Career Advice

How to Successfully Switch Careers

Congrats on landing the job! There’s just one last step before you start celebrating: accepting the offer. Learn the next steps here.

Leila Le
Published: (Updated: ) - 8 min read
As an Operations Lead, Leila oversees Simplify's blog & newsletter, reaching 100K job-seekers monthly, where she brings experience curating resources for candidates to help them land their dream job.

Photo by Brendan Church / Unsplash

Making a career switch can be a difficult decision to make. You may have doubts and fears over whether you will be successful or not. However, with the right approach and support, anyone can successfully transition into a new field. In this blog post we will explore several steps for making a successful career switch.

How to Know When it’s Time to Change Jobs

Sometimes it’s obvious that you need a career switch, but at other times it’s not so clear cut. In order to make a successful career switch, it’s important to first assess your current situation in order to determine if you are truly ready for a change. Ask yourself if you are feeling bored and unfulfilled in your job or if you have hit a career plateau. Are you feeling stifled and not able to make progress? If the answer is yes, then it’s probably time to  start assessing other options. Switching jobs may be a consideration if you experience any of the following:

Losing Interest

If you find yourself increasingly uninterested in your current job, and no longer feel enthusiastic about the activities you are responsible for, it may be time to consider making a career switch. There could be several explanations for your lack of enthusiasm, such as lack of autonomy or opportunities for growth. Spending more time in a role that you are more passionate about may be a much better option than staying in a job that no longer holds your interest.

Feeling Burned Out

Another sign that you may be ready for a career switch is if you are feeling burned out. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, and exhausted, it could be a sign that you have been in the same job for too long. It could also be an indication that the current job is not a good fit and that a change is necessary. Identifying the root cause of your burnout can help you make an informed decision if a career switch is right for you.

No Room for Growth

If you find that you have hit a ceiling in your current role and there is little room for growth, then a career switch may be the perfect solution. Many times, staying in the same job can be stifling and lead to stagnation. Taking the plunge and making a career switch can provide you with a fresh start and open up countless possibilities for growth. Once you have identified that there is little opportunity for development in your current role, it might be time to start exploring other options.

The Work Isn’t Challenging

Finally, a sign that it may be time to make a career switch is if the work has become too easy. If you find yourself not being challenged by your job and not being able to grow and develop, then it may be beneficial to consider switching to a new position. This can provide you with the opportunity to tackle new challenges and develop new skills, both of which are important when advancing in your career. You may also be able to find a job that is more rewarding and in line with your interests and goals.

1. Consider Your Transferable Skills

When making a career switch, it’s important to consider the skills that you have acquired throughout your career and find ways to transfer them to your new job. Think about what you have learned in your current career and how those skills could be beneficial in a different line of work. You may also be able to find a job that combines the knowledge, experience, and skills that you have accumulated. This can also help you stand out as a candidate, as it shows that you have a unique skillset and diverse experience.

Once you have identified your transferable skills, it’s time to start researching potential career paths. Take some time to explore different industries and jobs, and find one that aligns with your interests, skills, and goals. Doing your research can help you determine which path is right for you and give you an understanding of what to expect during the transition.

2. Determine What You Like and What You Are Good At

It is essential to take an inventory of your interests and talents before making a career switch. Knowing what you like to do and what you are good at can help you narrow down job options and make an informed decision. Think about what you are passionate about and what areas you naturally excel in. Consider if there is a career that combines your interests and talents and would be a good fit for you. This can help you find the best job for you, and make sure you are passionate about the work that you are doing.

Additionally, researching different career paths and industries can give you a better understanding of what each job entails and the potential for growth and advancement. Don't be afraid to reach out to professionals in your desired field and ask for informational interviews. This can give you an insider's perspective and help you gain a better understanding of the day-to-day tasks, requirements, and challenges of the job. It's also important to consider the financial stability and job market outlook of your chosen field. You may want to consider if a career change will bring a significant increase in your income and if there is a high demand for your skills in the job market. Taking the time to consider all of these factors can help you make an informed and confident career switch.

Looking for great companies to start your career? Check out our list of exciting new-grad roles here!

3. Do Research into Potential Fields

Before committing to a career switch, it is important to do thorough research into potential new fields. Doing research allows you to gain an understanding of the industry, the qualifications and certifications you would need, the job opportunities available, and the salary range. It is also important to get a sense of the working environment and culture to ensure it is the right fit for you. Doing your research can help you make sure that the field you are considering is a good match for you.

Additionally, it is a good idea to try to gain some hands-on experience in the field before making a full switch. This can be in the form of an internship, volunteering, or shadowing someone who is currently working in the field. This will give you a better understanding of what the day-to-day tasks of the job involve and if it is something you would enjoy and be good at. It can also help you network with industry professionals and gain valuable insights and advice. Making a career switch can be a big decision, and it is important to go into it with as much information and preparation as possible. Doing your research and gaining hands-on experience can help you make an informed and confident choice.

4. Learn New Skills or Get Additional Certifications

In order to successfully make a career switch, you may need to acquire new skills or obtain additional certifications. This could be anything from attending workshops, taking classes, or obtaining certifications in the new industry. Doing so can give you an edge over other candidates when interviewing for a job and can demonstrate your commitment to the new field. You may even consider taking a gap year or gap semester to gain valuable skills and experience.

Another important aspect of making a career switch is staying current with industry trends and advancements. Staying informed about the latest developments in your chosen field can help you stay ahead of the competition and show potential employers that you are knowledgeable and dedicated to your new career path. Joining professional organizations or attending industry events can be a great way to network with others in the field, build relationships, and gain valuable insights into your new industry.

5. Network With Other Professionals

Networking can be an invaluable tool when making a career switch. Connecting with other professionals in the new field can open up opportunities, expose you to new job openings, and provide you with valuable advice. Professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn, can also be helpful for finding job openings and staying in the loop. Don’t be afraid to reach out and introduce yourself to other professionals in the field, as this can be a great way to make connections and advance in your career.

Networking should not be underestimated when making a career switch. It can be a powerful tool to help you achieve your goals and succeed in your new field. Attend industry events and conferences, join professional organizations, and participate in local meetups and workshops related to your new field. This will give you the opportunity to connect with others who work in the industry and build relationships that can lead to job opportunities and professional advancement.

In addition, utilize online networking tools like LinkedIn to expand your network and connect with professionals in your desired field. Utilize LinkedIn's groups and discussion forums to engage with others and share your knowledge and experience. Consider reaching out to individuals in the field and ask for informational interviews to gain insights into the industry and make valuable connections.

Curious about the benefits of networking? Read our insightful blog post to learn more here!

6. Create an Action Plan

Before taking the plunge and making a career switch, it is important to create an action plan. This will outline the steps you need to take in order to transition successfully to your new field. This can include anything from identifying what qualifications or certifications you need, updating your resume, applying for jobs, and researching potential employers. Having an action plan in place can help make the transition smoother and ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to advance your career.

An action plan will not only help you stay organized and focused, but it will also provide a clear roadmap for your career switch, ensuring that you are taking the necessary steps to reach your goals. By having a well-thought-out plan in place, you can approach the transition with confidence, knowing that you have taken the time to carefully consider all aspects of the switch and are prepared to move forward with your new career.

What does an action plan look like?

A career action plan when switching into a new career typically includes the following steps:

  1. Self-assessment: Take an inventory of your interests, skills, values, and goals to determine the best fit for a new career.
  2. Research: Research potential new careers, industries, and job requirements to ensure they are a good match for your skills and interests.
  3. Networking: Connect with professionals in your desired field and attend industry events to gain insights and make contacts.
  4. Skills development: Acquire the necessary skills, certifications, and training required for your desired career through courses, workshops, or online learning.
  5. Job search: Search for job openings, update your resume and LinkedIn profile, and apply for jobs in your desired field.
  6. Hands-on experience: Gain hands-on experience through internships, volunteering, or shadowing someone in your desired field.
  7. Interview preparation: Prepare for job interviews by researching the company, practicing answers to common interview questions, and dressing professionally.
  8. Evaluation: Regularly evaluate your progress and make adjustments as needed.

A career action plan should be tailored to your specific goals, needs, and timeline. It is important to be flexible and open to making changes as you gain more experience and insights into your desired field.

Find Your Dream Job With Simplify Today

Making a career switch can be a nerve-wracking process, but it can also be exciting and rewarding. Taking the time to properly research and prepare can help ensure that you make a successful and positive transition to a new field. Hopefully, this article has provided you with some helpful tips and advice to make your career switch successful and fulfilling.

Here at Simplify we have the resources and tools to help you make the transition and land your dream job. We provide you with access to our extensive network of vetted professionals and employers, giving you the opportunity to build relationships with the right people and find your perfect fit. We also offer personalized job recommendations based on your profile and skills, so you can find the best roles quickly and easily. With Simplify, you can make your career switch a smooth and successful one.

Which job is right for you? Sign-up on Simplify and get matched with jobs that fit your skills and interests. More than 1 million applications were submitted using Simplify this year – check it out!