Clarify your Interests, Skills, Values and Unique Qualities
Even if you know the new industry you’d like to work in, you should consider the following questions:
- Why do you want to work in this area?
- What skills have you gained that could transfer into another work setting (think teamwork, communication, etc.)?
- What are your: personal qualities (tenacity, resilience), abilities (problem solver, put people at ease), and work skills (coding, data analysis)?
To articulate why you are a strong candidate, you can:
- Make a list of the top transferable skills from your past work, academic, and life experiences. Think about your unique talents, regardless of their connection to the workplace.
- Explore how your interests and personality fit with different careers and workplace environments. Meet with us to discuss formal assessments and your motivations for making a change.
- Brush up or develop your skills with online courses from places like Code Academy, Udemy, or Lynda.com. You also build skill through relevant volunteer work.
Investigate your desired career and work with us to create your goals and a plan to achieve them.
Research And Develop A Plan Of Action
If you’re not familiar with the field, learn about different work environments:
- Consult industry resources like Vault and Wetfeet.
- Review our comprehensive Industry Exploration pages (which include industry-specific job boards).
- Tailor your search to the industry by identifying recruitment cycles, hiring trends, and top organizations.
Get Connected And Tell Your Story!
Your past academic, personal, and professional experiences are what make you unique. They set you apart from others interested in the same industry.
- Incorporate your new career goals into a short but informative introduction. This can include who you are, what you have to offer, and why you’re interested in making a career transition. Be ready to share a few key points when meeting new people.
- Work with us to get comfortable sharing your story with others. If there is a gap in your work history or you’ve had a non-traditional career path, plan what you will say ahead of time.
- Strengthen your intro through real world practice! Actively participate in professional and campus events (such as academic symposia, conferences, career fairs, etc.). Meet with alumni or other professionals to learn more about a new career or industry.
Gain Experience In Your New Field
You may need to develop skills or knowledge in your new area of interest and meet people working in the field. If a traditional internship doesn’t work with your schedule, consider:
- working part-time
- seeking virtual opportunities
- initiating your own project.
Meet with us to update your resume and cover letter for the new industry you are targeting.
- Synthesize the results from your exploration, research, and networking. Use this information to align your resume and cover letters with the new industry. You can find resume examples in our Career Planning Guide or come talk to us!
- Talk to people you know (friends, family, past colleagues, professors, etc.) to find opportunities. Search for internship and volunteer experiences through our Internship Programs and LionSHARE database.
- Keep an eye on academic department or professional association websites or emails for additional job and internships postings.
- Stay motivated! The job search is draining and can feel overwhelming at times, so it’s important to take breaks when you can. Surround yourself with people who support you. Remember that changing careers is a process and CCE is here to help.