Whether your career has left you bored, stagnant or burnt out, it's not too late to press the restart button.
Of course, switching careers isn’t without its own unique set of challenges. From financial concerns to family responsibilities, it makes sense why most people are hesitant to make such a change midlife.
But if you are ready to redefine yourself and pursue a new passion, taking such a route can improve your professional prospects. With the right resume, a solid network and a well-rounded set of skills, you, too, can break into a new industry with the confidence to begin again.
1. Use Your Previous Skills to Build Your Experience
The more you learn about your target industry, the more seamless your transition will be. Immerse yourself in the field by taking online courses, reading industry-specific publications or pursuing a passion project, like your Capstone project. When you work on or volunteer for projects in your desired industry, your new career path will begin to take shape.
Select job skills that you learned in your current job may also overlap with the industry you want to break into. Research and determine which aspects of your current field will connect to the new. Identifying these skills and abilities for an updated, industry-tailored resume can improve your candidacy for the new profession.
As an adult learner, you never have to look far to build your network. Your online courses are comprised of peers from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. You may find one of your classmates is already in the industry you want to pursue. Even your mentors, with their extensive professional experience, can offer insight or put you in touch with a useful industry contact to enhance your job prospects.
LinkedIn is also a powerful social media tool to locate industry leaders and participate in group conversations that align with your new career path. Students and alumni of Thomas Edison State University can join the University's official LinkedIn group, and take advantage of any networking opportunities or job announcements frequently posted within the discussions.
3. Highlight Your Soft Skills
Soft skills, like a strong work ethic or positive attitude, may be difficult to measure but prove critical in the hiring process. In fact, in a 2014 study by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder.com, 77 percent of employers participating in the survey believed soft skills were just as important as hard, or technical, skills.
But instead of saying you are a dependable and motivated team player, it is just as important to show it. Provide examples on your resume that demonstrate you possess these soft skills and how you succeeded.
Written by Thomas Edison State University