Changing Careers

A How To Guide


Are you unhappy at your job? Well, don't think you have to stay at one job. The average worker only stays at a job for 4.6 years (Harvard). Make a change! This information will help you in making a smooth transition into the next step in your life.

Steps that you need to follow:

Considering a Change: Exploring your options

A tip that is advised is self assessment. It is important to look at your old job and decide what it is that you liked or didn't like. This could help you in finding a new job or place of employment. Looking at your interest and values is a piece to the puzzle in figuring out what you want to do.

Also, think about your wants and needs. What is it that you enjoy doing? Is money a factor?

Here are several websites that could help with self-assessment:

After you figure out what you want, it is time to research the job or place. Become an expert and find out as much as possible. Some ways to do that could be:

  • Talk to people who have these jobs already.
  • Go online and research these careers. (The annual Occupational Outlook Handbook is an excellent source of career information.)
  • Attend seminars or classes that are available in your field.
  • Read relevant articles or trade publications.
After you research, decide which career best fits you. Consider bringing elements of your former job. This could help you decide instead of a totally different field, you could move rolls or jobs in the field you are currently in.

Developing a Plan: Mapping your moves

Decide which career path is for you, and develop a specific plan with steps to get you there.

In any career you choose, you need to figure out how to transition into the new job. This could be by an internship, volunteer, or part time work.

Another option is to stay in your current job and offer to do extra projects. An informal interview is a good way to get yourself noticed. Many employers like to hire people they know, wether it is personally or through their network. Making connections can help you land a job.

Do a reality check. Look at the support system and conditions, and make sure that the steps you want to take will be easiest for you.

To learn more about these two topics:

Click here to get a more detailed page on these two topics. (This is where my information came from)

Making a Change: Burning no Bridges

It is often hard for employees who hate their job

(or place) not to march in the boss's office and say, "I quit!" and leave. Except, anything less than giving two weeks notice that you are leaving is considered bad form.

Before you leave, you should tell your boss first. It would be bad for the boss to hear from someone else. Another tip is to not gossip. Don't tell different stories to different groups about why you are leaving. Tell your reason and stick with it.

Even though you are leaving, you should not slack off at work. The last weeks are your last responsibilities at work, and you want to leave off on a positive note.

Here are things to always remember:


  • Give at least two weeks notice and — if your schedule allows — offer to work longer to create a smooth and orderly transition
  • Collaborate with your boss to figure out the best use of your remaining days and how you should tie up loose ends
  • Be thankful about what you learned at your job and openly express gratitude to colleague


  • Give different reasons to different people — stick to one story about why you’re leaving
  • Be dishonest or overly secretive about your next move — your boss and former colleagues will find out where you’ve landed soon enough
To learn more about burning bridges:

This link is a more detailed link from where this information came from.

Begin the Journey: Showcase your Experiences

At this point, you should have an updated resumé that showcasing your past work experiences and new skills that you gained from that job. This might help you in getting the next job. One thing to remember is to never quit your former job until you for sure have the new one. When you go for an internship or interview, make sure to mention the skills you have received over the years. Now, it is time to make the move.

Now it is time to make a smooth transition!