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No one’s career path is the same. Wanting to change to a new field is more common than you think, and it’s possible regardless of your current position or what you’ve studied. Diverse backgrounds in certain areas can lead to innovations and process improvements.
While it can be nerve-wracking to start something new, making the leap can be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. Regardless of your background, your experience provides valuable contributions.
Depending on how well your current field is aligned with your next step, you may need to start over in an entry-level role to gain more experience. It’s essential to search online job boards like ZipRecruiter and set realistic expectations when switching jobs. When you create your resume, you want to showcase transferable skills, qualities, and experiences that fit your desired role. Highlight examples of how what you are doing now aligns with the skills required in your new field.
Whether it’s a higher salary, career growth, seeking a new challenge or following your passion, these tips can help make the transition to a new career field much easier.
Know the expectations.
This is perhaps the most crucial step in the process, as it forms the basis for approaching your job search and determining the skills required. Understand the industry or job you are considering and whether what you have to offer is a match. Your research should inform you of how your current experience aligns with your desired field and the education gap you need to fill.
Have informative conversations.
Informational interviews are informal conversations with someone in a career you are considering. They provide insight into roles, companies and industries you are considering.
They can also help build your network. You will have the opportunity to learn what it takes to be successful in their field, what the day-to-day operations can be like and the roads to get there. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions like what they don’t like about their position and things they’d like to know before pursuing a career in their field.
Apply to job sites.
Savvy job seekers often use job boards to land their dream job. Popular job boards like ZipRecruiter offer job opportunities in a variety of industries.
ZipRecruiter uses AI matching technology to find companies that match your skill set and keeps you informed so you never miss an opportunity. It is the top rated job site in the US1and it’s free to get started.
Take online courses.
You will probably need to develop new skills when you switch to a new field. Certifications are available for high-demand trades such as computer programming, inbound marketing, UX fundamentals, and more. Many companies encourage employees to acquire new skills, so if your current employer supports inbound mobility, they can offer relevant training or subsidize your education to try something new.
Freelance after work.
Freelancing can be a great way to develop your craft, build a client base, get work for your portfolio, and even earn supplemental income. Typical freelance jobs include web development, copywriting, design, accounting, social media marketing, and more. The flexibility of freelancing lends itself well to busy professionals with full-time jobs, as it allows you to gain relevant experience while continuing to work in your current position.
Apply for internships.
Those earlier in their careers may have the flexibility to accept paid or unpaid internship opportunities. Companies also offer development programs to help you gain hands-on experience and expand your network.
While these opportunities may be short-lived, they can be an effective way to receive the knowledge you need while getting your foot in the door.
1 Based on G2 satisfaction scores as of January 1, 2022