What steps should I take if I want to make a career change?
I graduated back in 2016 with my BSBA in Marketing, but was really enamored with working for a specific company, and keep finding that opportunities are scarce and over-competitive. I don't have much outside experience since I've been here since I graduated with not much to show for it, and now I'm restless and unsatisfied with what I do for work. What can I do to get the necessary experience to move into a more responsible or analytical role? #marketing #career #job #business #technology
There are a lot of great responses here, but I would challenge you to think of what you're really looking for. What about your current position or place of work is making you unhappy? Is it the actual work you're doing (career change), the people you're working with (company/team change), the environment in which you work (company/team change), or something else? That will really drive what your options are going forward.
If you love what you do, just not where you're doing it, you can absolutely network and look for companies that have less competitive work environments. I would encourage you to look at ratings for best companies to work for and reach out to people who work there in similar roles through LinkedIn or other forums.
If you're disillusioned with the actual work you're doing, then I would focus on the activities you enjoy doing rather than the industry or company. Do you like working alone or with other people? With technology or without it? Travel or no? All these things can help paint a picture from the ground up of the type of work you'd enjoy doing.
Hope that helps!
Personally I've found that the key to making a big career jump is to find people who see your potential and want to take a chance on helping you make that leap. They see your foundational skills and see how they can apply to your new role
Also, I always tell people to think 3 moves out. Getting to exactly what you want may not happen in one move. It may take 2-3 moves to get there, so plot a course, a trajectory, then look for jobs that set you on that path or trajectory. Get the first round of experience. Then evaluate other jobs to determine if they keep you on that trajectory...or if you want to change your trajectory overall
You don't have to tell your manager that you are looking into other jobs or talking to other employees who do those jobs. However, once you feel truly interested in another position, at that point I recommend you talk to your boss as a professional courtesy. Make sure they understand that you are interested in expanding your horizons and want to learn more about the job you're interested in. Do NOT talk about how you are dissatisfied or bored in your current role, but talk about how you really like working for the company and your passion to try something new to broaden your skills set and experience.
Once you have that conversation you should think about talking to the hiring manager for the job you're interested in. Not a formal interview, but just to find out more about the job, what the expectations are, and what kind of candidates the hiring manager is looking for. That discussion, along with the talks you had with other employees who work in that area will equip you with all the info you need to decide whether or not to apply for the job and you'll also have good information to help you tailor your resume and interview.
Careers are a big decision for sure! And it is a path, a journey. Perhaps you can look back at why you choose your degree in the first place and identify the classes that most intrigued you. I would also suggest finding a mentor- but be prepared for them. They may suggest courses or certifications that can start you on a new path.
Do your homework and know yourself. What size company? What type of company? Location? What do you want your days to look like- what tasks do you like the most/ least? Why? What type of manager do you want? Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
No matter what you answer, you have to understand that it takes time, curiosity , discipline and hard work to move through your career. Be open to suggestions and know yourself well enough to navigate with confidence.
I would first explore internal opportunities at your current company to see if there are any other opportunities that could be of interest to you. If that is not the case then I would recommend having conversations with people in industries that you are interested in and having exploratory conversations on how to be successful. Additionally, I would recommend taking courses or trainings in areas that you are interested in.
Denise recommends the following next steps:
From here, as likely others have said, networking SHAMELESSLY is key! I reached out to innumerable LinkedIn members with custom-tailored blurbs in the connection requests describing briefly how I was a junior professional with interest in learning more about what they do, or about their industry, etc., and wanting to chat with them (phone calls preferable, but some may just want to chat with you online).
Keep in mind, don't start off with, "I'm looking for a job," or, "I'm interested in working at your company," or really just any kind of request for a favor down the road. This puts pressure on people and they may not answer. Ask to get to know them as professionals and learn about their career journey, because people love talking about their accomplishments, and this way you can establish rapport. After that initial contact, many more of those people would be willing to put you forward to their hiring manager, refer you to another connection they have, stuff like that, as they'll actually feel COMPELLED to help you out, rather than pressured to do so.
Is it shameful to be openly looking for a job? No way, but again, it just creates an air of pressure and your connection might now be able to fulfill that request.
Will this method work with everyone? Not at all. Even with a perfect note, some dont respond for various reasons. Optimize your chances of success by reaching out to many people of possible (while maintaining the quality of the connection and relevance to your career interests).
Pro tip: Do searches of those who have graduated from the same university as you. Alumni love helping each other out.
I too wanted to switch from an unsatisfying job to a better career and fortunately managed to do it in 2014. I love the answers people have given you to gain experience such as networking in-person and through LinkedIn. Find out how your current skills can relate to the skills that would be needed in the job that you do want. Tailor your resume to show that you do have the experience needed, you just got it in a non-traditional way. You can find out if your company has rotational positions or special projects you can try and get yourself assigned to so you can build your resume and your connections. Also, you can volunteer and request to be on special assignments. Volunteer positions will get you a lot of the same experience that businesses are looking for and are easier to acquire. I hope that helps!
You have gotten a lot of great feedback here. As a person who has changed careers after being bored, I wanted to just add my thoughts from experience. What I had to figure out was how my existing skills could be used in other types of jobs. I was a corporate training but I wanted to shift into a creation of training role. In the beginning, it was just about taking on the role as if I had it. When I received a course that was poorly written, i provided feedback to the team that wrote it. Sometimes I work for companies that did not have adequate documentation, so I wrote it out for myself and then shared it. This did require me to start looking into what my job was called and learn about what made a good one. I am not sure how that would translate into Marketing, but I imagine that there is a way for you to show your interest by taking on tasks that do not fall into your current role. Also, apply for jobs that do interest you requiring the skills that you need. Often, having a large well of knowledge (your degree) will give a company a big reason to take a chance on you. I had training knowledge and when I applied for a design job, they took a chance on me. I was cheap but they were willing to train me. I learned a lot in that year and was able to take those new skills and the job experience to other companies.
Definitely network with people in that field! LinkedIn is perfect for that. Not only are you able to represent your brand but also connect with others similar to you or that share your same goals and passions.
I utilized LinkedIn as my tool for making those connections. There are even clubs and associations you can connect with and join where there is not only a support system to help lead you in that direction but they also offer guidance and tips to better practice that skillset you want to endure!
Like I am a Software Engineer and also work in front-end development - which I am part of LinkedIn's 'React Developers' group. Yet, I also am interested in making the switch to Cybersecurity so I am also part of LinkedIn's 'CISO Cyber Security Information' group where I have made many wonderful connections to have sessions with people in that field. I am given detailed run downs of their day to day, where there are great hiring opportunities, and resources to allocate to improve my knowledge that they utilize in their practices.
There are plenty of other tools out there for networking, but LinkedIn has definitely payed off well for me, so I would suggest trying out there for help branching out! You might even find an opportunity that is within your career choice and just shines more light on your role.