Changing careers can be very difficult, especially in this uncertain economy. Your reason for changing careers will have a lot to do with how well you transition. Are you changing industries or just positions? Are you staying with the same company or moving to another organization all together? Have you made this decision because you want a change of pace or is the change based on unemployment? Whatever your reason for this change equip yourself with a career guide to guide you through the process.
In human nature it is a given when we are forced to take an action not otherwise considered, resentment may become a factor. Your attitude towards your career change will make or break your experience. Be sure you are at peace about the decision. Even if it is not your decision try to accept the potential benefits that will come from the change. Common career changes include industry change; position change and entrepreneurship.
Changing industries can be the most complicated. If you have 5, 10, 15 or 20+ years working in a particular industry, you might feel out of your comfort zone in a new industry. Not to worry however. If you are going to a new industry with the same position or title, then you will only have to become familiar with a new commodity and company. In such cases your acquired skills are transferable and the transition will be a smooth one for you.
Your focus will be to learn and understand the product or service your new company offers. If your new position and company have nothing to do with your experience then you will need to prove how your experience and education can be used to succeed in the new role.
A new position within the same company or the same industry is the easiest of career changes to make. This means you already have a solid understanding of your industry and will only have to become more familiar with a new aspect of the business. Moving laterally within a company, adds to your overall experience, creates job security (can I say that in November 2009?) and keeps your benefits in place.
You now meet the requirements for your old position and the new one. In addition, it always looks good on a resume to show that you took on more than one role in a company. Though a lateral move might not come with more pay or perks, it will certainly give you a new perspective, challenge and perhaps keep you employed if your old department is being phased out.
Entrepreneurship isn’t normally considered a career change, but it is. If for any reason you have decided to leave your full time or part time position to start your own business, then you are indeed changing careers. You may be branching off from your current occupation, or a side gig has turned into a full time opportunity.
Whatever the reason, I congratulate you. A career change to entrepreneurship can be extremely smooth if you were conducting business part time before taking it to the next level. If your venture is brand new, be sure to conduct a lot of research. Most people don’t start businesses they aren’t familiar with, so I’m sure you have more than an inkling of what you’re doing. My only suggestion for such a transition is to be organized to help keep your costs low. Overhead alone can be enough to keep a new company from breaking even, making a profit and staying afloat.
Want more information to improve your job search? Check out our Job and Career Guide page with more My Career resources.