Switching career paths

How to Switch Careers Paths

Changing careers is more common than many people originally think, and there are many reasons why someone might want to make a career change. Some people want more flexibility in their daily lives, which could mean switching to a more remote-friendly career path. Others need to decrease their stress. 

You can change careers at 30, even 40. Age doesn’t matter. Even if you are just out of school and you realize that the path you set out on isn’t the right path for you, you can change your career path.

Nearly 49% of people have reported a significant career change. The most common reason? People want to be happy. Not all career changes are completely leaving the industry you are in. Sometimes just a little more education or training can take you from, for example, working as an engineer, to working in the management office of an engineering company.  

Here are some tips to help make the switch easier:

Update Your Resume

Many people don’t keep up to date with their resumes because they associate it directly with the job search, but it is more than just that. Keeping your resume up to date keeps how far you’ve come in mind, and where you can improve. 

When switching careers, having a good record of everything you’ve done can help to showcase to potential employers what you can accomplish, but also how that can, potentially, relate to the new career you’re attempting to transition into. Make note of what are the most important keywords in the job posting and utilize that in your resume. If you have a summary brief on your resume, make sure that you tailor it specifically to what the job you’re applying for needs. 

Pursue New Experiences

New experiences can help pin down what type of career you are interested in. For a major field change or even just moving to an administrative role in your same field, taking the time to either shadow or intern, can help you identify whether or not you’d find a right fit in that career path.  

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing is when you follow around an employee and take note of their day-to-day tasks. While each job shadowing experience may be different, you won’t likely do work, as with an internship, rather you will simply observe what the job entails. 

One negative aspect of shadowing is that you rarely, if at all, do any aspects of the actual job. For all intents and purposes, you are a person’s shadow. However, it does allow for a quicker exposure than an internship would, as shadowing only lasts for one day to a week. 


Interning is when an individual works for a specific company or organization for a set period of time. Sometimes this work can be paid or unpaid, likely dependent on the industry. Usually, internships can be anywhere from a few weeks to even, in some cases, a full year. While interning, you gain experience in order to beef up your resume as well as make professional connections. 

Unlike Job Shadowing, with internships, you are actually doing the work for the position you are interested in. You gain the experience and skills that will help you in future roles. 

Pursue Educational Experiences

Often, when making a career change, a person chooses to go back to school in order to gain the proper education and skills needed to succeed. Sometimes, this may be going back to school to earn your undergraduate degree online or earning a master’s in a more advanced area of your field. For example, if your undergraduate degree is in finance, you could further your education by earning your MS in Financial Analysis, which can allow you to pursue a more analytical career. 

Either way, educational experiences also allow you to more easily access internships, networking opportunities, and the possibility of mentorship. 

Start Networking in New Spaces

Networking opens the door to new opportunities. By networking within the new career space that you want to inhabit, you’re setting yourself up for success. This can be attending trade shows, conferences, alumni events from your university, or even field-specific organizational meetings. 

Building a network in this new space can help you understand the nuances of the job market and help to build confidence in your ability to do this job. 

Be Patient 

Careers aren’t built overnight. Be sure to understand that finding a career that you enjoy and that aligns with your beliefs and values is extremely important. Rather than jumping into a job that you aren’t sure about, make sure that you’re comfortable with the position the company takes. Being patient in the job search can really pay off. 

Changing your career may seem intimidating. But following these tips can help take the pressure off and make the entire process more seamless. Request information today to get started.


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