Career and Job Search Guide

10 Steps to A Successful Career Change

  1. Assess your current career satisfaction. We highly suggest that you maintain a journal where you keep your thoughts, feelings, and opinions about various situations at work during the day. What do you hate about your job? What do you enjoy? If you're unhappy what are the underlying reasons? Are you unhappy with company management, coworkers, or the company's culture? Read through your journal to determine what steps you can take to improve your current career? If you have decided to make a change, you can rely on your contemplations made before the change to make your new career decision.

  2. Assess your interests, values and skills. If you want to make a career change, take time to evaluate your skills, interests, and values. Changing your career without being aware of your abilities and motivations can be disastrous. You do not want to move from one unsatisfying career to another. It is helpful to determine whether you will utilize your skills and work in a field emphasizing your core values before making a change.

  3. Come up with alternatives. Take time to brainstorm with your family, friends, professional colleagues, and career coaches new career possibilities by talking with them about your abilities, values, and interests. Speaking with others will help you get insight into all the possibilities and alternatives and the risks and benefits from making a career change. You should also take time utilizing internet resources and the library to investigate career alternatives.

  4. Explore a variety of career opportunities. Compare and investigate several careers to discover a few that you should conduct more research into. Determining careers that interest you, emphasize your values, and utilize your skills will make your career change a better experience. To examine various career options visit the career exploration section of this site.

  5. Learn as much as you can about each career you're considering. It is important and usually the first step during a career transition to read about potential new careers, but you need to speak with people in the industry you would like to work in. Meeting with working professionals can provide you with a better idea of what a new career would be like that cannot always be obtained from reading, and you will get a better idea of what you must do to start in that career and whether you will enjoy it.

  6. Shadow professionals in career fields of interest. We highly suggest that you spend some time working with people in careers you are considering. By familiarizing yourself with the career you are considering you can determine whether to pursue it or find a new one. Visit your college career office to find companies that permit job seekers to “job shadow.” Usually, college career offices will provide you with names of alumni members who can help you.

  7. Find volunteer and/or freelance activities related to your target career field. If you would like to be a veterinarian, consider volunteering at a veterinarian's clinic. By spending time doing freelance work or volunteering, you can determine whether the career is right for you.

  8. Investigate job training and education opportunities. A career change will often require people to learn new skills. By ensuring you are qualified for a certain career, you will have an advantage over the competition and avoid costly learning curves. While you are learning about potential educational opportunities, do not hesitate to contact associations and professional groups that can provide you with additional information.

  9. Explore way to develop new skills in your current job. Improving your skills used in your current career will better prepare you for a job transition. Enroll in any education or training programs sponsored by your company. Additionally, get involved in job programs that would further develop skills in high demand in your industry. Always be looking for ways to improve your productivity to impress potential future employers.

  10. Consider other opportunities within your current industry. Say for example you have worked for a construction company for years as a tractor operator and you no longer enjoy it. You could consider working as a project manager instead of beginning a new career. Or, if you have experience with dog grooming and you are not satisfied with your career, you could consider a career providing better opportunities working with animals. If you're an unhappy computer technician, consider a career in sales in a technical field. In most cases, people considering a career transition usually desire better experiences with a career. People can find satisfying careers within their current field.