Where’s the best place to look for a career? Technology. According to an article in Bloomberg, six of the top ten industries that hire career changers involve technology. As the article notes, these companies are not just looking for employees with technical skills. They need employees with a wide range of skill sets. The trick in a career change is to identify and leverage your transferable skills. For example, negotiation is a skill that can be used in sales, purchasing, and management. It will be used differently in each job function, but the skill will transfer from profession to profession. In some cases, a career changer will need to go back to school for a new degree or certificate. More often, if you can align your transferable skills and experience with an employer’s needs, you can make a career transition. With the unemployment rate going down, now is a great time to make a change.
Most people think about career change in terms of finding work that will be meaningful. They want to follow their passion. That’s a great goal, but any career transition needs to start with this question: How much money do I need to earn? Would-be career changers often ignore this question, and they are shocked to learn that their dream career will not pay enough to let them cover their living costs.
Before beginning a career change, you need to research average pay for the field you are seeking to enter. Develop a realistic budget to see if you can cut your costs. After taking these steps, you can decide if a new career path is realistic or just a dream.
One of my clients is facing a layoff. She’s been with the same company for more than thirty years. For many people, such a transition would be devastating. My client has kept a positive attitude. Through networking, she’s gotten an interview in a new industry. The transferable skills she’s used in retail environments will also work in banking. Her challenge will be to convince interviewers that she can make the transition. The first step is to be flexible enough to think you can make the change. The next challenge in the interview is to convince the employer that you can do the job. It’s never easy. However, many workers make such transitions every day. Give yourself more opportunities – stay flexible.