Ask Vicki: What is the best way to change careers?
In this answer on Quora, Monster career expert Vicki Salemi explains the most effective way to reroute your path.
Each week, Monster’s career expert Vicki Salemi—a former recruiter who utilizes 15-plus years of experience in recruiting and human resources to empower job seekers—answers user questions on Quora. We’ll be republishing the answers here. If you have a question for Vicki, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. What is the best way to change careers?
A. One of the best ways to change careers involves speaking to a lot of people about what new career you’re pursuing. Talk to mentors, former bosses and people you trust to get the inside scoop, so you know precisely what skill set is coveted, the pros and cons of the new role, as well as its growth outlook within the industry. And definitely find out the going rate for salary.
Once you’ve identified exactly what you want to pursue, you can do a number of things. First, revise your resume to highlight the skills that are most relevant to the new role. If you’re in accounting and switching to a marketing path, for instance, you need to downplay your financial skills and instead highlight your creative abilities. But if you’re going for a marketing managerial position where managing budgets is critical, then you need to demonstrate how you effectively manage funds.
Tell everyone you know and trust that you’re looking to switch careers, then start applying to roles online. Pick up new skills whenever you can by taking an online course or volunteering. And focus on your soft skills, which are often overlooked during career changes.
Employers want to hire people whose work ethic they admire, in whom they can invest their time and money, who are essentially likable and will assimilate well into the team. While employers may need to train you on technical skills for the new job, some of the most important assets you bring to the table—your people skills—are already fully honed.