More people than ever are thinking about making a career change. This shift is driven by the desire for meaningful work that aligns more closely with people’s values and abilities. 

If you’re contemplating a career change, you’re part of a growing trend toward reevaluating what work means and how it integrates with personal fulfillment and life goals. 

Yes, changing careers can be scary and overwhelming, but it could be one of the best decisions you ever make. And we’re here to help you.

This comprehensive guide covers everything from assessing your interests and skills to creating a career change resume and cover letter, ensuring a successful career change. 

10 easy career changes that pay well

One of the best ways to make a career change without starting over is to use your current skills and experiences to move into jobs that are in demand but that don’t require a long learning curve. 

Here are some great options for those looking to switch careers and still earn a competitive salary:

1. Digital marketing

With businesses increasingly moving online, there’s a growing demand for digital marketing professionals. Skills in SEO, content marketing, and social media can be self-taught or developed through short courses.

2. Project management

Many industries need project managers to oversee projects from start to finish. Certifications like PMP (Project Management Professional) can be a great way to transition.

3. IT support/help desk

If you have a knack for technology, entering IT through support roles can be a stepping stone to more specialized IT careers. Certifications can often be earned quickly to help make this career switch.

4. Web development

Web development is particularly accessible for career changers. Coding boot camps and online courses can equip you with the necessary skills in a matter of months.

5. Real estate

Real estate can be competitive, and you must pass a licensing exam. However, it offers high earning potential through commissions for those with strong sales and networking skills.

6. Teaching or corporate training

If you have expertise in a specific field, transitioning into teaching or corporate training can be rewarding and well-paying. Certifications for teaching or training can often be obtained relatively quickly.

7. Cybersecurity analyst

If you have a basic understanding of IT, you can specialize in cybersecurity. It’s a field with high demand and salaries. There are certifications and short courses to help you transition into this industry.

8. Human resources

If you have any experience in management, you can move into HR roles. Certifications in HR management can enhance employability and compensation.

9. Sales

High-paying opportunities exist in sales across various industries. Skills in negotiation, communication, and relationship-building are key.

10. Freelance content creation

If you have a talent for writing, graphic design, or video production, freelancing can offer flexibility and good income potential. Building a portfolio can help attract clients.

As you can see, there are lots of possible career changes you can make that don’t require starting from scratch. But before you start making a career change, it’s important to know exactly why you want to do so.

Remember, feeling unhappy in your current role isn’t the sole reason to shift careers. A new job isn’t a guaranteed path to happiness. 

Why do you want to change careers?

People change careers for many reasons. Here are some good reasons why you should consider a career change.

Good reasons for a career change:

  • You are no longer satisfied with your current role, and the job in your industry no longer challenges you.
  • You want to switch to a new career that will give you a higher salary and better career opportunities.
  • What you gain from your current job no longer outweighs what you sacrifice for it.
  • You want to work in a company or a non-profit organization that addresses social and environmental issues.
  • You want to be on your own and start your own business.
  • You want to pursue your childhood dream or make your hobby your full-time job.
  • The industry you are in doesn’t provide you the flexibility and work-life balance you want and need.

Even if you have a good reason for wanting to change careers, there are still some important things to consider before you proceed. 

Key factors to consider before changing careers

Making a career change is a big decision. Before deciding, consider the following key factors:

Your age

Changing jobs can become more difficult as you get older. This is because you have fewer working years to develop new skills. You are also more likely to be entrenched in your current career. However, changing careers is possible at any age.

Your current income and financial responsibilities

This is perhaps the most challenging aspect of a career change. Your financial responsibilities may narrow your job options. If you are at a high-income level currently, it can be difficult to earn the same pay in a new career.

Your skills

Accountants can’t transform into astronauts overnight. Understanding your skillset and how it can transfer to a new career is essential.

The economy

When determining which career to pursue, you’ll need to consider the viability of each career option in the current and projected economy.

The industry you want to work in

Will you need to learn new skills, take courses, or work an internship before you’re able to land a job in your desired field? Careers that require niche skills can be much harder to break into.

Now that you’ve confirmed that a career change is right for you, let’s dive into how you can gear up for this exciting transition.

How to prepare for a career change

Now it’s time to do some research and figure out which career you want to pursue. Here are two questions to guide you:

Which careers align with your interests and personality?

First, consider your personality type, preferred working environment, passions, and interests. Then determine which careers will best fit your preferences. 

If you’re unsure about your personality and how it affects your working style, you can take a free online career assessment.

Which careers align with your skills, experience, and expertise?

Some people may want to completely restart their careers from scratch. However, most people will want to find jobs that match their existing skills and expertise. 

To find possible new careers, paste your resume into Jobscan’s Career Changer Tool. You’ll then see two things. One is a list of potential careers you should consider. The other is a list of your hard and soft skills.

Hard skills are specific abilities that you’ve learned. Examples include speaking a foreign language, using certain software, or operating machines. You usually get these skills from school, training, or work. 

Soft skills, on the other hand, are not about what you know but rather how you work. Soft skills include communication, teamwork, problem-solving, time management, creativity, critical thinking, and adaptability.

an infographic showing the difference between hard skills and soft skills

Don’t underestimate the importance of your soft skills! They’re especially valuable if you’re looking to make a career change. 

The reason why soft skills are so important is because they’re transferable. This means they can be applied to any job in any field. Soft skills can often make up for not having specific hard skills.

Top career research websites

To further explore different career paths, visit a career research website. These sites have lots of information about various industries and professions as well as job market trends.

Here are the most popular career research websites:

LinkedIn: Beyond networking, LinkedIn offers insights into different industries, companies, and roles. 

Glassdoor: Glassdoor provides an inside look at company reviews. It also offers salary reports and interview questions for thousands of companies.

Indeed: As a major job board, Indeed also offers company reviews and salary comparisons. Its vast database of job listings can be used to research job requirements.

O*Net Online: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, O*Net Online is a detailed database of career information. 

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): The BLS website provides comprehensive data on employment, wages, and outlook for various occupations in the U.S. Check out their Occupational Outlook Handbook.

PayScale: PayScale offers detailed salary reports based on job title, location, experience, and education. 

Monster: Monster is another job search website that can help job seekers stay informed about their fields of interest.

Vault: Vault provides industry guides, company rankings, and reviews. It’s particularly known for its insights into company cultures and the work environment.

CareerOneStop: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerOneStop offers tools for job searching, career exploration, and training resources. It also includes information on career change and job market trends

After researching careers and picking one you’re interested in, the next step is to update your resume for your new career. 

How to write a resume for a career change

A solid resume is crucial for a successful career change. Follow these steps to highlight your skills and experience effectively. 

Start with a resume summary

A resume summary is a brief statement at the top of your resume. It highlights your qualifications, skills, and experiences.

A resume summary for a career change needs to state your intention to change careers. Emphasize your transferable skills, enthusiasm for the new field, and how you can contribute to the potential employer. Here’s an example of a summary statement for a career change:

An example of a career change resume summary.

Read more: How to Write a Resume Summary (with Examples)

Highlight relevant skills

Focus on the skills you’ve acquired from your previous jobs, volunteer work, or education that are relevant to your new career path. Try to show how these skills can be applied to the new role you’re applying for.

Read more: The Top 10 Best Resume Skills To Put On Your Resume

Use a hybrid resume format

Instead of the traditional chronological resume format, consider using a hybrid format. In this format, your skills section comes before your work experience section. 

Read more: Why the Hybrid Resume is the Best Resume Format

Include relevant education, training, and certifications

If you’ve completed any courses, workshops, or certifications that are relevant to your new career, make sure to include them. This shows your commitment to entering the new field and your proactive approach to learning the necessary skills.

Read more: 28+ Free Certifications to Add to Your Resume

Tailor your resume for each job application

Tailoring your resume is crucial for any job seeker, not just career changers. Here’s why:

When you submit your resume, it goes into a computer database called an applicant tracking system, or ATS. Hiring managers search through the database for suitable resumes by typing keywords into the ATS database search bar. If your resume doesn’t contain these keywords, it won’t be found by a hiring manager.

You can find relevant keywords in the job description. Always try to mirror the language used the job description on your resume. Here’s an example of a job description with some keywords highlighted:

A job description with soft skills highlighted.

To help you tailor your resume, use an online tool like Jobcan’s resume scanner. All you do is paste in your resume and the description of the job you’re applying to and click “scan.” 

The scanner then analyzes your resume against the job description and provides you with a resume score. This score tells you how closely your resume matches the job description. The higher your score, the more likely your resume will be found by a hiring manager.

The resume scanner also tells you which keywords to add your resume to increase your score. Here’s an example of a resume score followed by a list of recommended keywords (highlighted in red):

A match report with resume score and recommended hard skills.

When adding keywords to your resume, only add those skills that you actually have. Don’t lie!

Read more: How to Write a Career Change Resume

How to write a career change cover letter

Begin your cover letter by explaining why you’re making a career change. Focus on your desire for new challenges, growth opportunities, or a passion for the new field. Avoid speaking negatively about your current or past roles.

Briefly mention the skills and experiences from your current or previous jobs that are relevant to the new role. Explain how your transferable skills will benefit your potential employer. 

Finally, show that you are committed to this new career path. Mention any relevant courses, certifications, volunteer work, or self-study you’ve done to prepare for the transition. Here’s an example of a career change cover letter:

A career change cover letter example.

Read more: The Career Change Cover Letter: How to Get it Right

How to answer “Why do you want to change careers?”

When you get a job interview, you’ll have to explain why you want to change careers. 

Start by expressing your genuine interest in the new field and the company. Then, highlight how your previous experiences have equipped you with transferable skills. Finally, emphasize your commitment to growing and learning within the new industry. 

Keep your tone positive and avoid speaking negatively about your current or past jobs. 

How to change careers with no experience

Changing careers without direct experience in your new field can be challenging. But it’s achievable with the right approach. Here are ways to prepare yourself for a career change if you have no experience:

Educate yourself

Take courses, attend workshops, or pursue certifications relevant to your new career path. Online platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer a wide range of courses.


Connect with professionals in the industry through networking events, professional associations, or LinkedIn.

Gain experience

Look for internships, volunteer opportunities, or freelance projects. Even if these opportunities are unpaid or low-paying, they can be valuable additions to your resume.

Apply strategically

Target roles that are more likely to value diverse experiences or are entry-level positions that require fewer years of industry-specific experience.

Be persistent and positive

A career transition can take time. Stay positive and keep pushing forward, even if you face rejections. Every application and interview is an opportunity to learn and improve.

How to change careers when you’ve no idea what to do next

Are you feeling stuck in your current career but aren’t sure what to do next?

First, try to research jobs and industries that spark your interest. Then get hands-on experience by volunteering, freelancing, or diving into hobbies related to potential careers. 

It’s always a good idea to connect with people. Attend events, join forums, and seek informational interviews. Focus on genuine relationships rather than immediate job opportunities.

This journey may lead you in unexpected directions. Be open to surprises, as the right career path might be where you least expect it.

How to overcome career change obstacles

Changing careers is rewarding but comes with challenges. Here’s how to navigate some of the common issues that arise with a career change:

Be prepared emotionally and psychologically

One of the biggest challenges can be the fear of failure or the loss of identity that comes with leaving a familiar role or industry. To cope with these feelings, focus on the reasons behind your desire for change. Seek support from friends, family, or career coaches.

Be prepared for rejection

Rejection is part of the process. Don’t take it personally; use it as a learning opportunity. Persistence and adaptability are key to moving past rejections and closer to your goal.

Be flexible

Changing careers can be unpredictable. There can be lots of surprises along the way. This is why it’s important to be flexible and open to new chances. 

Can you change careers at 30, 40, or 50 years of age?

Absolutely! It is never too late to switch careers. To guide you through this transformative journey, we’ve compiled a series of helpful guides tailored to different decades of life.

To help you find a career that suits you, try the Jobscan Career Change tool. Paste your resume into the tool, and it will show you which careers match up the best with your skills and experience. 

Key takeaways

  • Career change is common: More people are seeking meaningful work that aligns with their values and skills. 
  • Easy career changes exist: There are several career paths like digital marketing, project management, IT support, web development, real estate, teaching, cybersecurity, human resources, sales, and freelance content creation that offer competitive salaries and utilize transferable skills.
  • Know when to change: Consider a career change if you’re no longer satisfied, seeking better opportunities, wanting to make an impact, or needing flexibility and work-life balance.
  • Preparation is key: Before making a change, assess your interests, skills, and the practicality of the transition. Consider factors like age, financial responsibilities, and the current economy.
  • Strategic approach to job applications: Tailor your resume and cover letter for each application, highlighting transferable skills and your commitment to the new field.
  • Overcoming obstacles: Prepare for emotional, financial, and rejection-related challenges by building resilience, planning financially, and staying flexible to new opportunities.
  • Utilize resources: Leverage career research websites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, O*Net Online, and others for insights and opportunities.
  • Continuous learning and networking: Educate yourself with relevant courses, certifications, and by networking within your desired industry.
  • Stay positive and persistent: A career change can take time. Maintain a positive outlook and be persistent in your efforts.
  • It’s never too late: Whether you’re in your 30s, 40s, or 50s, changing careers is possible with the right preparation and mindset.

Remember, changing careers is a journey filled with learning and growth opportunities. But you must have the right attitude! Only then can you navigate this transition successfully and find a career that brings you fulfillment and success.


What should you do for a career change?

Start by assessing your interests, skills, and values to identify a new field that aligns with your passions and goals. Research industries and roles to understand the qualifications needed. Upgrade your skills through courses or certifications if necessary.
Try to network with professionals in the desired field for insights and opportunities. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile to highlight transferable skills and relevant experiences.
Finally, be prepared for challenges and stay resilient, understanding that finding the right career path may take time and effort.

How can you change careers at 30?

To change careers at 30, assess your interests and skills, then research new fields to find a good match. Upgrade your skills with relevant courses or certifications and network in your desired industry. Update your resume to highlight transferable skills.

Is 40 too late to change your career?

No, 40 is not too late to change careers. Many people successfully transition to new fields at this age. They bring valuable experience and skills that can be leveraged in new ways. With the right preparation and mindset, changing careers at 40 can lead to fulfilling opportunities that align with your personal and professional growth goals.

Is 50 too old for a career change?

No, 50 is not too old for a career change. Many individuals at this stage bring a wealth of experience, skills, and maturity to new roles. With careful planning and a positive outlook, a career change at 50 can lead to a fulfilling second act in your professional life.

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Robert Henderson, CPRW, Resume Expert

Robert Henderson, CPRW, is a career advice writer and a resume expert at Jobscan.

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