Have you worked in accounting for several years, but feel your passion is in marketing? Spending years in the same field is great for advancing your career in the same industry, but can work against you when you want to completely change your career path. Although it won’t be easy to go after your dream job years into your established career, it certainly is possible. Before jumping right in, however, extreme planning and work will be needed. To prep for your career transition, try these few tips to work towards getting where you want to be.
Observe Potential Opportunities at Current Workplace
Is the transition possible in the place you already work? Maybe you enjoy your current work environment, but are unhappy in your role. Before completely starting fresh elsewhere, use the connections you already have right in front of you. Reach out to your department of interest and see if there are any projects you can assist with. Any experience you can get in these beginning stages of the transition is helpful. Show your interest to those who already know your awesome work habits. Plus, you never know when an opening could become available. Companies often go with internal candidates when possible.
Change Personal Branding
Your LinkedIn is probably strictly geared towards the industry you’ve spent years mastering. This is where you need to get creative. Try to reword your career accomplishments to relate to your current field, but also towards the field you are pursuing. Evaluate the skills you already have and see if any of them relate to the new industry. If so, move these skills to the top of your list. If you don’t know what skills would attract employers in this industry, review job descriptions of your dream job. All of this applies to your resume as well.
Extreme Interview Prep
You prepare for every interview, but this time it’s different. Since you aren’t a match on paper, you really need to sell yourself. Before you even apply to positions in a different industry, really take the time to study job descriptions. Figure out what skills and certifications are a must. Take training courses on unfamiliar software programs, read relevant books, follow speakers and writers on social media, and attend related networking events. You need to do your homework and convince the interviewer that you are passionate about this new field and you know what you’re talking about. This takes time, but will be worth it.
With no experience in the field, your resume is going to be tossed to the side or not seen at all, as applicant tracking systems are looking for specific credentials. You’re going to have to make as many personal connections as possible with hopes someone can get your resume reconsidered. Have all family and friends spreading the word about your career goals. If you have a strong relationship with a recruiter at a staffing firm, reach out to them as well. If the agency has openings in the industry you desire, they might be able to present you to their clients already knowing your great work ethic. And if not, your recruiter may have some great tips for your transition.
Deciding to change your career path is a huge commitment, but don’t give up! There will be plenty of rejection, frustration, and exhaustion, but your overall happiness with be worth it in the end.