Switching careers can be an intimidating process. The new career field may be something you’ve recently been trained in, a long held interest, or something that just seems challenging and rewarding. I have switched careers from administrative to education to retail work and have a lot of experience with hiring people from different backgrounds. While it may seem daunting, there are some steps you can take to help you switch careers with minimal stress and that will help you succeed in your new field.
If you have a friend or family member who works in the field you’re pursuing, ask them what they do day to day in their job, and ask what they would look for in an employee. Be sure you fully understand the job description and see if your skills are a good fit. Read literature, such as magazine articles, on the career you are pursuing. I found that trade magazines were a great place to start and learn the language of the business.
Boost Your Resume
Let’s say you’re switching from an administrative job to retail, as I have in the past. The first thing I did was reevaluate my resume and see what skills I learned in my administrative role that could transfer easily to the retail world and maximized those skills on my resume. For example, I listed that I was good at working on my own and that I was well organized. Both of these are traits that are desirable in retail work. I read the job description and used language from it in my resume to match my own skills in order to show that I would be an excellent candidate.
Apply for a variety of positions with a good array of employers when you start sending your resumes. You may not get the job in the career field you want right away. I started as a sales associate even though I wanted to be an assistant manager. The pay was lower and had more irregular hours but it was where I learned the foundation of my new job. Even if you’ve been in the workforce for decades, a new career has skills you need to pick up. Showing your skills in an entry level position can prove to your employer that you are willing to work hard in a new position. Within a few months of very hard work and dedication, I was promoted to assistant manager.
A new career can be scary but with a little preparation, you can show a prospective employer that your skills will be a great fit for their company or organization. Be open to feedback you receive, even if you don’t get a job in your field right a way, and use that to help you reach your ultimate career goals.