:
If you feel you’re stuck in a low-paid job with no clear career progression plan, it might be best to consider a career transition. After all, nearly 40 percent of all Americans who switched jobs this year reported doing so in order to get a better compensation package. However, before taking any drastic steps, it’s important to do your research and develop the necessary skills to perform your new job to the best of your abilities.
In the event your current job is taking a toll on your mental and emotional well-being, it’s okay to consider a career transition. Changing careers is a good way to pursue activities you’re passionate about, which will likely improve your overall happiness and reduce your risk of burnout.
It’s important to note that many people switch careers to find a sense of fulfillment. Doing something that makes you happy is likely to provide you with a sense of purpose, especially if your current job is leaving you unfulfilled.
Switching careers might seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be that way. No matter where you are in your career, here’s the path that many people use to gracefully transition jobs:
Before you get started, look at your current job and figure out where you want to go. What are the specific aspects you don’t like? Is your job causing you more stress than happiness? Do you feel fulfilled? Consider maintaining a journal with these questions and their answers so that you have a good starting point.
Also, note your existing skills and how they’ve helped you navigate your job. For instance, if you received a lot of praise for completing a complex project, what were the skills that helped you do that? These skills are known as transferable skills.
If you can identify your transferable skills, you can easily find other career opportunities where you can leverage these skills to ensure consistent growth.
Once you’ve taken stock of your current job’s challenges and your current skills, then consider your options. Research career options and industries that pique your interest. Review job opportunities that closely align with your transferable skills and values.
If you find it difficult to find relevant jobs, ask your professional network for assistance. For instance, you can reach out to connections on LinkedIn and ask them for some guidance. Alternatively, you can look into career counseling. A professional career counselor can help you look for opportunities that align with your skills.
Once you’ve narrowed your options to a few job types, the next step is to talk to people working those jobs. Learn what the day-to-day tasks look like for that job role and what skills and qualifications you need to succeed. Your professional network can be beneficial at this stage. .
Now that you’ve determined a couple of options you’d like to pursue, create a detailed plan of action. This plan should include clear goals (what you want to achieve) and strategies (how are you going to achieve those goals).
Focus on the education, skills, and training/certification courses you will need to secure that job. Look into any training events, webinars, or college courses needed to undertake your new career. Also, check out any networking events within your new industry. This would be a great opportunity to connect with people to learn more about your new career.
Since you’re either stepping into a new field of expertise or industry, it’s important to position yourself that way. Your resume and cover letter should focus on your transferable skills and express a desire for a career switch.
Think about how your existing skills and professional experience will make you the right fit for the new job. To present yourself as the ideal candidate, add a powerful career statement that showcases your strengths and key skills.
One of the best ways to secure a job is through networking. However, before you reach out to people, pay close attention to the new industry or job role you’re switching to. Get familiar with the job or industry-specific jargon before connecting with anyone.
Connect with people and try to obtain some career advice. This will allow you to ask specific questions about the new industry or job role. Keep the conversation going, focus on your own skills and experience, and build a professional relationship with people. This type of professional networking could significantly increase your chances of landing a referral.
Another tip is to look for some internship or volunteering opportunities in your new field of interest. This is a good way to learn more about the job and whether it would be a good fit for you. Internship and volunteer experience also goes a long way in helping you secure a permanent, full-time role in that field.
Some fields, such as healthcare, accounting, and IT, require individuals with specialized education and training. Most of the job postings in this field have certain ‘gatekeeper’ credentials, such as a degree in accounting, software development, or healthcare management. If you’re switching to one of these specialized fields, it’s important to invest in some college education and/or certification courses to improve your chances of getting hired.
Even at your current job, you can learn a number of skills to make your career transition easier. For example, if you’re working as a finance executive and want to switch to marketing, consider talking to your supervisor to let you participate in, or shadow, some of the marketing operations at your company. This way, you can learn about the different departments at your company and acquire the skills needed to take your career to the next level.
If you’re considering switching careers, let us know. We can help you make smart, data-driven career transition plans that can set you up for long-term success.
A career transition involves scouting for job opportunities in a new field or another industry that closely align with your interests, aspirations, and long-term goals.
There are several reasons to consider switching your career, such as obtaining a better compensation package, improving your overall well-being, and finding a sense of purpose.
A proper career transition plan helps you identify your core strengths and areas of interest and look for an opportunity that provides you with a sense of fulfillment.
Asad is a digital content creator and recruiter. Since 2014, he has written on a wide variety of topics, including technology, finance, human resources, and marketing. Throughout his professional career, Asad has recruited and trained content writers for various software companies and marketing agencies, and he enjoys mentoring new immigrants in Canada on job interview best practices and networking techniques.