Changing Jobs Getting Started

Your First Steps to Making a Career Change

make a career change
Written by Sheryl Posnick

A career change is a big and oftentimes overwhelming undertaking. You're hoping to enter an unknown world, maybe even one wildly different from the professional life you've known so far. Alyssa Gelbard, founder and president of Resume Strategists Inc., offers some tips on how to tackle the challenges that come with switching industries.

Research

While you might speak the language of your current field, a new career comes with a whole new set of terminology and practices. You'll learn the ins and outs as soon as you get a job, but before you do, do your research so you sound well-informed and feel confident when you go out on interviews.

Learn how to sell yourself

There's a reason you're taking this new career leap--you feel ready and qualified to work in a new field. Make a list of reasons why you want to make the change and why your specific skills are ideal for such a change. The more you discover exactly how your strengths align with a potential new job, the better you can speak to them in cover letters and interviews.

Network... and then network some more

If you're shy about networking, start small--get the word out by mentioning your hopes of a career change when among friends or family. You're not necessarily looking for someone to hand you a job; networking is about making connections and you never know if someone in your circle might be connected to another person who can give you advice and help.

Taking the leap into a new career is brave and exciting. Approach your journey with confidence, even when you're nervous--if you are determined and willing to put in the work, opportunities are sure to arise.

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