How To Successfully Launch A Career Transition

Managing a career transition can be a rewarding process, if you're realistic about what it takes to successfully transition to a new industry or job. Learn how to drive your career in a new direction.

To begin, it's important to understand that not all career transitions are created equally, and many factors come into play when considering your individual situation. But, if you follow a few basic steps, you’ll meet with success when making a major change in your career.

When you begin your journey of making a career transition, take time to map out a plan and build a strategy. Transitioning to a new field, career focus or industry isn't easy, but it is possible. With the right strategy and tools your transition will go much more smoothly and you'll feel more prepared to launch your job search in a new field.

Craft A Resume Geared Towards Your Career Transition Goals

If you're changing industries or job functions, you cannot use the same resume you had previously used to land your current position. You'll need to create a resume that is targeted to your new industry and desired position, while making a massive overhaul to the content on your resume. It's important that your new resume reflect your skills and capabilities, while also highlighting skills that can be transferred to your new field of focus.

  • Outline your transferable skills. You cannot expect a hiring manager to understand how your background relates to their needs. If they cannot immediately understand how your background transfers to their industry and open role, they will toss your resume.
  • Be creative with bridging the gaps between your past positions and the new industry and role you'd like to move into.

Network With People In Your New Industry and Desired Position

When you're planning a career transition, begin networking with people who currently work in your desired industry. Making industry connections will help you broaden your base of knowledge through engagement in networking groups, events and trending articles.

  • Connect with people on LinkedIn working within your area of interest. Be frank with new contacts and let them know you're beginning a career transition within their field and are hoping to network with professionals in their space.
  • Attend a networking event or tradeshow. Events that focus on the industry you're looking to transition to will help you better understand the current market and educate you on industry trends, concerns and market shifts.

Adjust Expectations

The biggest deal breaker for most professionals exploring a career transition is the reality that they will be facing a lateral move or even a step backwards when changing industries and career focus. If your current position and industry doesn't closely align with your new area of interest, a decrease in title and/or compensation is very likely.

  • If you're completely shifting gears, brace yourself for a scenario that won't provide you an immediate promotion or step up in pay. Employers look for candidates who can hit the ground running. When you're moving into a new field, you'll need extra training and time to get up to speed. Because of this fact, you most likely will not be brought in at the same level you enjoy in your current position.
  • If you're chasing your dream and are passionate about your new endeavor, forget the title. Don't let a job title stop you from accomplishing your goals. Once you are up to speed in your new industry you will have the opportunity to grow and increase your compensation.

A Career Transition Requires Dedication And A Plan

A career transition isn't as easy as changing your resume and applying for new positions online. You need to approach your job search more directly, with more effort and more dedication.

  • Applying to job boards remains a good way to respond to open roles, but only if your resume is targeted to the position and highlights why you're a must interview candidate. Human Resources will have hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of applicants. Your resume has to stand out as a fit, especially if you're transitioning to a new focus or field.
  • Be prepared to reach out to employers and hiring managers directly. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone to open a door. Sometimes a career transition requires an explanation beyond your resume.
  • Plan your transition. Set goals, targets and forward progression actions to help you reach your goals. If you simply state “I want to begin a career transition” and cross your fingers, nothing will happen. Build a strategy with actionable goals and you'll see progress.

Find Happiness

If you're considering a major career transition, I'm guessing you're bored at work, unhappy with your career in general or just ready for a change. If that's the case, keep in mind that while a career transition isn't the easiest career move you can make, in the end, you won't regret the time and effort it took to land your dream job!

Still Struggling With Your Career Transition

If you're transitioning to a new industry or professional focus and spinning your wheels, we can help! An Industry Certified Resume Writer and Career Coach can help you with your career transition by creating a Targeted Resume and Targeted Cover Letter or coaching you on Job Hunt Strategy or Interview Preparation to help you get an edge and move into your new area of interest! Having a professional in your corner who understands career transition management will help you get your footing in a new market!


About The Author

Recognized nationally as an industry leader in resume writing and career coaching, Jeanna McGinnis, CPRW is a Founding Board Member at ReResumeMe and AVP, Career Strategy at A Players Executive Search Group Inc. Leveraging more than 15 years of experience directing hiring practices for multiple Fortune 100 companies, Jeanna and her team are refreshing how busy professionals brand, market and drive their careers. Please connect with Jeanna on LinkedIn or the ReResumeMe team on Twitter to simplify your career with updates on careers, job search and resume best practices!