Career 360: How to switch professions

Career 360: How to switch professions

Posted byAlex Hepworth on

career growth

It’s 2023! A fresh start, a time to reevaluate. New Year’s Resolutions, exercise challenges, dry January, and a new career perhaps?

At the start of a new year, many people find themselves considering a change at work. You might be looking for a promotion, more fulfilling work or a new challenge. Or you might be thinking about changing professions altogether.

There’s many reasons why you might want to switch careers, including:

  1. Seeking more fulfilling work
  2. Feeling stagnant in your current profession
  3. Looking for better pay or benefits
  4. Needing a better work-life balance
  5. Feeling tired of working in the same industry or location
  6. Wanting to follow your passions.

In this article, we’ll explain how you can identify new opportunities and the transferable skills you already have, and how to navigate the change.

How to switch professions

Think about your situation right now

Before you start looking for a new profession, it's important to reflect on your current career and why you want to make a change. Consider your values, goals, skills, and interests, and how they align with your current job. What’s missing right now?

Read more: You deserve a career you love: Here’s why >

Research potential new careers

Once you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, start researching potential careers that match your interests. Look for industries and job titles that match your goals, and explore job descriptions to get an idea of what the day-to-day of a role might look like.

If you're looking to change careers but don't want to start from scratch, consider professions that use skills you already have. For example, if you have strong communication skills and a background in marketing, you might be a good fit for a public relations or event planning role. If you have technical skills and a background in IT, you might like to consider a career in data analysis or software engineering.

💡 Progression’s free library of frameworks comes in super handy here. Once you’ve identified a discipline that aligns with your interests, search for it in our library. Then click into the frameworks you’re interested in to view the positions in that team and the associated skills. Are the skills you already have a match? If not, you can identify the gaps you’ll need to work on.

Here’s an example of a large B2C Marketing Team framework — you can see the roles that make up the team and the associated skills, and click into any position you’re particularly interested in to see the skills specific to that role.

Screenshot of a large B2C marketing framework in Progression

Network

Talk to people in your desired profession and ask for their advice on how to break into it. Join online communities and groups, and attend industry events to meet the right people and learn more about the field. Don’t be afraid to reach out to career coaches and mentors too, who can help you work out whether a career might be a good fit for you.

Get some training

Does the profession you’d like to transition into require any qualifications or special training? Research the requirements and look for opportunities to learn locally and online.

If you’re interested in a career in design, take a look at our list of books, online courses and subscriptions, podcasts and events that can help you gain a deeper understanding of the discipline.

Read more: How to spend your design learning budget >

We’ve also shared a similar list of resources for engineers, some of which are entirely free.

Read more: How to spend your engineering learning budget >

Update your CV and cover letter

Once you've identified your target career, it's time to start applying! Update your CV and cover letter to highlight your transferable skills and experience, and tailor your applications to the job you’re applying for. Get in touch with niche recruiters hiring for the roles you’re interested in — they’ll have a good idea of the kinds of roles that suit someone transferring from another profession.

Be patient

Life’s full of ups and downs. And while you might want to get cracking in your new profession right away, it can take time and perseverance to get what you want. You might need to take a pay cut or relocate to accommodate a new role. And it will take time to build up your skills, confidence and expertise in your new career.

Be patient and stay positive. You’ve taken a huge step deciding to make this change, and you should be proud of yourself for doing that.


Picture of Alex Hepworth

Posted by Alex Hepworth

Content Writer at Progression

Alex on LinkedIn

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