What is one tip you have for someone looking to launch into a new career?
To help you launch into a new career, we asked career coaches and successful entrepreneurs this question for their best insights. From finding your transferable skills to talking to those who know you, there are several tips that may help you break into a new profession.
Here are nine tips to help you move into a new career:
- Find Your Transferable Skills
- Don’t “Fake it Until You Make it”
- Turn “What I’ve Done” Into “What I can do for You”
- Start Building Your Network Early
- Write Down Your Then, Now, and Next
- Research, Listen, and Network
- Upskill to Prepare to Launch a New Career
- Ask for Help
- Talk to Those Who Know You
Find Your Transferable Skills
It doesn’t matter if you are going from a pastry chef to an astronaut, every job, every volunteer experience, every class taken, has provided you with a skill that you can bring to another sector of your life. Find those skills from your past experiences and highlight them on your resume and cover letter. If you are having trouble finding these transferable skills, try reviewing job posts you are interested in and see what skills are listed on the job posting that you have. A lot of the time a little creativity is all you need.
Bryor Mosley, Southern New Hampshire University
Don’t “Fake it Until You Make it”
One strategy that a lot of people employ when wading into a totally new area is to fake it until they make it. In other words, they pretend to know a lot more about the industry and role than they do in reality. In my opinion, this is a terrible technique for breaking into a new vertical and gaining the trust of new team members. It is a much smarter play to own your lack of expertise and show some humility, while at the same time expressing your passion to learn and gain experience.
People, especially managers, will respect you more for being humble and genuine than feigning expertise. Most people are smart enough to be able to see right through a phony. Plus, when you try the “fake it till you make it” approach, it just takes one tough question or misstatement to expose you. Don’t run the risk – just own your inexperience and be cool about it.
John Ross, Test Prep Insight
Turn “What I’ve Done” Into “What I can do for You”
A good starting point is your resume. Rewrite it as a skills-based document instead of a chronological listing of your previous experience. Consider a personal website where you introduce yourself with a YouTube video. Create short video case studies highlighting your problem-solving prowess that will help you succeed in your new profession.
Your goal is to reinforce the fact you have the skills to succeed in a new career and previous job titles aren’t significant. Finally, mentally prepare yourself to be looked at like you’re applying for your first “real” job because that’s how many prospective employers will see you.
Joshua Chin, Chronos
Start Building Your Network Early
Having a professional network in your new industry before you make the transition will give you access to more opportunities when you’re ready to make the switch, and your resume is likely to get more serious consideration from hiring managers if you’re referred or recommended by someone connected to the company. This is often a big hurdle for those switching careers since they don’t have experience in the industry, which can make it a challenge to compete with applicants who are already established in the field. You can kill two birds with one stone by attending workshops, conferences, trade fairs, or certification courses that help you gain the skills and knowledge you’ll need in the new industry while making connections with other professionals.
Archie Payne, Caltek Staffing
Write Down Your Then, Now, and Next
The space in time when you are on the brink of launching into a new career is incredibly special. It is a pivotal point where you have this rare view of where you’ve been, where you are now and can see a wide view of what could be next. You have both the benefit of hindsight (to learn from), the benefit of aversion (to understand what isn’t working), and the benefit of motivation (to understand what drives you and what you really value).
This window is temporary, and it’s unlikely that you’ll remember it all when you make a decision and are 1 year into your new career.
So, write it all down. Write down answers to why you did what you’ve done already, what worked, what didn’t, and what you learned. Write down how you feel right now, what sensations arise for you when you think of change, and what feels important to do differently. Write down what you want to take with you for your next chapter and what outcomes you’d love to achieve. Take stock, and enjoy reflecting on your journey in a year!
Hannah Ray, TAKE Coaching Amsterdam
Research, Listen, and Network
Launching into a new career is an exciting endeavor! Some folks are prone to jumping headfirst into unknown territory while others refrain from making impulsive decisions. Know ‘why’ you’re desiring to pursue a new career. Map out questions you have pertaining to this transition and the type of work you expect to be performing in the future. Conduct your own research. Do not blindly rely upon third-party resources from people to companies painting a picture of your desired career.
Engage actively in this learning process by engaging in online and offline forums, network with people in those respective career paths, talk to headhunters representing roles in that respective career sector, weigh the pros & cons of this career choice, connect with institutions (academic & professional) that can share more information; etc. Remember we live in a world where the majority of the population is in “sales mode”. It’s important that you exercise sensible judgment when making this important decision.
Sasha Laghonh, Sasha Talks
Upskill to Prepare to Launch a New Career
Upskilling offers a significant advantage in the modern labor market. Launching a new career is hard. The barrier to entry is often difficult to overcome and this is especially true for individuals who have spent a considerable amount of time in a career they would like to leave behind. These individuals could have plenty of experience but it may not be relevant to another industry.
Employers are mostly considered by this fact. Individuals should want to obtain new skills before they enter a new career for a better chance of success. Getting more formal education can be expensive, but other methods are available. Bootcamps are available for a variety of information economy skill sets such as marketing, coding, sales and graphic design. Upskilling presents a significant advantage for individuals who are looking to enter a new career.
Sean Doherty, Box Genie
Ask for Help
There’s going to be a lot to learn as you begin your journey into a new career. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a manager, coworker, or anyone else. Reach out to other professionals in your desired career on LinkedIn and other business networking platforms—be sure to briefly explain why you’re looking to make a transition and ask well thought out questions—it shows that you are proactive, resourceful, and an effective communicator.
Dan Gray, Kotn Supply
Talk to Those Who Know You
With many companies making layoffs right now, the time is perfect to launch into a new career. Daunting, scary, and something you’ve always wanted to do. The best ideas during times of RIF and redundancy have come out of layoffs. Explore what you are passionate about and where your knowledge is or what you want to learn about. Engage with that space. Contribute and learn. Ask questions and network.
Talk to those who know you well. Family, friends, and colleagues from past and present. Ask them what your strengths are, and what you are great at. Don’t ask what they think about you – just what they feel your strongest self is. Know what you ‘want to be famous for’. Follow it with energy and passion. The rest will follow.
Duncan Evemy, DE Talent Consulting