Thinking about a career change? You’re not alone. A Indeed survey found that nearly half of full-time workers in the U.S. have made a dramatic career shift in their lifetime, while 65% have thought about it. Those who have made a change cite better pay, greater flexibility, and more opportunity for advancement as motivating factors.
And now, with the economy coming back online after the pandemic and many companies offering more flexible, remote work options, this could be a good time to take the leap. Check out the following tips to help put you on the right career path.
15 Tips to Help You Change Jobs
1. Freshen up your resume
Chances are, it’s been a while since you last updated your resume. Not sure where to start? Check out these six tips to refresh your resume or these helpful suggestions on powerful ways to update your resume. Don’t forget to craft an effective cover letter, as well.
Resumes can be a mental hurdle for many, but you can always start small with simple updates (adding your recent employers, for example). Before you know it, you’ll have a fresh resume that showcases all your skills and experiences.
2. Analyze your strengths
Make a list of your strengths and think about how to turn them into superpowers. Maybe you’re great with kids or have an uncanny ability to come up with clever marketing slogans. No matter where your strengths lie, make sure they make it to your resume, and you practice talking about them for an interview scenario.
3. Identify your weaknesses
Most interviewers will ask about your weaknesses in addition to your strengths. Plan ahead by taking a close look at where you struggle — here’s a list of possible options. Then, brainstorm ways to turn them into strengths during an interview. Showcase your emotional intelligence to potential employers by addressing your weaknesses head-on.
4. Get informed
If you’ve been hearing “it’s a tough job market out there,” things have been changing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, labor productivity rose in 45 states and the District of Columbia in 2020. This marks the highest number of states with positive productivity growth since 2010. A strong GDP is expected for the remainder of 2021, as states continue to reopen. Check out five industries that are hiring like crazy here.
5. Be proactive about resume gaps
Whether you took a few years off to be a stay-at-home parent, backpacked around Europe or simply needed a break between roles, be upfront about any gaps on your resume. Take a few minutes to think about how those transferable skills could be an asset in your dream job. Did your world travels sharpen your budget and time management skills? Maybe time at home with an elderly parent or little one piqued your interest in the healthcare field.
Whatever the reason for a break in your resume, just be forthcoming about it. During a job interview, potential employers will appreciate a thoughtful, honest response to resume gap questions.
6. Invest in a career coach
Whether you already know what you want or you need help determining a future career path, a career coach can help. A coach will work with you to identify potential fields and positions, craft your resume in preparation for a career change and find ways to get exposure, such as informational interviews and shadowing opportunities.
7. Tap your network
One of the best ways to make career connections while job hunting is to tap into your network. In today’s social media-centric world, it’s easier than ever to connect with friends, classmates, and former coworkers. In-person and virtual networking events can also help your name jump out to hiring managers. Follow the do’s and don’ts of using social media to find a job to make sure you don’t jeopardize your current role.
8. Utilize LinkedIn
LinkedIn has 756 million members and more than 57 million company profiles, making it the leading social media platform for job seekers and career changers alike. Start by updating your LinkedIn profile to attract potential employers and recruiters in your new field. You can also use it to research companies — many post updates that showcase their culture and advertise open positions.
9. Answer recruiter calls
Recruiters — sometimes known as headhunters — get paid to help companies hire mid- to executive-level roles. If you’re considering jumping into a new industry, it can help to connect with recruiters in that space. LinkedIn offers helpful tips and tricks for how to effectively engage with recruiters.
10. Explore remote job options
As the world slowly emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional office landscape has changed forever. According to LinkedIn statistics, there are more than 300,000 remote job postings in the United States — a 6X increase from March 2020 to December 2020. Expanded remote job opportunities can open new doors and give you a chance to achieve better work-life balance.
11. Look internally to change jobs
If you love your company but feel uninspired by your current role, talk to human resources about any new positions available or coming soon. Changing jobs within the same company allows you to keep your healthcare benefits, vacation days and other perks. Typically, you’ll want to make sure you’ve been in your current role for at least six months before making an internal career move.
12. Ask for career advice
Many successful people have achieved success by asking for career advice. Mentors, industry experts, managers, and directors — all can offer unique insights for how to successfully change careers or advance in your industry. Keep in mind that you might not be the only person requesting their insights, so make sure to be thoughtful with your career advice requests.
13. Practice makes perfect
Say “yes” to interviews when you’re looking to change jobs — even if you’re lukewarm about the role. Answering interview questions can be great practice for the real deal. When your dream job presents itself, you’ll have interview experience under your belt to help you land that role. These interview suggestions will help shine when the big day arrives.
14. Identify your career goals
Set aside a little time to craft your career goals. Understand why you want to change roles and what job satisfaction looks like in your ideal future. Ask yourself what you see yourself doing five or ten years from now — and what would make you happy. You may need to update your goals at least annually as your skillset grows and new opportunities become available to you.
15. Don’t give up!
If you’re unhappy in your current job, don’t despair. Take small steps to feel more in control of your career — an online class, a new certification, or an informal chat with a supervisor about growth opportunities. Figure out what skills you need to learn, set a goal, and go after it. Taking on a new challenge and learning in-demand skills shows initiative and can quickly boost your career.
Is changing careers in your future?
The economy is on an upswing, with new jobs being added monthly and more flexible opportunities available than ever before. Start your job search today — your dream career path is within reach!