The prospect of changing careers is both exhilarating and daunting. If you know exactly what you want to pursue, don't become stymied by the enormous challenges the career-change process presents. Employ these powerful strategies to make that career change a reality.
Determine Your Leverage Points
Inventory the skills and experiences you can leverage in your career switch. Examples include:
State Your Case Effectively
Be sure you have strong, valid reasons to change careers. If you know why you want to make the change and what you stand to gain from it, you'll increase your odds of success considerably. Also, be sure you can articulate those reasons to potential employers and explain what's in it for them. Employers don't want to feel like you're running away from something.
Find the Logical Entry Point
Often, a certain role or company will serve as a natural transition into your new field. Bolster your chances of getting hired by using your leverage points to identify where you best fit.
Developing a strong understanding of yourself is imperative to managing your career change, but avoid analysis paralysis. You cannot think your way to a career change; eventually, you must act.
Connect with People in Your Target Field
When you're changing careers, your resume is less useful as a marketing tool. For that reason, building your network becomes even more critical. Connect with people in your target field to validate your interest and learn about opportunities.
Make an Impression
On interviews, be the standout candidate by talking up the actions you've taken that prove your commitment to the field. Reveal your industry knowledge, and mention industry events you've attended or industry associations where you volunteer. If you write an industry-related blog, reference that as well. You could even present a white paper on an industry issue you've researched or a business plan that demonstrates the value you could bring to the organization.
Your goal is to make potential employers see you as someone already in their industry and in it to stay, regardless of whether they hire you. Don't leave the impression that if they don't hire you, you will do something else.
One tangible way to start your career change is through freelance or part-time work. Such work builds your resume and lets you test the waters in your new field.
Concrete steps such as these create momentum for your career change, demonstrate your commitment to potential employers and validate your plan.