Career Transition Advice (4 Tips For A Successful Shift)

Were you recently let go or thinking about a career change?

Change can be daunting, but it can also be highly rewarding. It can play an integral role in our growth as people by challenging us and pushing the boundaries of what is comfortable.

None of that minimizes the challenge, though - especially when it comes to your career.

Follow along for career transition advice that could help move you forward within the work world.

Job Transition

Job Transition


Questions Answered:

  • Types of career transition

  • How do you network?

  • What skills do you have?

  • How do you write an eye-catching resume?

  • How do you have a good interview experience?


It's essential when considering a career transition that you know why you're making the change. Are you unhappy in your current career? Do you no longer find the work rewarding? Did you get fired or let go?

Whatever the root cause, recognizing it is integral to a successful career shift because it will help you better navigate the transition.  

Once you've identified why you're changing careers, figure out what you'd like to focus on instead.

The answer doesn't have to be instantaneous; career searching is a job in itself, and no one pays you for it, so it's important the career you settle on feels right. 

Types of Career Transition

The reasoning behind a career transition can typically be boiled down into one of three buckets.

  1. You were fired or let go from a job and need to find something new

  2. You are unhappy and working at a dead end job you no longer enjoy

  3. There’s a new and better opportunity to explore


Job Transition quit meme

Career Transition Advice (Job Transition)

1. Start Networking within the Industry

At least 70% of jobs aren't advertised, so for everyone you source on LinkedIn or Indeed, there are hundreds of others awaiting discovery.  

Networking is a great way to gather insight into prospective careers. Not all skills will transfer directly from your current job to the job you want, so it's vital to talk to people when considering a career transition.

If you've decided on what the career of your dreams looks like, the people you network with might be able to put you in touch with the right person at the right time, even giving you early access to job openings. 

So network, network, network.



2. Build out your Hard and Soft Skills

It's not all about who you know though. Once you connect to the right person, a big part of career shifting comes down to your qualifications.

These can range from university degrees to any skill set that enables you to perform your job capably. 

Not all skills translate from one job to another.

As you begin your job transition, take some time to familiarize yourself with your skills and sort them into hard and soft skill sets.

What are hard and soft skills?

Hard skills often have something concrete to back them up; a certificate of completion, a words-per-minute-speed, anything that proves your accomplishment.

Soft skills are harder to prove. They include attributes like punctuality and adaptability. Here are a few ways to tell them apart.

Soft skills are:

  • Non-technical

  • Personal

  • Demonstrable over time

Hard skills are:

  • Measurable

  • Immediately 

  • Provable

These hard and soft skills can be confirmed by your references if the potential employer asks. Proving once again that a successful job transition comes down to who you know.

Once you've established what skills you do posses and have sorted them accordingly, it's time to figure out what you need to improve on.

No one can do everything, and a career transition allows you to fill some of those resume gaps.

Is there a course you need to take for your dream job? Acquire a certain certificate? Perhaps you need knowledge of a specific piece of computer software.

Now is the time to brush up.

Luckily, the internet has brought the experience to your doorstep, and never has acquiring information been more affordable or accessible. 

Learn from Others in the industry

Once you've mastered all the skills you need for a successful career shift, the next step is to learn from others within the industry.

By now, you've networked extensively, so start listening to the way people in your career path talk. Are there words and phrases that come up a lot? Perhaps there's some vocabulary you aren't familiar with.

Do your research; if your job transition is successful, you'll likely go to an interview, and to succeed, there's no better strategy than to speak your interviewer's language. 

3. Brush Off and Update Your Resume 

For your career transition to take off, you have to get to the interview stage. That means you'll need to submit a resume and cover letter, even if you've got the ear of the people in charge.

So how do you write the kind of resume and cover letter that will make your career shift, not just a dream but a reality? 

It's all about adaptability. While you may not have all the skills you need for the job you're transitioning to, you're likely to have some of them. Highlight these on your resume. 

One of the best ways to show off what you can do is through accomplishment statements. These sentences encapsulate your work experience and skills throughout previous jobs.

The more specific, the better.

Include percentages, numbers, and job duties to give the prospective employer as much information as possible. 

Be sure to highlight any similarities between your old and new career, but don’t be afraid to shift focus and highlight other, more applicable skills as well.

Remember, as you attempt a job transition, you're trying to persuade a new employer you're a good fit for the job.

Shining a light on certain aspects of past jobs will help make your case, especially if you weave in those specific aspects with real life examples. 


According to BLS, the top 5 fastest growing occupations are Wind Turbine Technicians, Nurse Practitioners, Solar Installers, Occupational Therapy Assistants, and Statisticians.


4. Nailing the Job Interview 

All of this up front work brings you to the interview.

You've written an exemplary cover letter and stand-out resume; now, you're faced with the prospect of an interview and accompanying questions.

A good interview is the lynchpin of your successful career shift, so prepare ahead of time and do your best to stay positive.

Along with your typical interview questions, the hiring manager will almost certainly ask about your job transition - so have an answer ready.

You'll also want to discuss your passion for this new career field while highlighting any relevant experiences from the past. Don’t just list skills and experiences here; use them to tell a story that highlights your capabilities.

Keep all job interview answers simple and relative!


Wrapping Up | How to Navigate a Successful Career Shift

Career transitions can be a long, tricky process to navigate, but they eventually pay off in the form of a new career you will likely love. As you move forward with your job transition, remember:

  • Network, network, network

  • Recognize your skills 

  • Perfect your resume and cover letter 

  • Prepare for interview questions. 

  • Stay Positive 

If your career shift doesn't happen overnight, don't worry. The perfect job is around the corner, about to come calling. 

Best of luck!

 

Title: How to Navigate a Successful Job Transition (Career Shift)

Category: Career Resources

Tags: Career shift, Career transition, job transition, How do you transition to a new job, career transition advice, career change, job change


Author: Reid is a contributor to theJub. He's an employment and marketing enthusiast who studied business before taking on various recruiting, management, and marketing roles. More from the author.