You may reach a time in your life where you choose (or worse) are forced to change careers. Do not fret. You will encounter some bumps, but with the right motivation and persistence, you can find happiness in your new career. Below is some advice on how to handle any major career changes.
1. Direction is More Important than Trajectory
The first thing you need to do is determine the direction you want to take your career. This can be the most difficult step. Factors include your interests, strengths/weaknesses, education, motivations, and the level of compensation you are seeking/need.
When you determine the career you are seeking, don’t get discouraged if you have to start at the bottom. Patience is key. It is better to start in a career you enjoy with future prospects (i.e., in the right direction) than start in an ostensibly higher position in a career you do not enjoy that you believe (ultimately) is a dead end.
2. Focus on your Transferrable Skills
One of the greatest challenges in shifting careers is your lack of previous work experience. Indeed, employers generally assume that a candidate that lacks experience in a field/industry will be unqualified or require training. That said, job qualities and skills are often transferrable even where the two careers are seemingly very different. Focus on how the skills/qualities developed from your previous employment can be applied to your new career.
3. Ensure your Resume/Cover Letter Plots a Course to Your New Career
Draft a resume and cover letter that is tailored to your new career. Your resume/cover letter should emphasize your transferrable skills/qualities, positive outcomes, relevant education/training (in lieu of relevant job experience), and the reason(s) you should be considered despite a lack of relevant work experience. You should also emphasize previous work history that is arguably transferable (or at least relevant) to your new career path.
4. Networking, Networking, Networking
Meet as many people as possible that work in your targeted industry or profession. Ask friends/ family members to introduce you to people that they know that could give you advice/encouragement. Attend networking events related to the desired industry or profession. Go on LinkedIn and contact acquaintances (or even strangers) for guidance or potential opportunities. The more contacts you make the better the chance of finding someone who can advise you navigate the perils of a new career.
5. Consider Mass Marketing
If done right, mass mail of your resume can be an effective way to change careers. More specifically, sending personalized mail to potential employers can significantly increase your profile and consideration of your resume. It can also demonstrate your initiative and determination to enter a new career field.
MailResumes is a service that can assist you with this. More specifically, MailResumes can help you develop a resume/cover letter tailored to your new career, and then assist you in mailing your resume/cover letter to potentially thousands of employers that meet your job search criteria. For further information on MailResumes, go to www.mailresumes.com