5 Roadblocks for Career Changers to Overcome
You’ve been working in your career for what feels like forever. And truth be told, you’re itching for a career change. But myriad thoughts and fears are preventing you from taking that next step. While you might face some bumps in the road as you make the transition from your old career to your new one, there’s nothing that you can’t do.
Here are just five roadblocks you might encounter on the way to your new career—and how to overcome them.
You’ll need to create a new network.
Up until now, you’ve worked in one field, slowly climbing the corporate ladder. Most of the people you know are also in the same industry, too. So branching off into an entirely new field means that you’ll know no one, right? Wrong. When you’re a career changer, it’s important to keep the contacts you already have while cultivating new ones. You might be surprised at how many people you know who have a connection to your soon-to-be career.
You don’t have any skills you’ll need.
Being a manager is quite different from being a baker. That doesn’t mean that the two careers don’t share common skills, though. Put pen to paper and write out all of the skills you’ve acquired in your previous career. Then, research all the skills you’ll need for your new one. You’ll probably see that both industries share some transferable skills. This should make you feel better about your upcoming career, knowing that you already possess some of the skills necessary to get hired. Read: [amazon template=product&asin=B00QO5K1LS]
You’ll have to start at the bottom.
You’ve worked for several years in your field, scoring accolades, promotions, and yes, new job titles along the way. You’re scared that a career change will bring you back down to the beginning all over again. That’s not necessarily true. Depending on the position that you’re applying for, you might not get a managerial position right out of the gate—but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be serving coffee and making photocopies, either. Research various job opportunities in your desired career field and see which ones you might be qualified for. And remember: starting over doesn’t always equal entry-level.
You won’t get hired because you’re not “qualified.”
One look at your resume and it’s obvious to see that your expertise is in banking, not education. Naturally, you’re concerned that a hiring manager will see this and toss your job application into the trash, or that it won’t make it past the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which might reject your resume outright. One way to avoid this conundrum is to redesign your resume. For starters, switch the format from a chronological one to either a skills-based resume or a functional resume, which will highlight your objective, list your core strengths, and focus on your achievements.
You’re afraid of commitment.
Sure, you’ve been dreaming of changing your career for quite some time now, but what if you dive head-first into it and realize that you don’t love it as much as you thought you would? It’s important to keep in mind that career changers don’t have to view this latest chapter in their career as an all-or-nothing venture. In fact, it might be a better bet to find a flexible job first—even while you’re still employed, if possible. By getting a part-time job, a remote job, or even some freelance gigs, you can test the waters of your new career before committing to it 100 percent.
Change can be scary for anyone, but switching careers can be particularly frightening, especially if you’ve been in your industry for a long time. But by taking the necessary steps, you’ll ensure success (and happiness!) in your new career field, too.
Jennifer Parris is a Career Writer for FlexJobs, an award-winning service that helps job-seekers find professional opportunities that offer work flexibility, such as telecommuting, freelance, part-time or alternative schedules. To learn more about Jennifer, visit FlexJobs.com or tweet @flexjobs.