Have you ever felt like quitting your job, changing your industry, or even packing your bags to move on to a completely new state or country? You’re not alone! A lot of my past clients, including myself, have completely pivoted their careers for these reasons. If this sounds just like you, you’ll love today’s post. I’m going to break down the three types of career transitions you can make and order them by difficulty and complexity. You may continue reading this post or you can check out the YouTube video below.
3 Types Of Career Transitions You Can Make
There are three types of career transitions you can make: industry change, geographical change, or functional change. While it is possible for you to make all three changes at once, it is typically inadvisable to do so. Job searching becomes more difficult when you do multiple transitions. So if your goal is to find a job as quickly as possible, I recommend only making one, at most two switches at a time.
The easiest type of transition is the industry switch. I’ve met a lot of people considering this transition when they start feeling like what they’re doing is something that no longer suits them. For instance, I knew a lot of people who started working for a non-profit organization, just to realize that they wanted to work in an industry that pays better. Even though they love what they are doing, and the impact they are making, most of them transferred to a tech company. While this seems too far-fetched, it is still possible to make this switch.
When making an industry switch, you can expect a lot of drawbacks — which is very common. You might find yourself not having enough industry knowledge nor an ability to keep up with a fast-paced environment. However, you can absolutely tackle these if you can position yourself as somebody who is able to learn something new and can adapt to a new environment easily. Convince your employer that none of these objections are valid. It is also important to practice questions that may come up during the interview.
A geographical switch is a bit trickier, but not impossible by any means. Moving from one state to another means you’re going to need to beat the local candidates. Although, a lot of companies also relocate, and find candidates who are out of state, to begin with, because they can’t find the right candidate from within the state. Geographical location switch isn’t a barrier, however, it requires you to be a little bit savvier with your job search strategies especially for entry-levels. Attending networking events, professional organizations, and job fairs are a bit harder for those making a geographical switch. Thankfully, nowadays, we could easily build-up our online network through social media. The beauty of the internet is connecting everyone, so there’s less reason not to find a job out of state.
What’s more important is to convey to your hiring manager or interviewer that this is a state or city that you are looking forward to moving into. Let them know that you’ve been proactively finding ways to get yourself to the city; that this is not an impulsive decision, but rather intentional. One of the biggest red flags for employers is extending offers to people out of state who realized they hated the city upon moving in. These people have already been on-boarded and trained, which puts a major drawback to company resources. That is why the key is to convince your employer that you know what you’re getting yourself into. This will set you apart from other out-of-state candidates that you’re competing against, as well as the people who are already living there.
Finally, the most complex and complicated of the switches is the functional switch. This is when you’re moving from one department or title to another one that is completely unrelated. This is when you’re drawing upon your transferable skills and trying to market yourself into a completely new role than your past experiences. When you browse through LinkedIn, you’ll see a lot of people are making career transitions all the time. For those who are looking to making a career reinvention or functional switch, I have two advice:
One strategy is to network and just build connections to people who can vouch for you to get internal referrals. Recruiters are more likely to trust that you’re able to adapt quickly, and they’ll be able to see past the core skill sets that you are possibly missing. The second strategy is to build a long-term gameplan in your dream company. You can start out with the role that you can immediately contribute to based on your past experiences. Try to give more value than what you receive and really pay your dues. In that way, you can become an indispensable employee who can then make certain requests.
For instance, you want to transition from being a finance manager into the marketing department. You can start networking internally, and ask if there are possibilities of learning more about marketing. Likewise, you can start helping them with specific marketing projects, and cross-functionally train. This way, if the opportunity arises, you can be seen as an internal candidate that can snatch-up the job instead of being an outsider.
These are just reasons why it is not advisable to do all three switches at once. The more transition you stack-on, the more complex the job search becomes. No matter where you are in your job search, especially when making any of these switches, the easiest way is by having ambassadors and referrals. Let me know what kind of transitions you’re trying out today.
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