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In Need of a Career Change? These 7 Steps Can Help You Get There

career-change

Have you been stuck in the same technical profession for years? Whether you are looking for a job with more opportunities or desire to move into a completely new field, making the right moves and staying focused on your goals will be essential to landing your next gig. Here are seven steps you can take to get there.

Start by asking yourself what you want in your next career:

What do you like and dislike about your current role? Do you prefer to work in teams or independently? What are the skills and tasks you find most enjoyable? Create a list of these preferences to use as a reference while you look to make your career switch. 

Consider your personal values:

Perhaps you like your job, but the organization you work for conflicts with your values. Make a list of organizations whose values align with your own. You can typically find this information in a company’s mission statement. Once you’ve determined which organization’s values are in sync with yours, take a look at their job openings and see what opportunities are available that may interest you. 

Check out which industries are growing the most:

This research will give you valuable insight into what fields are providing the best opportunities. You can often find this information through government research— such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment projections— or by researching career websites, which often contain salary data. 

Rebrand yourself as a professional:

Once you know the type of job you want and the kinds of organizations you wish to find employment, rebrand yourself in a way that aligns with your desired position. Be sure to revise your online career profile, business cards, resume, and social media profiles in a way that sends a message to potential employers that you are a good match for them. Your cover letters should also reflect this personal branding. 

Get more experience in your dream job:

A big obstacle people often face when trying to switch careers is not having enough experience in their desired field. To solve this problem, consider picking up related freelance and/or volunteer work. Not only is it a great addition to your resume, it will show prospective employers that you are serious about making a change. As another benefit, you may also increase your network by creating connections in the field. 

However, if the skills are sophisticated and require training outside freelance and volunteer work, consider obtaining a certification or even going back to school. 

Have a plan:

Your next step is to set goals and to be proactive in achieving them. Commit a certain amount of time each day to network, search jobs, and submit your resume. It’s also important to set a mix of both small and large goals. For example, you can make it a goal to submit two resumes a day or submit five per week. You could plan to attend at least one networking event each month or work towards building a more robust LinkedIn profile. Whatever you decide for your plan, be consistent.

Grow your professional network:

To land a job outside your current field, you need to grow your professional connections to include people in that industry. A few ways to do this include using your alumni network, attending local professional events, volunteering, and reaching out to professionals on social media who work in that field. See if they are willing to speak to you and offer you advice.

Switching careers is not easy for everyone. However, knowing what you want, having goals, and staying consistent can help you be much more successful in landing your next job. 

Build Your Knowledge Through Continuing Education

Jumpstart your career change through continuing education and professional development! Making a point to develop new skills can help show potential employees that you’re dedicated to improving within your current or future field of expertise.

Since its launch in 2019, the IEEE Learning Network (ILN) has provided continuing education to technical professionals from around the world. With hundreds of courses available across IEEE, ILN offers the latest in continuing education for engineers and technology professionals who want to advance professionally, refresh their skills, or stay up-to-date with the latest trends.

Explore the courses and start learning today on iln.ieee.org!

Resources

Indeed Editorial Team. (9 November 2021). How To Switch Careers: A Step-By-Step Guide. Indeed.com.

Adamczyk, Alicia. (22 September 2022).  If you want to change careers, start by finding your ‘why’. CNBC.

Liu, Joseph. (2 April 2019). How To Change Careers, According To 50 People Who Made A Pivot. Forbes.

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