Tips for starting a career in a new field

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Nobody has the same career path. The desire to move to a new specialty is more common than you might think and possible regardless of your current position or degree. Different backgrounds in specific areas can lead to innovation and process improvements.


Starting something new can be nerve-wracking, but taking the plunge could be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. Regardless of your background, your experience offers valuable input.

Depending on how well your current area aligns with your next step, you may need to start over in an entry-level role to gain more experience. It’s important to browse online job boards like ZipRecruiter and have realistic expectations when changing fields. When creating your resume, you want to showcase transferrable skills, qualities, and experience that fit your desired role. Highlight examples of how what you are doing now aligns with the skills required in your new area.

Whether it’s a higher salary, career growth, finding a new challenge, or pursuing your passion, these tips can help you transition into a new career field.

know the expectations.

This is arguably the most important step in the process as it lays the foundation for approaching your job search and determining the skills required. Understand the industry or job you are considering and whether your offer is a good fit for you. Your research should inform you of how your current experience aligns with your desired field and what educational gap you need to fill.

conduct informational talks.

Informational interviews are informal conversations with someone in a career you are considering. They provide insights into roles, companies and industries you are considering.

They can also help build your network. They have the opportunity to find out what it takes to be successful in their field, what everyday life can entail and which paths lead there. Don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions, e.g. B. What they don’t like about their position and what they wish they knew before pursuing a career in their field.

Apply to job fairs.

Savvy job seekers often use job search sites to find their dream job. Popular job sites like ZipRecruiter offer job postings in a range of industries.

ZipRecruiter uses AI matching technology to find companies that match your skills and keeps you in the loop so you don’t miss an opportunity. It is the #1 rated job board in the US1and it’s free to start.

Take online courses.

You will likely need to develop new skills as you move into a new field. Certifications are available for in-demand careers such as computer programming, inbound marketing, UX fundamentals, and more. Many companies encourage their employees to acquire new skills. So if your current employer supports domestic mobility, they may offer training or subsidize your education to try something new.

Freelance after work.

Freelancing can be a great way to develop your craft, build a client base, get work for your portfolio, and even earn extra income. Typical freelance jobs include web development, copywriting, design, accounting, social media marketing, and more. The flexibility of freelancing works well for busy professionals with full-time jobs as you can gain relevant experience while remaining employed in your current position.

Apply for internships.

Those early in their careers may have the flexibility to accept paid or unpaid internship opportunities. Companies also offer development programs that allow you to gain hands-on experience and expand your network.

Although these opportunities can be short-term, they can be an effective way to get the knowledge you need while also getting your foot in the door.

1 Based on G2 satisfaction ratings as of January 1, 2022

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