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Thinking About a Career Change? Here are 5 Tips for a Smooth Start!

Are you at a turning point in your career? Do you hate your job, but are you too scared or confused to make a change?
By clarifying your strengths and exploring careers in demand that need your strengths, it’s likely you can identify career options to find something you enjoy. Here are some tips to make that happen:
1. Identify what you want, what you fit, and what are your options.

  • To figure out what you want, it can be helpful to first identify what you DON’T like about your current or past jobs.  

    • Write a list of what you want and don’t want. On your want list, be sure to include desired earnings, schedule/lifestyle, commuting time, work style, work environment/culture, and other make-or-break factors.
  • Clarify your key strengths to identify work tasks and roles that you fit – include categories, such as, your interests, favorite skills, natural abilities, values, and personality attributes.

    • Create a prioritized list of your strengths in each category.
  • What kind of industry and professional experience do you have? Conduct research to identify areas of your experience that are transferable to other professions and industries.

    • Further explore these professions and industries to select those that best fit your list of what you want. Use these to create your list of career change options.

2. Grow your network.

  • Identify people currently working in professions and/or industries in which you are interested, who could be resources for information interviews.

    • Reach out to your current network of contacts, and search LinkedIn to develop new contacts to find potential resources.
  • Prepare for information interviews by learning something about your resource and select questions to ask about the profession/industry, such as, ‘what are the most important qualifications to enter this field?’

    • Additionally, prepare for questions your contact may ask you, including, ‘Tell me about yourself.’  
  • Attend networking events related to your careers of interest. These will offer you the opportunity to make new contacts in your career interest areas and learn more about the careers.

    • When you’re ready to make the change, having these new connections can be helpful in getting interviews and guiding you toward job opportunities.

3. Sharpen your skillset.

  • Are you a little rusty on some skills, or are there new skills to learn, which would be helpful in making your change?

    • Take a course to brush up on those skills. This will give you an added bonus for your resume and a competitive edge in the job market.

4. Refine your resume and cover letter.

  • Has it been a while since you’ve taken a look at your resume?

    • Review current resume templates – update yours accordingly and ensure it fits the jobs to which you’re applying. Also – create a cover letter template so it’s faster to tailor cover letters to fit the specific skills/experience for each job.

5. Prepare for interviews.

  • If it’s been a while since you’ve interviewed, do some practice ‘q & a’ while speaking aloud. It’s essential to ‘hear’ yourself, in order to increase your comfort level and articulation.

    • This can make a big difference to help you feel more confident when you walk into that interview, especially if it’s been a few years since your last one.
  • Are you looking for help, guidance, and support in exploring and/or making a career change, but unsure where to start?  Marilyn would love to help. To schedule a complimentary 10-minute introductory meeting or your full 45-minute consultation please email Marilyn at: or call (847) 322-8292.