You started down one career path and you no longer feel that sense of joy that you had when you began. The spark is gone and you are looking to find a job that makes you look forward to going to work again. Perhaps you have already invested in new education to transition you to the new field but you are really concerned that your current resume and LinkedIn profile are lacking.
You struggle to try to frame the accomplishments but instead of showcasing your value, they just sound like a dull set of duties. Or you can’t even come up with ideas to create the transfer. In your heart, you know you passionately desire to work in the new field but you just can’t seem to find the right way to tell the next employer.
How do you transition to a new career?
As an expert in career marketing, when I listen to a prospective client talk about trying to do a career transition or career reinvention, I start thinking about what we need to put in place to make that transition happen. Though there are times when the prospect has already taken steps to gain new education, they may feel they don’t have any solid experiences to make that change. But I have seen transformations happen for people at all levels of careers and from multiple different careers.
Orchestrating a successful career transition
Last year, a client really wanted to use her Masters degree in Public Administration in a healthcare setting or government setting struggled but her current role was as an Operations Manager for a company that specialized in delivering Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) customer contact management solutions. She didn’t see her accomplishments until I started probing and found ones like this:
As the Operations Manager for call center launch in the Philippines, overcame multiple obstacles despite the cultural challenges and a new management role. The client heralded launch as one of the most successful overseas launches.
Finding your own accomplishments is often the hardest part of resume writing. When most people look at themselves, they don’t necessarily see the things they have done as accomplishments. They are looking for the glowing moment when they stood on the company podium getting accolades from the CEO as the accomplishment. What they should be looking for is the improvement that they put in place that changed the process from failure to success. It is those things that keep companies running in the black.
This client ended up with a new role in healthcare management and an opportunity for future growth as she continued to develop new accomplishments and stories for her future resumes.
5 steps to prepare for a successful career transition
- Your Resume — is it supporting the kinds of skills and talents that management would look for in that kind of role?
- Research the field and decide which keywords fit your field and ask yourself if you can find ways of weaving those words into your Professional Strengths or keywords sections.
- Thoroughly read the job description to see what they are looking for in the position of your dreams. Start thinking of how your present skills match their needs and what stories you can share to prove the skills.
- Make sure you mention any training and education you have had in the field, including individualized reading and training you have found on your own. In today’s world, there are many ways to learn skills and knowledge is much more accessible than any other time in history.
- Incorporate volunteer roles you have had that fit the industry’s and position’s needs.
- Your Cover Letter — this is the place to explain your passion and why you would like this particular role.
- Your LinkedIn Profile — Don’t forget your value-infused LinkedIn profile that speaks not only to your current job but to your passion.
- Your Network — When you know that you want to move on, cultivate connections in your target field. Take the opportunity to build connections, join organizations that fit the target and attend meetings or training. Gather your partners, people you trust to help you sort through the options.
- Your Social Media Presence — Increasingly, it is becoming clear that building a positive online presence in not only LinkedIn but on other social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) will help you transition. Employers and hiring managers as well as recruiters are finding social media to be the source of passive candidates.
Can I transition to a new career?
Yes, approach it like a project and figure out the road map and plan to get you from point A to Point B. You have more resources than you know. If you are struggling, consult an expert who has guided and executed many successful career transitions and can help you over the bumps and help you manage your stress. Expect it to take some time and investment but in the end you will be able to follow your passion and be in a job and career you love!
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