Rebranding Yourself For a New Career Path

By L. Roberts on February 5, 2020

Choosing a career path at 18 years old when you enter college is intimidating. In fact, people rarely work just one career in their lifetime. According to TheBalanceCareers.com, professionals change careers, on average, three to seven times in their lifetime. That means the major you choose when you enter college at 18 years old is rarely the industry you work until you retire.

When it comes time for you to change careers, you have to give a lot of thought to rebranding yourself. You want to ensure you make connections between what you used to do and what you’re pursuing now, convincing a hiring panel that you would be a good fit for the job. Sometimes this is easier than others. If you’ve been working a job that directly ties to the industry in which you want to enter, it’s going to be a lot easier to convince a team of people that you would be a good fit for the job. It’s when you’re trying to switch careers completely that it may be a bit tougher to make your case. If you’re trying to rebrand yourself for a new career path, here are some tips you should follow:

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1. Identify your transferrable skills.

When it’s time to make a career change, the best thing you can do for yourself is identify the skills you have that will transfer to a new job. Oftentimes, teachers pursue career changes and are successful because of all the skills a teacher develops during their career. Someone who can communicate with coworkers, parents, and administrators, stay organized, handle emergency situations, and keep track of several different sets of information at once is a gold mine for a new-hire in any field. There are opportunities for a person in every career field to change and do something else; you just have to know how to identify what’s valuable about your experiences and sell them to a board of people who are making a hiring decision.

2. Do your research beforehand.

Before you walk into an interview and try to sell yourself to another industry, make sure you do your research. It’s important, not only, that you know what the company is looking for, but that you know the skills you have that will make you a good choice for this position. You don’t want to seem like you’re grabbing at straws, being willing to accept anything that comes your way. You want to sell yourself as intentionally choosing this career change. Make sure before you walk into an interview that you’ve done a substantial amount of research.

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3. Justify the reason for a change.

Career changes aren’t unusual – so the people sitting on the hiring committee are anticipating an applicant who is switching from one career to another. The thing that will impress them the most is if you justify the reason for your career change extensively. You want to steer clear of “I’m ready for a change,” and, instead, think about what it is that you want to accomplish in your life. You want to come into an interview with reasons for the switch that are more substantial than “I’m ready to do something different.”

4. Be careful about the process.

You likely don’t want your current boss to know that you’re looking to get out of the field. More than anything, you don’t want to be seen as a disgruntled worker. When you’re thinking about switching career fields, make sure that you are honest with your current boss when it’s the right time. You need a reference that can discuss your promising characteristics, so it’s more beneficial to you if your boss can write about the reasons for your career change.

5. Update your LinkedIn profile.

When you’re rebranding yourself for a new career, make sure you update your LinkedIn profile. Hiring committees will definitely look you up on social media, so it’s important that you keep your information current. If you’re switching from working in a factory to a career in human resources, make sure your LinkedIn supports your career change. Otherwise, things look a bit awkward.

6. Strategically use your cover letter.

You want to justify the reasoning for your career change, and a perfect place to do that is in your cover letter. When the hiring committee reads your cover letter, you want them to understand exactly why you’re switching careers. You want them to know not only the reasons for your change but how the change came about. Discuss your passions, your internal motivations, and your experiences that led you to change paths.

When you want to change career paths, there are several things you should be sure to take care of. The last thing you want is to walk into an interview with no idea how you want to explain yourself. Make sure you do your research ahead of time and be ready for questions like “why now?” Remember, changing careers is typical in this day and age. You have every reason to pursue what you want to be doing. Happiness is everything.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her pup at the dog park and binge watching Netflix with endless cups of Hot Cocoa.

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