Making a Career Transition

Making a Career Transition

You hear a lot these days about “hot jobs” – jobs are in increasing demand. You also hear a lot about jobs that have disappeared forever. If you were working in a field that is no longer flourishing, or  if you simply want to move into a different profession that better fits you, you will need to prepare yourself for a career transition.

Step One: Understand Your Skills

Understanding your skills is quite different from knowing what you’ve done in the past. Skills are the talents and abilities you use to complete activities successfully.  Separating your skills from the actual work that you have done is important because it allows you to view capabilities that can be transferred to other jobs and fields.

A print ads account manager’s skills may be accuracy, relationship building, and ability to drive sales. He may also have competency with certain types of software systems or particular industries. All of this makes him a good print ads account manager, but it may also make him good at other things.

Step Two: Determine Where Those Skills are Valued

It can be challenging to picture our core skills being used in new and unfamiliar fields. Research jobs that are predicted to be in demand, considering the skills required and where you might be a match.  Or, dig into a domain for which you have a passion, such as working with non-profit organizations, customer service or technology, and consider ways your skills and knowledge are being used in those areas.  Come up with a list of new job titles and areas where your skills and knowledge would be valued.

Step Three: Create a Connection from Past to Future

To move into a new job title or area, you will need to concretely connect your past experience to the future job. Going back to our print ads account manager, let’s say he decides his skills of accuracy, relationship building and ability to drive sales would be valued in the online marketing business. He will need to demonstrate how those skills and his past successes promise future value in the new business. He may say “My relationship with clients and ability to see their needs and how we can meet them allowed me to increase sales by 80% last year. My account management and pricing experience prepared me perfectly to take on managing online marketing affiliate programs. I have demonstrated my  ability to solve problems for clients and increase company revenue.” Experiment with creating connections and demonstrating how your past successes promise future value in a new capacity.

Step Four: Fill Gaps

As you create that connection from past to future, you may discover gaps. There may be a skill, certification or proficiency that is a requirement for the new area. Be realistic and make a plan for filling any gaps. You may also find you can enter the new job area at a slightly lower level and  quickly experience and move up. It is not uncommon to start a new career path at a level lower than where you were previously. It can pay off quickly if you are targeting an area that is predicted to grow in the future and immersing yourself to soak up everything you can learn.

It is exciting to grow into a new field and develop a new career path. Your upfront due diligence can help you eliminate risks and unknowns and give you a strong beginning to re-launching your career.


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8 thoughts on “Making a Career Transition

  1. Excellent tips Mei, it’s a scary thing switching job sector. Unfortunately most people are so scared that they never get into the field of work that they actually want to, but with these tips hopefully more people will be willing to try!

  2. I happened to stumble upon your blog tonight as I searched for working from home careers. I am currently a teacher who is no longer feeling a joy and passion for it. I am also newly married and want to have children and work from home. This blog couldn’t have been posted at a better time for me. I am going to completely explore your blog and hopefully get myself some insight on what to do and where to go! Thank you!

  3. Glad to hear that you found this blog helpful in your current situation, Allison. Let us know if there are other topics you’re interested in.

    Good luck with your career transition.


    Jill, we also see what you’re point out – people sometime don’t make the career transition they really want because they don’t see how it would be possible for them.

    With thoughtful planning and taking things one step at a time, as we have outlined in this blog, we hope to see people feel more confident taking action to pursue the career they want.


    Thanks for your comments!


  4. Great article. There are a lot of people interested in changing careers, but it does seem like quite a daunting and scary task. This article has broken down the steps to doing this, which should make it easier.

    Connecting past and future is a great tip. Selling yourself on the experiences and skills you already have is a good way of getting a job in a new industry.

  5. Thank you for you Great article.Every person wants to change his/her career.I am also trying to change my life.I have gotten some important information from your post..Thanks for sharing..

  6. Thank you for your important post..There are a lot of people interested in changing careers, but it does seem like quite a daunting and scary task..but if you try you will make your successful one day..

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