You went to school to become a lawyer but then fell in love with the real estate business. You started out as a teacher but then decided to become a nurse. Career changes are normal, thanks to a highly competitive job market, thousands of work possibilities and a multitude of companies needing top talent. When you feel it's time to embark on a different professional journey, consider following a few tips.
Peruse Online Job Postings
Take a look at job postings through online job boards to find out which companies need to hire for a particular position. This gives you an idea of the demand and possibly salary ranges for the type of work in which you're interested. Research the top qualifications for the position to gauge what kind of skills, experience and education you need so you can start planning your career change.
Take Online Courses
Beef up your qualifications by taking online courses. This is especially important if you're interested in the technology or health care fields. Some online classes are free to take, and others are offered by well-respected universities. Your future employer will take notice if you take the initiative to educate yourself and learn some new skills as you progress through a career change. Completing online courses also shows you have the gumption to stick through a project to its conclusion.
Utilize Online Tools
When you embark on a career change, embrace some tools that can enhance your personal brand. Write blogs on LinkedIn, create your own website with a professional portfolio, and consider freelancing to earn money in your new field. Learn how to write a dynamite resume, craft a relevant cover letter and create answers to common interview questions using the plethora of online tools at your disposal. Write a blog about your aspirations, and see what connections you can make with people who went down the same road before you.
Continue to Network
Networking represents one of the best ways to meet people in your job market. Attend industry events in your chosen field, and reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce, because that's a great way to get in touch with people while in the midst of a career change. Because your resume isn't quite ready for a new profession, networking is a great way to share your industry knowledge with people who can recommend you to hiring managers.
Volunteering at a local organization or agency is a fantastic way to build experiences and make connections. Your volunteer supervisor can attest to your skills and work ethic while you're in between jobs or trying to hone skills for your next position. Volunteering also shows that you dedicated yourself to a cause, even without the tangible rewards of a paycheck, which might impress hiring managers in your new industry.
Making a career change doesn't have to be drastic or sudden. Take gradual, measured steps to reach your goals. If you realize that you need to backtrack, that's okay, too, because your current job can be your fall-back position.
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