Now that the New Year has come and gone, many professionals are thinking about changing careers or re-orienting their direction. Career change can be a tricky, even for the most talented of job seekers and career professionals. I hope this article will shed light on some different alternatives to make your career move.

Five Different Ways to Change Careers


When thinking about changing your career, there is no perfect approach for everyone. There are many different avenues to take, and more than one may work for you.


The prospect of a career change can appear to be a daunting, overwhelming process that can be difficult to experience and one that can take much effort and time. However, because there are several ways to accomplish this, you can reach your goal without an ample dose of stress.


Once you have completed the self-exploration phase (analyzing your motivated skills, interests, values, motivators, and personality), you’ll be ready to move forward toward your goal. Here are several different options for changing careers:

1. Volunteer. One way to try out a new career or field is to engage in volunteer work in the new arena. This method will place you in a position or organization that intrigues you. It will provide you with an unlimited view into how this type of work fits your interests, passions, and goals. And it will provide you with insight as to whether your skills match up to this type of position. At the same time, volunteering can open up new networking avenues for you, which may be useful later if you decide to pursue this field on a more permanent basis.


2. Work Part-Time. A similar approach would be to keep your current job (or a reduced-hours version of your current job), and then start working part-time for a company you are interested in or in a job that you desire. So much work is contracted out that you can get experience working in a prospective career through freelance and/or temp work. It may make your schedule busier, but it also will bring in some money and give you experience to add to your resume.


3. Transfer. If you like your company but just don’t like your job (i.e. the skills you are using on a daily basis), how about looking at the possibility of transferring within your company? You could first take on additional duties to show your boss and other supervisors in your company that you are capable to doing more, willing to assume more responsibilities, and ready to move up or laterally to a new position. Letting supervisors know that you would be interested in a certain type of job builds an avenue of communication that could help lead to an effective job transfer or promotion.


4. Start Studying. Another method of changing career involves formal education and/or additional professional development. If you know your future direction and can afford it, you can go back to college full-time, pick up your new graduate degree, and move on to your new career. If, like the rest of us, you can’t afford that option, you can enroll in a part-time graduate program, and begin networking toward your new career. Also, taking extra individual professional courses, classes, and seminars, or working toward the completion of short-term certification programs will help you advance your efforts to change your career.


5. Rebrand Yourself. If you have identified your future career goals and know how you want to change your career, then you might be able to repackage and rebrand yourself to better meet the required skills and competencies for the new position. In addition to the basic functional skills that you possess to do your job well, you also may have communications, collaboration, leadership, and team-building capabilities that are transferable to almost any profession. Rebrand yourself by highlighting these skills in your resume, networking resume, and in your verbal marketing pitch.

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