5 Steps to Making a Career Change

5 Steps to Making a Career Change

So, you wake up for work on a Monday morning as usual. The sun is out and birds are chirping. Finally it is almost Spring! As you make your way downstairs to the coffee pot, grab a bagel and the morning paper, you realize that something is missing. Could it be your tie? How about the TPS report you were suppose to file for Dan the boss man? No, not it. Oh wait, you hate your job – that’s it! We have all been there. Dreading the work day ahead and dwelling on the dead-end salary that we all complain about in the break room behind the supervisor’s back. Well, I have some good news for you. Spring is right around the corner and this is the season when companies begin hiring seasoned professionals such as yourself. Making a career change is never easy, so I will try not to put this so lightly, but here it goes. Below I will show you the 5 most important steps to make a successful career change, and as long as you keep an optimistic mind-set, you should do just fine in your new endeavor.

1. Determine Your Career Path
This is by far the first and most important step during a career transition because you simply cannot do the next four steps without it. Having a clearly focused agenda on what you want to do with the next several years of your life is extremely important. Gaining the proper education, training, or relevant skills to effectively perform a job that is new to you might also be something you want to consider. There are many benefits to determining one set career path that will help you along the way. A candidate who knows what they want to do reflects in the way they carry themselves during an interview and the confidence is obvious to a potential employer. Knowing your industry is one thing, but knowing that you definitely want to work in that industry is another. Employers can sense this whether you think so or not, so make sure you are absolutely 100% sure of your career choice before you take the next step.

2. Update Your Resume
This next step is an obvious one. You must update your resume to reflect your most recent jobs, any degrees or certifications you’ve obtained, and your purpose of submitting the resume to the new company. Updating your resume can be a strenuous project if you don’t have the time or knowledge of how to properly format and convey your key attributes on paper. Therefore, you might want to seek the help of a professional resume service before taking this step. An expert can develop a presentation that makes you stand out from the competition in your field, increasing your potential chances to land an opportunity with a new employer.

3. Start Applying for Jobs
Yes, this is the most obvious of all. Apply for jobs as quickly as you can so you can beat others to the punch. There is nothing more frustrating than submitting 100 applications and getting no response. This is more than likely because you either have a weak resume or you missed the deadline. First impression matters to employers. They like to see promptness and attention to detail, so don’t wait for other candidates to flaunt their skills ahead of you.

4. Network With Colleagues
You may have some previous coworkers who left the company you work for now a while back, but still keep contact with them. It is very important that you utilize those individuals as resources because more than likely they are still in the same industry sector and know of hidden job opportunities that are not advertised to the public just yet. Effective networking gives you a total edge and gets your foot in the door before anyone else.

5. Be Persistent
You might not get leads or responses right away, so be persistent during your search. Follow up with thank you notes, phone calls, and even visits to the office to make sure you are not forgotten. Have you ever heard the old saying? “Out of sight, out of mind.” Well, it is true. Even hiring managers and recruiters are guilty of forgetting a name or face. Remind them regularly that you want the job more than anyone else, but don’t be a pest.

Making a career change requires strategy, dedication, and the right resources to connect with the best opportunities in today’s job market. The competition is stronger than ever before and you must demonstrate that you have what it takes to excel above and beyond the expectations of the job. You might be bored with your current career or maybe you are having to do things that don’t exactly fit with your morals. No matter what, you have made the decision to change careers and following these 5 simple steps will ensure you are well prepared to take on a new challenge. Good luck!

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Comments (3)

  • Justin Olsen

    Excellent thought!

    January 31, 2013 at 12:16 am
  • Justin Olsen


    Thank you for your response to the post. Your notion would more than likely fit in with Step 1, which would require some education, specialized training, or relevant experience to meet the requirements of the job.

    January 31, 2013 at 12:11 am
  • Mark

    I believe one of the most important steps in changing career path would have to be determining if you need education and/or training to participate in your new field of choice. Obviously getting trained would come somewhere between step one and two making this six important steps instead of five.

    January 30, 2013 at 11:40 pm

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