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8 Effective Steps to a Career Change


A reported 65% of employees in the United States are currently seeking a new job, while 35% of workers stated they would look for a new role within a year. Despite people feeling unhappy in their careers, many people are often reluctant to venture outside their industry. It is likely due to a lack of education, limited experience, or a fear of the unknown.

However, if the thought of spending the next 30 years or more of your life in the same sector fills you with dread, you must act now. If you are ready to enter a new industry and position, check out the below seven effective steps to a career change.

Step 1: Establish a Compelling Career Story

A potential employer will want to know why you chose to pursue a different career. Remember to maintain a positive attitude when telling your story and emphasize your willingness to take risks and work hard to achieve your goals.

Faith Based Events

Think carefully about the transferable skills you will bring, and try to recall past experiences that will impress a hiring manager. Don’t forget to provide the reason why you chose to leave, such as to embrace a new challenge, enter an industry that taps into a passion, or enjoy a more varied working life. Establish your story in advance to wow a hiring manager on your resume and during an interview.

Step 2: Research an Industry

Of course, before you start applying for vacancies, you must thoroughly research a career. Read various job descriptions to ensure it matches your skills, desired work-life balance, and pace.

If you are unsure if a career is for you, enroll in a low-cost introductory course to dip your toe into a career. If it matches your wants and needs, you can then pursue a more extended degree program.

Also, learn as much as possible about an industry to improve your knowledge and ensure it taps into a passion. For example, you can read industry-specific textbooks, news articles, and blogs, or listen to podcasts.

Step 3: Take an Industry for a Test Drive

If you are undecided about a career transition, take an industry on a test drive by volunteering at an organization in the field. A company might be more than happy to show you the ropes in return for a day’s hard work.

Reach out to a business by dropping them an email or giving them a call. The worst a company owner can say is no. You never know, the voluntary experience could impress an employer and convince them to offer you a permanent position at the company.

Step 4: Enroll in an Online Degree Program

After gaining experience in an industry and researching a role, you could advance in your desired career by earning an industry-respected degree. It will not only improve your knowledge and skills in the occupation, but it will prove to a hiring manager that you are committed to enjoying success in a new sector.

Marymount University provides many online programs to enhance your skills and enjoy a flourishing career in various industries. For instance, you can complete an online nursing program to enjoy a rewarding career as a registered nurse, and you can advance your skills with a BSN to MSN-FNP or an MSN to DNP, to name a few options. Plus, the online programs can fit around your busy working life, and you can expand your expertise in your spare time.

Step 5: Create an Impressive Resume

Next, you must set time aside to craft an impressive resume, which should detail your education, work history, and skills. Try to match your skills from your previous roles to a new industry, which will ensure it aligns with your story.

Consider the transferrable skills that will benefit you in your new career, such as:

  • Leadership
  • Good communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Analytical skills
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity

Also, highlight your various accomplishments from your previous positions, which will prove to a hiring manager that you are a hard-working, confident, and committed employee.

Don’t forget to include a short statement to summarize why you have changed careers and how your skills make you an ideal candidate for a position.

Step 6: Build a Reputation in Your Desired Industry

Improve your career prospects in a different industry by attempting to build up a strong reputation. For example, attend various seminars and other events across the field to get to know professionals at all levels.

Also, engage with members on LinkedIn, cold-email senior leaders asking for career advice, and even join industry coffee meetings to build a rapport with others. It could help you find a new job opportunity, form connections at different organizations, or receive tips on how to secure your dream role.

Step 7: Embrace Your Past Career History

Many professionals make the mistake of playing down their past careers or act like it was a huge mistake. Yet, you likely picked up various skills in the industry and learned from many experiences.

While the position might not be your future, you shouldn’t be ashamed of your past. Instead, highlight the lessons learned during an interview, which could impress a potential employer.

Step 8: Practice Patience and Perseverance

Changing careers can take time and may require patience. You will not only need to expand your skills and experience, but you must prove to a hiring manager you are the right person for the job. While voluntary experience or a degree could help you walk into a role with ease, you may need to wait a few months or more to switch occupations.

While this might mean you must remain in your current job a little longer than expected, your patience and perseverance will pay off in the long run. If you boost your knowledge, gain relevant experience, and create an impressive resume, a hiring manager will snap you up for a role eventually.