Changing Careers

A How to Guide

Considering A Change: Exploring Your Options

If you are considering changing careers it is extremely important to explore your options. According to notes taken in a careers class, when changes jobs you have 3 different paths you can take:


  1. If you like your job, but not the employer or company itself, you may want to consider having the same job but for another company.
  2. If you have decided that you just don't like what you are doing, you can consider a new job in a new company.
  3. Your last choice is to completely start over. For example turning a hobby into a career.


Once you have decided which of these three paths you are wanting to take it is important to do research to get an idea about different careers. Harvard Extension Hub suggests talking to people who are in the type of careers you are interested. It also suggests going to seminars, workshops, conferences, etc. that may help you get a feel for the career. When researching it is important to use good sources, a great source for job searches is The Occupational Outlook Handbook. Once you have some careers in mind, it may be helpful to think about the job skills you already have to determine if it is something you would already know how to do or easily learn and put your skills to good use.

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Developing a Plan: Mapping your Moves

Once you have found a career you are interested in, you will need to plan how to get there. Start looking for job openings, applying for jobs, and setting up interviews. According to the notes, you need to plan interviews around your current work schedule. Try to set up interviews for times when you are not working. If it is not possible to have the interview without missing work, take a personal day, NOT a sick day. If you call in sick and someone happens to get word that you were at an interview it can cause issues at your current job. It is also important to edit your resume. You probably already have a good resume made, but it will be important to add any new experience you have had since you made the resume.
How to Change Careers: 5 Tips from a Career Advisor
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Making the Change: Burning No Bridges

When changing to a different job, it is important not to "burn bridges" with your current employer. You may need them to give you a goo recommendation and if you have left a bad impression on them, it is unlikely the will speak highly of you. It is also possible that you could end up going back to the employer at a later time, in which case you want them to remember you as a good employee. To make the change from one job to another without burning any bridges you should be honest with your current employer. Explain to them what the new job is that you are taking. You should also give your employer and explanation as to why you are changing jobs.


According to Careerealism one thing you can do to keep from burning bridges with your employer and the company is to thank everyone for the opportunities you have been given at this job. It is also extremely important to turn in a formal resignation letter and give your employer notice that you are leaving (it varies how much notice they will need often around a two week notice, some may require more, some less). Another thing you should do before leaving is making sure you work hard. Do not leave the job slacking off just because you are leaving soon.

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Beginning the New Journey: Showcasing Your Experience

Once you have started your new job you want to impress you employer from the first day. Forbes suggests getting to know your co-workers. It is not so important to know their pets' names or their favorite color, but it is a good idea to learn what position they are in and how you will be working with them. By speaking with co-workers you will learn things about the business that will be helpful in the future.


One way to showcase your experience is to make sure you put your best effort into everything you new employer asks you to do. You do not want to slack off, especially in the beginning, this will keep you from impressing your employer.


In the Forbes article it also suggests putting in extra hours. If you spend extra time working instead of getting to work at the latest time possible and leaving the earliest you can, it will show to your employer that you are a dedicated worker. Putting in extra hours can show that you are not trying to do the bare minimum with this job.

Did You Know 3.0 (Officially updated for 2012) HD