Information for Career Changers

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Information for Career Changers

Making a career change can be a challenge. But it isn’t impossible, and is actually commonplace: most people change careers at least 3 times in their lifetime. It does require special effort on your part to market yourself effectively to potential employers.

Here are some tips to help you make a smooth transition:

  1. Know what transferable skills you have to offer your future employer. While you may think that the skills you were using in your previous industry are now useless, this is definitely not the case. What you need to do is to look at the industry you are applying to, and what skills they are requiring. In the case of the financial services industry, there are several key skills you will need, including communication/interpersonal, analytical, relationship management, marketing and sales, attention to detail, project management ability, and problem solving. These are skills that are found in many industries, and skills you’ve likely used already. Leverage those in your interviews and on your resume, and you’ll have success.
  2. Become a “superfan” of your field. Before jumping into any new industry, learn all you can about it, outside of what you’ve probably learned in the classroom setting. This means you will need to subscribe to industry publications to know more about what goes on in the real world of your field. Also, you should join professional associations pertaining to your field. Most professional associations hold mixers, socials, and conferences for you to attend. Not only will you learn a lot about your industry and continue your professional development, you will quickly build your network of professionals in the field.
  3. Network with professionals in your field. It is one thing to learn about a profession by studying it in school, but it is another to learn about it from someone who is actually doing it on a daily basis. Informational interviews are a great way to learn about the field and add to your list of contacts. One of them may serve as a mentor, while one of those connections may lead to a job.
  4. Have a solid job search strategy, and be willing to move. A well thought out job search plan will decrease your frustration and increase your chances of landing interviews. Also, it’s important to know geographic locations where your industry is centered, and focus your search on those larger areas at first. Know that you may have to make a move to gain entry into your field.

Using these tips will help you move on to your next opportunity more seamlessly. It will require time and effort on your part, but it will open up the next exciting chapter in your life!

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