Sometimes in life, you need to change course to keep the wind in your sails and continue moving forward. This also applies to your professional life, and you may have to change careers at some point. Whether this is because of preference, personal circumstance, or a response to a shifting labor market, some elements of the switch remain constant.
Here are some strategies for making your career switch a successful one.
Craft Your Narrative
The biggest knock against you when applying for a job in a new field would seem to be your lack of relevant experience. And while the specifics of the potential new position may not be entirely ingrained, you’re far from helpless. Certain skills and experiences, like management experience or a proven track record of your ability to work under pressure or on deadlines, will translate to just about any field. Downplay the industry you were in and focus on the work, finding the common threads that link your previous career with your new field, and demonstrate how you can link your skills with a fresh point of view to help a potential employer.
Your most important task is to sell yourself not in a way that makes your career switch about you, but one that demonstrates what value your unique experiences would bring to a new employer.
Network, Network, Network
Knowing the right people is always important when on the job hunt, but it becomes absolutely crucial when transitioning between industries. Without the benefit of a relevant body of work on your side, connecting directly with important industry figures puts you in a position to forward your cause and sell yourself to key decision makers.
Be Patient, And Keep Working
Really, what you’re asking companies to do is take a risk on you when there are safer options available, so don’t be surprised if you can’t land a position right away. Be patient, keep up with the applications, keep working on your contacts, and do what you can to develop your relevant skills. If you can, take up freelance or temporary positions within your desired field to build your résumé.
Transitioning between careers can be a rocky path, but it’s a potentially rewarding one, and much easier if you have a guide that knows the way. Contact us to learn how we can help you reposition yourself and transition into a new career.