Tips for Landing a Career in a New Field If you're looking for a new job or exploring another career path, these tips can help make you a more desirable candidate for your next industry.
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Nobody's career path is the same. Wanting to change to a new field is more common than you think, and it's possible regardless of your current role or what you studied. Diverse backgrounds in certain fields can lead to innovations and process improvements.
While starting something new can be nerve-wracking, making the jump could be one of the best decisions you've ever made. No matter your background, your experience offers valuable contributions.
Depending on how aligned your current field is with your next step, you may need to start over in an entry-level role to gain more experience. Searching online job boards like ZipRecruiter and setting realistic expectations when switching fields is essential. When creating your resume, you'll want to showcase transferrable skills, qualities, and experiences that match your desired role. Highlight examples of how what you're doing now aligns with the skills required in your new field.
Whether it's for a higher salary, career growth, looking for a new challenge or following your passion, these tips can help make your transition to a new career field that much easier.
Know the expectations.
This is arguably the most crucial step in the process because it sets the foundation for approaching your job search and determining the required skills. Understand the industry or job you're considering and if what you have to offer is a match. Your research should inform you on how your current experience aligns with your desired field and the educational gap you'll need to fill.
Conduct informational interviews.
Informational interviews are informal conversations with someone in a career you are considering. They provide insight into roles, companies, and industries you're considering.
They can also help build your network. You'll have the opportunity to learn what it takes to be successful in their field, what the day-to-day might entail, and the paths to get there. Don't be afraid to ask the hard questions like what they don't like about their position and things they wish they knew before pursuing a career in their field.
Apply on job search sites.
Savvy job seekers commonly use job search sites to land their dream job. Popular job sites like ZipRecruiter are home to job openings in an array of industries.
ZipRecruiter uses AI matching technology to find companies that match your skillset and keeps you in the loop, so you never miss an opportunity. It's the #1 rated job site in the U.S.1, and it's free to start.
Take online courses.
You will likely need to develop new skills when switching to a new field. Certifications are available for in-demand trades like computer programming, inbound marketing, UX fundamentals and more. Many companies encourage employees to acquire new skills, so if your current employer supports inward mobility, they may offer relevant trainings or subsidize your education to try something new.
Freelance after work.
Freelancing can be a great way to develop your craft, build a client base, get work for your portfolio, and even earn supplemental income. Typical freelance jobs include web development, copywriting, design, accounting, social media marketing and more. The flexibility of freelancing lends itself well to busy professionals with full-time jobs because it allows you to get relevant experience while maintaining employment in your current role.
Apply for internships.
Those who are earlier on in their career may have the flexibility to accept internship opportunities that are paid or unpaid. Companies also offer development programs to help you gain real-world experience and expand your network.
While these opportunities may be short-term, they can be an effective way to receive the knowledge you need while getting your foot in the door.
Whether you're starting from scratch and search on job boards like ZipRecruiter or you're leveraging your own personal connections, landing a gig in a new industry isn't always easy. Keeping the tips above in mind from the beginning can give you a leg up in your search.
1 Based on G2 satisfaction ratings as of January 1, 2022