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Consider your “why” before switching careers

To make a smooth career change, here are three things we suggest.

1. Develop a positive mindset

Changing careers is challenging because many people don’t have the confidence to change their negative mindsets. Look for connections between your previous experience and the new role you’re interested in. Gaining confidence in such a situation can facilitate making a move.

2. Consider your ‘why’

Are you unhappy with your current job but not sure how to change it? Consider your ‘why’ before switching careers.

The first question a hiring manager in an interview will ask is why you want to change jobs.

You also need to understand who you are, what you want, and what you expect from the role. To come up with your “why”, think about your motivation for changing jobs and your reasons for doing so.

Christina, 31, quit her job as a pilot at Delta Airlines to become a software engineer during the pandemic. She now earns dramatically more money, is more flexible, and is pleased with the upcoming opportunities associated with her new position.

Her motivation for becoming a coder came from creating a list of what she wanted her life to look like. She wanted less travel, to work from home, to be creative, and to work independently but still as part of a team. Coding fits these requirements perfectly.

“I asked, ‘How do I want my daily life to be?’” she says. “Having those things written down made it much easier for me to choose a career path that matched and to create a game plan.”

3. Your next steps should be proactive

You can learn more about what you want to do and why you want to change careers by taking courses or attending conferences that will give you the skills and contacts you need to land the role you want. Before you leave your old job, you might want to do this to ensure that you’ll enjoy the new path.

Christina decided to change careers while on leave from her flight attendant position during the Coronavirus outbreak. While taking intensive coding courses through Zip Code Wilmington, a coding nonprofit in Delaware, she got a temporary job as a clerk at a courthouse. It also helped her find a new job.

Additionally, we recommend that you conduct informational interviews with people in similar roles to the one you are interested in so you can become familiar with the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Not knowing what you want from a position and a company and not having all of the information you need to make a good decision, that’s the biggest mistake you can make.

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