career change

It’s a common occurrence these days… For some, it’s a direct result of the economy and today’s job market. For others, it’s a deliberate decision to make a fresh start. Either way, there’s no denying that career change is practically an epidemic.

The first step before jumping into a new career is to do your research. Think about what you want to do, how the new career aligns with your core values, and if you have basic skills that will transfer to your new chosen path of employment.

In some cases, transitioning to a new career requires a completely new skill set. For example, jumping from accounting to healthcare likely involves some education in medicine. But sometimes it’s enough to simply brush up on basic business skills.

In the Ballpark

Let’s assume you have spent most of your career to date in product development – you are an expert in your field. Now you want to apply your product knowledge in sales and marketing. You are in the same general ballpark, but there are key soft skills that you’ve not been exercising, like sales negotiations and presentation skills. A refresher in these vital techniques can quickly get you in shape for your new career path.

Or perhaps you want to pack up your existing skills and take them to a new ballpark. For example, you have excellent relationship-building skills from working in a call center, and you would like to apply that expertise to a career in human resource management. In addition to making sure you understand issues relevant to employment law, it’s important to brush up on business communications skills to help you draft effective employee memos and executive reports.

Changing course mid-career doesn’t necessarily require months or years of schooling. Whether you seek out an in-person professional development workshop, or opt for an online training course, you can dust off some basic skill sets and quickly map out your ideal path to a successful new career.

John Males is Founder and President of Fathom Corporate Training. With more than 20 years of experience in management, sales and negotiations, he helps clients increase employee satisfaction, lower turnover, increase revenue and raise profit margins.