We all want to love our jobs. The dream is to be fulfilled by what we do while also racking in fat stacks of cash. Nothing is more terrifying than going to college and realizing it’s too late to change your mind. But that doesn’t mean you are stuck in your studied field. Plenty of people have switched entire careers. So how do you break into a new career?
Breaking into a new career
First things first, you should probably manage expectations. If you are switching careers and lack certain knowledge or experience in specific fields, you may not get the job you want. Of course, you can’t expect to start at the top, but that’s true for most things. Suppose you mentally prepare yourself by managing unrealistic expectations. In that case, you can start applying to jobs you might not have otherwise without taking a hit to your pride or ego. Setting aside your pride can be difficult for some. Still, it is the key to managing your expectations and starting your journey into a new career.
Figure out what skills you offer
When switching careers, you might lack a certain set of field-specific knowledge. What things are called, and how do things function in the machine of your new office? But that can be said for most new jobs in general. So market your skills when you start applying for jobs in new careers.
Have you ever seen the TikToks of people rewording their Dungeons and Dragons and video game skills into corporate resume jargon? It’s one of the funniest things ever, but it’s also how you should approach your career change. You may lack specific knowledge in the new field you want, but you still have intangibles. You’ve learned about teamwork, leadership, communication, and a cacophony of other skills that will still transfer over. So sell future employers on that. If you can adapt and learn, you’ll be surprised how many places will hire you, even if you come from a different field.
Redo your resume
Redoing your resume goes hand-in-hand with figuring out what skills you offer, articulated and written for employers. Selling yourself in person, at least for me, has always been the easier part, but getting in the door through your resume sometimes presents specific challenges. Take your time when redoing your resume and cover letter. Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for using the employer’s language and words. Work in key phrases and buzzwords they use in the job posting or company website. Most places eat that up. Use some outside-of-the-box thinking and sell yourself on paper. Show them how much of a hard worker you are and how you quickly adapt to new environments while learning new skills.
Networking is by far the easiest way to get into a new career. It’s not about what you know, but who you know, and it’s why your boss’s nephew has a job. It’s also probably why the party guy from college has a job that he shouldn’t. He met the right person and sold himself right away, and bam, good job. So look up and go to networking events in your city. It can sometimes seem like a chore, but if you want to work in a new field, this is the best way to go about it. It’s like making new friends as an adult, but professionally. And it doesn’t hurt to have a bigger Rolodex. (Yeah, I used the word Rolodex. What are you going to do about it?)
Change is scary
Wanting change and going about it are two different things. I want to lose weight, but am I eating right and going to the gym? I want to read more books this year, but have you set a reading habit or schedule for yourself? Wanting to change careers seems terrifying and overwhelming, as most change seems. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So come up with a game plan, steps you need to take to start making the change in the career you want and work on it one step at a time.