Changing Careers: What You Should Know, Part 2

By: Marie Donlon

Part 2:

Possible solutions to overcoming such a burden can include networking. Looking for a position with a company that already employs a former co-worker or manager might be all the “in” you need to at least get an interview for a position in an unfamiliar industry. While you might not have experience in the field, perhaps your former coworker can speak to your work ethic or other qualifications based on your joint work history.

Likewise, it might not hurt to consider finding a position in the new industry but in a position that is similar to your current one.

Finding a comparable position in an unrelated industry might at least give you a slight advantage over others looking for work in said industry.

If you are changing fields without experience in the field you desire, try to volunteer in that field for a sense of how it works. Such a move might also give you the chance to flesh out your resume with experience in that field that you might not have had before.

Likewise, you might want to investigate whether classes in that field are available for you to take. Check the course offerings at a nearby university or community college.

Take on opportunities in your current workplace. Volunteer to do jobs that aren’t necessarily in your job description for a chance to broaden your resume.

Reach out to people in that industry to see if any shadowing opportunities are available. Following someone around for a day or longer might give you insight into both the industry and into the position without going blindly into it.

Finances

Like anything else in life, making life changes can have consequences for your wallet. It is universally understood (especially by English majors) that some positions pay more than others. As such, make sure you have an understanding of what is typical in terms of compensation for the industry or position you are pursuing.

If there is a salary difference from your current position to one that you intend to pursue, make sure you can afford the impact such a change might mean for your bank account.

While you research, make sure to consult any of the salary finder sites available on the internet to reveal what the going rate is for the position you intend to pursue.

And, finally, make sure to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you afford to make such a drastic, potentially costly change?

  • Does such a change affect your family?

Short-term Solution for a Long-term Problem?

Ultimately, you need to ask yourself if making this change will help to fix all that is wrong in your current career or if you can expect to experience, after a brief honeymoon period, the same dissatisfaction with your new career as with your old career?

If, after careful contemplation, you feel prepared to make a career change, make sure to update your resume with all of your new experiences. Likewise, tailor your resume along with its mission statement and cover letter to speak to that new industry.

Resources

Monster.com—Will a Career Change Work for You?

Rewire—Considering a Career Change? Do These Things First

Top Resume—What You Should Consider Before Switching Careers