How to Change Careers

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

careertrend article image

Changing Careers Is Intimidating, but Often Worthwhile for Professional Satisfaction

When you’re a working mother, you have many obligations—responsibilities related to family and friends, priorities for your children’s academics and extracurricular activities and a duty to care for yourself. With all these responsibilities, you don’t want to be stuck in a career or industry that you don’t enjoy. Therefore, you might be considering a career change, an exciting but daunting possibility.

A 2015 national survey from University of Phoenix School of Business found that 59 percent of working adults and a whopping 73 percent of employees in their 30s are interested in changing careers. It’s a difficult leap to make, but changing careers can improve the quality of your life, as well as that of your family. Research the top ways to successfully enter a new career.

Research Potential Industries

If you don’t already have an idea of which career you would like to go after, the first step in changing careers is to learn where the opportunities lie. While not impossible, it will be harder to change careers in an industry that’s already highly competitive. Therefore, you should do some research into expanding markets to find out where demand is high. For example, employment of nutritionists and dietitians is projected to grow 15 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than average for all occupations, which means there is more opportunity in that field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook tracks employment trends and is a good source for this type of information.

Audit Your Skills

Before making any big leaps, take stock of your top qualities and skills. There are a couple ways to go about it: You might take the type of tests that human resources departments administer, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the Campbell Interest & Skill Survey, or you could meet a few current or former colleagues for coffee and ask their professional opinion about your talents. At the same time, ask if they have any ideas as to occupations that you could succeed in. This serves another purpose, as it alerts your network that you’re in the market for a new position, which could lead to new connections.

Consider Schooling

If you don’t have a college degree, your new career might benefit if you obtain one. However, you don’t have to jump into a bachelor’s degree program. Plenty of certificate programs are available that could help you when shifting into a new industry. As a parent, you can save time by finding a program that’s entirely online, even if you decide to go for a full degree. Look for a college that’s accredited.

Review and Revise Your Resume

Don’t go to an interview for a new career with the same old resume you’ve been using for years. Tailor the resume to the new industry by looking at the skills and qualities that are valued in the profession and then highlighting those that you possess.

Consider revamping your resume into a functional resume, rather than a resume in chronological order. This promotes your qualifications for the new career, rather than simply listing everything you’ve done.

Avoid Rash Decisions

You shouldn’t linger in a career that doesn’t make you happy; however, you shouldn’t make a rash decision when it comes to shifting jobs or industries. Before you make a leap, ask yourself why you don’t enjoy the career you’re currently working in. Is it a bad week, or is something deeper going on? It could be a bad boss, but that’s improved by simply changing jobs, not careers. Consider what will make you satisfied in your professional life, and then make decisions appropriately.