Transitioning to a New Career 

 

Transitioning to a new career can be challenging.  Your approach impacts your success and level of frustration.  Increased competition for positions has become more of a norm due to the continued state of the economy and the employment situation.  Individuals who are unemployed, underemployed, or those simply looking for a change may be challenged by which approach to use when attempting to transition in to a new field with limited experience.  We often focus on our existing skills and experience and lack an understanding of how to leverage and grow them in different roles.  The following may prove beneficial when used strategically as part of a job search strategy:

 

Networking

o Engage regularly with your direct connections;

o Identify bridges that you can connect with who are directly associated with the employers you’re targeting; and

o Lastly, if you lack direct connections or bridges, identify who you need to connect with – this may be a hiring manager, vice president, or divisional director, manager or supervisor. An advanced Google search may prove useful to you in this instance or you may be able to obtain this information via the organization’s website, from a professional association, or via a local chamber of commerce. Remember to consider the colleagues of your friends and family, your alumni associations, and local community members’ as potential connections and bridges.

Mentors

o Mentors are priceless. They can provide you with guidance, developmental opportunities, resources, and connections.

Training and credentials

o Depending upon your experience and preferred career field, additional training or educational credentials may be required.

Volunteering

o Identify organizations that resonate with your goals;

o Meet with members and leadership to learn if opportunities exist that position you to develop the skills required in your preferred career field; and

o If warranted and appropriate, identify board members affiliated with employers in your preferred career field. Understand their associations and if opportunities exist to volunteer that position you to develop your skills and grow your network in a targeted way.

 

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