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5 Things That Happen When You Dive Headfirst Into An Unknown Career

5 Things That Happen When You Dive Headfirst Into An Unknown Career

Humans are interesting creatures. We like to stick to what we know and dislike feeling uncomfortable, whether it be in our careers or our social lives. Venturing into the great unknown is scary and, frankly, not something many of us are prepared for.

However, it’s the unknown that leads to some of the most rewarding experiences. It’s how we’re able to enjoy the latest Apple iPhone products and use on-demand service apps to call a car or a meal to our doorsteps. When we do decide to explore uncharted waters, we learn a lot about who we are as individuals and professionals.

If you do decide to quit your job and pursue that idea you’ve been throwing around for the past six months, it’s important to be financially and mentally prepared. Here are the five things to expect from your peers, family, and yourself when you dive right into an unknown career path:

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1. Your Friends And Family Will Question Your Decisions

So you went to college and got that fancy degree in economics, but now you’re thinking of leaving your secure consulting job to pursue a startup in technology. You’re likely to encounter some pushback from your family and friends. There are a lot of things to prepare for when you seek out a different industry and the people closest to you are bound to advise against pursuing the unknown. It’s an expected reaction to receive, especially from your parents, who are only looking out for your best interests.

Instead of ignoring the haters, take the time to listen to their concerns. Even if you have your transition all planned out, it doesn’t hurt to hear why your family and friends are expressing concern over your decision. You may begin to doubt your decision, but deep down, only you know what’s right for you.

2. You’ll Feel A Sense Of Euphoria

There’s a sense of freedom that comes from having control over your own life. Amidst the doubt and worry, you’ll experience a joy that comes from doing what you want to do. If you’re leaving a toxic work environment, pursuing an unknown career path can feel liberating and like a breath of fresh air. Starting a job in a completely new industry is exciting — as it should be!

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“It takes time to discover what you’re truly passionate about, or what you might consider to be the ‘right’ job for you,” says Adam Fridman of Mabbly. “Now’s the time to take risks and try new things. The last thing you want is to regret staying with a job you absolutely dislike.”

Just be careful to not let that euphoria blind your judgement. A new career path is like starting an adventure — don’t delude yourself into thinking it’s the perfect fit if it really isn’t.

3. You May Want To Go Back To Your Old Job

One reason why people are afraid to leave their old job is because their current career provides a steady, secure routine. Unless you’re causing problems at the office, you’re guaranteed a security that doesn’t come with startups and exploring new career options. Right after the euphoria of setting out on a new career path wears off, you might begin to doubt your gung-ho spirit and regret leaving your old job. It’s a valid feeling — we tend to stick with what we know and uncertainty can cause anxiety.

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If you feel doubt begin to creep up on you, just remember the reasons for why you left your old job in the first place. Job security is always great to have, but if your old job was making you miserable and you were dreading the weekdays, you’re probably better off sticking to something new.

4. You’ll See That Success Comes From 110% Commitment

Whether you’re starting your own business venture or exploring career options in a new field, your overall success is largely dependant on how committed you are and the level of passion that you bring.

Gali Rosen of Appnext assures that, “Passion is one of the driving factors defining people, from wannabe rock stars to super successful app developers. When I entered the tech world and abandoned the corporate ladder, I felt free to pursue a new career path and commit to my dreams.”

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You’ll need to prove to your new employer that you have what it takes to succeed in a field you previously had zero experience in, and that means staying the extra hour in the office and sending one more email on a Friday evening. When you’re starting off in a brand new field where you have little past work experience, you need to go the extra mile to prove your worth to your employer. If success is what you’re chasing in your new career, you need to commit to it 110%.

5. You’ll Realize That Life Doesn’t Follow A Strict Plan

We can plan out the rest of our lives, but there’s zero guarantee that life will follow the plans you’ve laid out for yourself. When you venture into an unknown career path, expect the unexpected. You’re going to encounter bumps and obstacles along the way that you can’t prepare for, so you’ll need to roll with the punches and learn to adapt. It’ll be a test of how resilient you are when faced with foreign challenges. What matters is how you respond to the problems that do arise. Don’t let the minor roadblocks keep you from achieving the job you really want.

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Yoav Vilner

CEO at Ranky

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Last Updated on April 25, 2019

How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

Shifting careers, tiny or big, can be paralyzing. Whether your desire for a career change is self-driven or involuntary, you can manage the panic and fear by understanding ‘why’ you are making the change.

Your ability to clearly and confidently articulate your transferable skills makes it easier for employers to understand how you are best suited for the job or industry.

A well written career change resume that shows you have read the job description and markets your transferable skills can increase your success for a career change.

3 Steps to Prepare Your Mind Before Working on the Resume

Step 1: Know Your ‘Why’

Career changes can be an unnerving experience. However, you can lessen the stress by making informed decisions through research.

One of the best ways to do this is by conducting informational interviews.[1] Invest time to gather information from diverse sources. Speaking to people in the career or industry that you’re pursuing will help you get clarity and check your assumptions.

Here are some questions to help you get clear on your career change:

  • What’s your ideal work environment?
  • What’s most important to you right now?
  • What type of people do you like to work with?
  • What are the work skills that you enjoy doing the most?
  • What do you like to do so much that you lose track of time?
  • Whose career inspires you? What is it about his/her career that you admire?
  • What do you dislike about your current role and work environment?

Step 2: Get Clear on What Your Transferable Skills Are[2]

The data gathered from your research and informational interviews will give you a clear picture of the career change that you want. There will likely be a gap between your current experience and the experience required for your desired job. This is your chance to tell your personal story and make it easy for recruiters to understand the logic behind your career change.

Make a list and describe your existing skills and experience. Ask yourself:

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What experience do you have that is relevant to the new job or industry?

Include any experience e.g., work, community, volunteer, or helping a neighbour. The key here is ANY relevant experience. Don’t be afraid to list any tasks that may seem minor to you right now. Remember this is about showcasing the fact that you have experience in the new area of work.

What will the hiring manager care about and how can you demonstrate this?

Based on your research you’ll have an idea of what you’ll be doing in the new job or industry. Be specific and show how your existing experience and skills make you the best candidate for the job. Hiring managers will likely scan your resume in less than 7 seconds. Make it easy for them to see the connection between your skills and the skills that are needed.

Clearly identifying your transferable skills and explaining the rationale for your career change shows the employer that you are making a serious and informed decision about your transition.

Step 3: Read the Job Posting

Each job application will be different even if they are for similar roles. Companies use different language to describe how they conduct business. For example, some companies use words like ‘systems’ while other companies use ‘processes’.

When you review the job description, pay attention to the sections that describe WHAT you’ll be doing and the qualifications/skills. Take note of the type of language and words that the employer uses. You’ll want to use similar language in your resume to show that your experience meets their needs.

5 Key Sections on Your Career Change Resume (Example)

The content of the examples presented below are tailored for a high school educator who wants to change careers to become a client engagement manager, however, you can easily use the same structure for your career change resume.

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Don’t forget to write a well crafted cover letter for your career change to match your updated resume. Your career change cover letter will provide the context and personal story that you’re not able to show in a resume.

1. Contact Information and Header

Create your own letterhead that includes your contact information. Remember to hyperlink your email and LinkedIn profile. Again, make it easy for the recruiter to contact you and learn more about you.

Example:

Jill Young

Toronto, ON | [email protected] | 416.222.2222 | LinkedIn Profile

2. Qualification Highlights or Summary

This is the first section that recruiters will see to determine if you meet the qualifications for the job. Use the language from the job posting combined with your transferable skills to show that you are qualified for the role.

Keep this section concise and use 3 to 4 bullets. Be specific and focus on the qualifications needed for the specific job that you’re applying to. This section should be tailored for each job application. What makes you qualified for the role?

Example:

Qualifications Summary

  • Experienced managing multiple stakeholder interests by building a strong network of relationships to support a variety of programs
  • Experienced at resolving problems in a timely and diplomatic manner
  • Ability to work with diverse groups and ensure collaboration while meeting tight timelines

3. Work Experience

Only present experiences that are relevant to the job posting. Focus on your specific transferable skills and how they apply to the new role.

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How this section is structured will depend on your experience and the type of career change you are making.

For example, if you are changing industries you may want to list your roles before the company name. However, if you want to highlight some of the big companies you’ve worked with then you may want to list the company name first. Just make sure that you are consistent throughout your resume.

Be clear and concise. Use 1 to 4 bullets to highlight your relevant work experiences for each job you list on your resume. Ensure that the information demonstrates your qualifications for the new job. Remember to align all the dates on your resume to the right margin.

Example:

Work Experience

Theater Production Manager 2018 – present

YourLocalTheater

  • Collaborated with diverse groups of people to ensure a successful production while meeting tight timelines

4. Education

List your formal education in this section. For example, the name of the degrees you received and the school who issued it. To eliminate biases, I would recommend removing the year you graduated.

Example:

Education

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  • Bachelor of Education, University of Western Ontario
  • Bachelor of Theater Studies with Honors, University of British Columbia

5. Other Activities or Interests

When you took an inventory of your transferable skills, what experiences were relevant to your new career path (that may not fit in the other resume sections?).

Example:

Other Activities

  • Mentor, Pathways to Education
  • Volunteer lead for coordinating all community festival vendors

Bonus Tips

Remember these core resume tips to help you effectively showcase your transferable skills:

  • CAR (Context Action Result) method. Remember that each bullet on your resume needs to state the situation, the action you took and the result of your experience.
  • Font. Use modern Sans Serif fonts like Tahoma, Verdana, or Arial.
  • White space. Ensure that there is enough white space on your resume by adjusting your margins to a minimum of 1.5 cm. Your resume should be no more than two pages long.
  • Tailor your resume for each job posting. Pay attention to the language and key words used on the job posting and adjust your resume accordingly. Make the application process easy on yourself by creating your own resume template. Highlight sections that you need to tailor for each job application.
  • Get someone else to review your resume. Ideally you’d want to have someone with industry or hiring experience to provide you with insights to hone your resume. However, you also want to have someone proofread your resume for grammar and spelling errors.

The Bottom Line

It’s essential that you know why you want to change careers. Setting this foundation not only helps you with your resume, but can also help you to change your cover letter, adjust your LinkedIn profile, network during your job search, and during interviews.

Ensure that all the content on your resume is relevant for the specific job you’re applying to.

Remember to focus on the job posting and your transferable skills. You have a wealth of experience to draw from – don’t discount any of it! It’s time to showcase and brand yourself in the direction you’re moving towards!

More Resources to Help You Change Career Swiftly

Featured photo credit: Parker Byrd via unsplash.com

Reference

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