Career Advice Professional Development

How to Successfully Switch to a New Career

By: Charlotte Couch
Aug 11, 2020 • 10 min read

How to Successfully Switch to a New Career

Have you been feeling unfulfilled or unsatisfied with your job lately? Maybe you are starting to lose motivation, or you are getting tired of your desk job. You are not the first person to feel this way. In fact, thousands of people have successfully changed their old career paths and embarked on new passions and interests after realizing they were no longer satisfied with their job.

new career

 A New Journey

Whether you want to trade your stethoscope in for a gavel or a notepad in for a spatula, it is possible to embark on this new journey. While changing careers won’t be easy, successfully doing so can help you find something that you are passionate about again. That’s why we’re offering some top tips for switching to a new career path.

Ask Yourself Why You Want to Switch First

Before you make the official decision to switch out of your current career, you should take the time to consider and think about what is motivating you to make this change. There are numerous factors behind your dissatisfaction with your current work. Maybe you don’t find it challenging enough. Or you are stuck in a toxic work environment.

new career

 Get Specific 

Sometimes, the issue isn’t with the job or industry itself, but rather the specific company you are working for. If you are forced to deal with a narcissistic boss, or you feel that you have outgrown your current role, it is understandable as to why you need a change. However, a change in your current workplace might be what you need rather than a complete career change. Consider looking for similar positions to your current job at nearby companies. Sometimes, a change in scenery is just what you need to make you feel motivated and excited about your work again.

Take Some Classes or Receive a Certification

Interested in UX design? Take a crash course on LinkedIn Learning or Coursera to master the basics and practice your newfound skills. Want to become a copywriter? Make sure you educate yourself on best practices for this lucrative profession as you work on this portfolio. Taking courses or even completing a certificate can help increase your chances of landing your next dream job.

 Experience 

Most jobs will expect some type of experience in the field among prospective candidates. These courses will help you learn essential skills for succeeding in the profession, and some will even assist with your job search after you finish them. You will probably need to block out time either before or after work to study and practice for the class. However, the extra work will all be worth it after you land that dream job!

Try to Find Something That is Somewhat Related to Your Current Job

While nothing is stopping you from studying to become a chemical engineer or a physician after a career in entertainment or the arts, you will have to spend years in school learning and studying new material for these careers. Some career switches are more difficult to pull off than others because of the steep learning curve. Most people want to explore a new job within their industry anyway.

new career

 Strengths and Passions

For example, a physician might decide to go into teaching or pharmaceuticals. A data analyst might realize that he wants to be involved in the creative side of marketing. A mathematician might find themselves intrigued by coding. In general, finding a job that aligns with both your strengths and passions will make it easier for you to stay in it for the long run. Of course, there are always exceptions to this general piece of advice. Maybe an office worker needs a total change of scenery and becomes a dog walker. Or a nurse decides they want to open a clothing store for kids. It really boils down to how steep a learning curve you are dealing with if you switch to your new career.

Meet Some New People in the Field You’re Interested in

Finding and networking with people who work in the field you’re interested in or even have your dream job can help you forge a path toward successfully entering a new industry. You can find school alumni working in your field of interest on LinkedIn or through numerous Facebook Groups.

 Network and Connect

If you can, try to schedule a phone call or even a lunch with this new person. Some may be interested in setting up a job shadow for you. Usually, lunch or dinner would be doable. However, many people might not be involved in organizing one due to the current pandemic. Nonetheless, you can learn a great deal from them from a casual video call. They might even put your on their radar the next time they hear about a job opening at their company!

Be Patient During This (Sometimes) Long Transition

Unfortunately, you aren’t going to be able to find a new job overnight. You will need to take relevant courses, gather experience, and network with people in your field. The job searching process will also be long and arduous. However, if you are certain that this is the right choice for you, you will feel incredibly proud of yourself once you land the job you want.

See if You Can Move to a New Branch Within Your Company

Moving to an entirely new company in a position that you have little experience in can be extremely intimidating. If possible, you can see if you can move laterally within your company. You already know how the company operates, most of your co-workers, and its general culture. This might make it easier for you as you transition to a new job role.

While starting a totally new career can be fun and challenging, it can also be downright frightening. You are entering into a completely new field, after all. But hundreds of people before you have successfully switched careers. What made you decide to change jobs? Tell us your story.

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