Considering a Career Change?

Discover your potential with the Jobscan Career Change Tool

Practical Advice for making a Career Change

Although geography, culture, and age play a role in career decisions, many people worldwide are moving away from the job-for-life mentality. We’re embracing gig economies and, in many cases, developing new skills in order to change careers.

In Britain, 46% of workers quit their jobs in order to retrain and embark on new career paths at some point. In the U.S., Baby Boomers will work an average of 12.3 jobs in their lives. And for Millennials, that number is bound to be much higher. One survey showed that young workers are comfortable job hopping and even believe changing jobs often advances their careers.

All these statistics point to one thing: changing jobs, and even career paths, is normal. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy. Many factors play a role in how difficult transitioning careers will be. Some variables to consider are:

  • Your age. Changing jobs can become more difficult as you get older, since you have fewer working years to develop new skills and are more likely to be entrenched in your current career. However, changing careers is possible at any age. Read more about transitioning careers in your thirties, forties, and fifties.
  • 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. (Hint: use the tool above to get started!)
  • 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 career and industry you want to pursue. 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.

Reasons to Change Careers

People change careers for many reasons, including financial opportunity, work-life balance, and changing economies. Your reasons for making a career change could influence how you approach your search. Here we’ve listed some of the most common reasons people change careers.

  • Long term financial opportunity
  • Immediate financial needs
  • Better work-life balance
  • A loss of interest
  • A new interest
  • The changing economic landscape

Evaluating your personal reasons for changing careers is important and will inform your job search.

Which career is right for you? The three questions of alignment.

If you’ve evaluated your reasons for changing careers, you may have a good idea of which jobs you want to pursue. You may, however, only have a vague idea of which direction you’re headed. Consider the three questions below when beginning your search.

Which careers align with your interests and personality?

On your journey to finding the best career for you, you must consider your personality type, preferred working environment, and interests. At this point in your professional life, you may now understand yourself and your ideal working environment much better than you did when you were younger. Let this knowledge guide your search. If you’re unsure about your nature and how it affects your working style, you can take a career assessment online.

Which careers align with your needs?

This question will take you back to the above section, where you evaluated your reasons for transitioning careers. Now that you know what your needs are, you’ll have to find out which careers match up. Consider reserving time to research different careers and industries and talk to people already in those careers, whether they’re friends or someone you connect with at a networking event or on LinkedIn.

Which careers align with your skills and experience?

Here’s where the Jobscan Career Change Tool (above) can really help in your search. Some people may want to completely restart their careers from scratch, but most people will want to find jobs that match their existing skillset. The tool above will help you see which alternative careers are good matches for you and your resume.

Putting together your career change resume and cover letter

Applying for any job requires well thought out materials. Right now, you have an advantage over your younger self because you have accrued skills and experience. However, you may feel at a disadvantage among other candidates whose work histories and resumes are more relevant.

The key to getting a recruiter’s attention is effectively showing how the skills on your resume can transfer to the role and highlighting the ways in which your unique skills make you a standout candidate. You can accomplish this in both your resume and cover letter.

Tips for crafting a career change resume

Tips for writing a career change cover letter

  • Write confidently about your ability to transition to a new role.
  • Communicate what your unique experience can bring to the company.
  • Be specific about your interest in the company.
  • Highlight your transferrable skills.
  • Read more about career change cover letters

Using Jobscan tools in your career search

The Jobscan Career Change tool (at the top of the page) can show you which jobs are best matches based on your current resume. Paste your resume into the tool and find out which careers match up. This tool is great for understanding how your resume presents to applicant tracking systems and recruiters, as well inspiring career change ideas.

The core Jobscan resume optimization tool can be even more beneficial as you progress in your search and begin applying for jobs. You can scan your resume against any job description and see how well your skills and experience line up.