Whether you’re a self-employed freelancer or work in a corporate environment, there comes a time when a career change is the only logical way forward. Maybe you’ve simply lost interest in what you’re doing. Maybe you feel like you’ve hit a wall and there’s no way to progress. Maybe you’re happy with the people you work with and money you earn, but a small itch at the back of your mind tells you that you can do better. Whatever the case might be, a career change can benefit you as a person and as a professional. It can help you find a new purpose in life, meet new people, expand your network, earn more money, and gain new skills and expertise.
Although it can be daunting to change careers, the good news is that, given the cross-functional nature of many soft and hard skills you’ve gained over the years, it’s easier than ever to switch careers. And here are four tips that will help you make that transition.
1. Don’t Rush Into It
The most important thing when considering a career transition is not to rush into it. You’ll want to take time to assess your current professional situation and determine whether or not you have time to search for new work while you’re still employed. If you don’t have the time and need to leave your job first, you’ll need to know if your current financial situation is stable enough for you to leave your job while you search for new work and educate yourself further (if your new career demands it; for example, you might need new certifications or even a new degree).
Also, you need to know why you want to change careers. Do you want to start fresh for the sake of personal motivation? Do you want (or need) to earn more money? Are you unsatisfied with the culture at your current place of employment? It’s important to know why you want to transition so you can determine where to transition to—what will satisfy you.
2. Create a Fresh Resume
Once you’re set on changing careers, it’s a good idea to create a resume from scratch instead of retrofitting an existing one. A fresh resume will give you ample time to reflect on your past experiences and how they might help you in your new career. For example, according to specialists from Vyrazu, a leading software development company, “If you have a degree in business management, many companies will be willing to onboard you into different roles depending on your personal goals. However, more specific degrees such as programming or graphic design will serve to prove that you have formal education under your belt if you wish to transition careers drastically.”
Creating a new resume will also give you the opportunity to adjust your writing style, font, and formatting to your new profession. In other words, go the extra mile to do it properly.
3. Reach Out to Your Network
Your network consists of all the people you’ve ever come in contact with, both professionally and personally. As someone in search of career transition options, you should first ask your network about potential employment opportunities. Start by reaching out to professional colleagues and associates, clearly indicating that you wish to change careers and not work in the same field as before. Your friends and family might also have an idea about potential openings or know of colleagues who have something open. While the job market will most likely have ample opportunities for you to choose from, reaching out to a new employer via someone in your network will be your best first bet in the case of a career transition.
4. Learn and Improve in the Meantime
It can be beneficial for you to learn and improve your skillset during the career transition process. Adding to your skillset and knowledge base will significantly improve your chances of finding relevant employment. Soft skills such as public speaking and writing skills can be improved by taking classes—these skills can be great additions to your resume regardless of the target profession you aim to find work in. And if you’re certain of the profession you want to pursue, you can attend specialized conferences, seminars, and trainings related to that field.
The point is spend your free time learning new things, instead of over-thinking your career change. The question isn’t whether or not a change is possible, but when will it happen. If you keep yourself active during the job hunt by learning, volunteering, and developing, the right opportunity will present itself sooner than you think.
Bridgette Hernandez has a master's degree in anthropology and is a content writer for TopWritersReview.
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