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Career Change Tips

It seems the new axiom of career management is: the only constant is change. The Department of Labor reports that the average person will make 5-7 career changes during their working life. Millennials (born 1977-1997) are expected to experience even more change. Ninety-one percent of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years, and consider career and job changes to be one-in-the-same, according to a Future Workplace study.

For those looking to make a change, finding a career of interest is only part of your challenge. You still have to convince an employer that you are the right candidate. If you are thinking about making a switch, here are three tips to help you start on the path of your career change:

  1. Skills: Look at your past positions and develop a list of your skills. This means looking beyond job duties and tasks that are industry specific and identifying discreet skills that would be of valuable in your new desired career. It might help to look at a description for your desired job and see what skills are desired. Chances are you have more of them than you think.
  2. Network: When considering a career change, leverage your professional network. Reach out to people already working in your desired field and find out what skills and qualities are most desired. If you don’t have direct contacts chances are someone in your network does. These contacts might even be able to share information about job openings. Also, join online groups that discuss issues and challenges in your new chosen career. This will give you insights you can leverage during interviews and theses groups give you another avenue for networking.
  3. Experience: The best asset career change candidates have is their experience and success. Employers want to hire people who can deliver results. Consider your past positions and pull out specific challenges you faced and resulting successes. Also, think about how your experience relates to the industry in which you want to work. Despite moving from one industry to another, there are some commonalities. For example, helping an organization expand its market presence and open new offices has some common expectations and challenges - no matter what industry or field.

Changing careers or industries can be a challenge. Use these tips to inform your strategy and ensure you make the transition as easy and successful as possible.