Making a career change is one of the toughest job-search challenges. For clarification, “career change” means much more than “job change.” A career change means choosing a completely new profession or industry. A “job change” is simply changing employers within the same industry and profession.
Why do people change careers? The two main reasons are:
* The industry or occupation becomes obsolete (or is outsourced overseas)
* Job dissatisfaction (If you dread going to work on Monday morning, you’re probably in this category.)
What makes a career change so difficult? After all, most job seekers attempting a career change know exactly why they would do well in a new profession or industry. The problem comes down to communication. Most job seekers have difficulty communicating in their resume their ability to excel in a new career. Resumes, by definition, focus on career experience (history), but career changers need employers to see their expertise (current skills) in order to be viewed as a viable candidate.
If you are attempting a career change, it becomes easier when you understand the ABC’s of career change:
Assess what you want changed.
Before you can make a successful change, you must decide what needs changing. Is it the duties you perform? Your overbearing boss? Your current geographic location? The industry you work in? The size of company you work for? The level of responsibility you hold? Once you pinpoint your exact source of unhappiness, you’re on your way to making the correct choice for change.
Bridge the gap between what you’ve done and what you want to do.
The key to selling yourself based on your expertise rather than your experience is transferable skills. Transferable skills work like bridges to help you cross over from one industry to another or one occupation to another. Transferable skills are those skills you now possess that qualify you as a viable candidate for your career change.
Communicate your ability to excel in your new profession or industry.
Your resume is your front-line communication tool to prospective employers. No matter how well you interview, if your resume doesn’t sell you, there won’t be an opportunity to convince them in person. Use your accomplishments to prove the strength of your transferable skills, and you’ll get interviews faster and with more enthusiasm.
An experienced career coach can help you apply these ABCs to your current resume and your interview skills. Once you practice the ABCs of career change you’ll be on your way to changing your career and changing your life-for the better!