How to Change Career Paths

Gone are the days when you needed to follow a simple trajectory of college, maybe graduate school and work a similar job for the rest of your career. With democratized knowledge – thanks to the internet – and the rise of online learning platforms, you have the option to learn and pivot your career path at any time you want. But career changing can be complicated, so here are some tips if you’re looking for a different career path:


Identify your skills: The first step in changing your career is to identify your skills beyond just the job title you hold. If you work in marketing for example, you have both analytical and creative skills that can be applied to many different careers. Make a list of both your hard and soft skills.


Take a look at different job descriptions: Surf companies you want to work for and look at the different jobs they have available. Read their job descriptions thoroughly. If there is a responsibility that constantly stands out or resonates with you, that may be a good hint at the kind of jobs you want to apply for.


Decide if you want to change industries: This is an important step in identifying what kind of career you want. If you work in one industry but the same role excites you within a different sector, it might just be about switching industries and not roles. If that is the case, learn any technologies and information you need to know to make the switch effectively and start applying for jobs within those industries.


Use your network: A great place to start discussing career change is to look at your network and see if someone is doing a job that really excites you. If so, get in touch with them and ask what their day-to-day experience entails, and what they like and dislike about their position. Leveraging friends and other people in your network to help with your transition can be a powerful way to foster deeper connections and grow your network.


Explore departments at your current company: Another great way to explore your options is to look within other departments at your current company. If there is a kind of work that interests you, it’s worth asking if you can shadow or do a project in that team. Since you are ultimately hoping for a greater understanding of the overall company, this will likely only increase management’s perception of your value while it exposes you to a different path.