Job Advice

Changing Careers: Where to Start

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May 15, 2016

Let’s face it, career transitions can feel pretty scary. You might have doubts or not know where to even start. Before you jump in, here are three things to keep in mind: 

1. Know what you want.

Find a quiet spot where you can do some deep thinking about your current situation. Make a list of what you like and dislike about the job you have. Look for patterns in past employment, hobbies, and areas of interest to identify what fulfills you most. After all, there’s no point in leaving one lackluster career for another. Whittle down your list until you have defined the non-negotiables—those career characteristics that you are not willing to budge on. 

2. Start small.

Don’t get paralyzed by the big picture. Once you’ve thought about where you want to go, take action! Set some realistic goals for yourself. Maybe it’s three hours of research to be done, five phone calls to be made, or tweaking your resume this week. Baby steps are fine, but just keep moving.

3. Think outside the box.

Conventional job search techniques aren’t always ideal for major career transitions. So instead of scouring the Internet or sending your resume into space, consider the people you already know. Ask friends or acquaintances about job shadowing, volunteering, or interning in a new field. Reach out to someone new and ask if you can pick their brain over coffee. Or, consider joining a professional or networking group to meet others. Another option would be to find a temp position in your desired career field with a staffing firm like That’s Good HR. Temping can be a great way to give a new job or field a whirl. 

Whatever you do, don’t lose sight of the fact that you own your career. The reins are yours. You might feel overwhelmed in the face of transition, but think of it as a journey rather than a quick trip. Take the time you need to look at the big picture, and then get going on proactive steps toward your goals. Having a clear vision will empower you to build the future you want.