Whether you have been in your respective career for five years or twenty years, it is relatively common for people to want to change their job at some point or another; however, some people feel trapped in their current career due to their lack of qualifications for another field. Today, there are many factors to careers changing qualifications that should be considered when making the switch to a new field.
- Storytelling Vs. Explaining Your Work History
Before jumping into how to obtain new qualifications for a different field, think about the skills you already have acquired throughout your experience. Instead of leading with your work history, explain to prospective employers your story and why you would be a good fit for their company’s culture.
Recruiters and hiring managers often look for people in other sectors to fill roles as they feel like that individual has the experience to improve upon a position rather than to hire someone solely on the basis that they have a specific certification or qualification. While some requirements are non-negotiable, you may be able to be employed for a position with the promise of getting a certification within a specific time frame.
Leading with a story on why you are the right fit goes a long way as it is easy to learn skills; however, it is not easy to train someone on a personality flaw.
- Distance Learning Courses
Distance learning courses are an excellent way to obtain online qualifications as a way to switch careers. A plethora of sites offer free resources to study for tests, and some sites even allow students to obtain a certificate after passing a course.
Many colleges and universities offer global or distance learning courses as a way to be more convenient for students. Full-time employees and parents need the flexibility to make a career switch, so colleges typically offer courses during each semester that can be taken solely online. These courses are not always self-paced as work needs to be completed and submitted to the professor of the course each week. This option is still more flexible than hybrid or on-campus courses as it does not require the student to sit in on a physical class one or two days a week.
- Undergraduate Degree
Depending on your current career, you may be looking to go to college for the first time or return to college to obtain a different bachelors degree. Many careers today require an undergraduate degree, so it can certainly be an excellent option for someone who is looking to switch to a new field.
If you do not have an undergraduate degree, you will want to look into the major that will allow you to follow your path to a new field. If you already have a bachelors degree, you might want to look into obtaining a graduate degree or certification; however, some people choose to go back to undergraduate school if they are planning to pursue a field that is very different from their first major such as pre-med after an English degree.
- Graduate Degree Vs. Certifications
Even if your career or major is not directly related to the field you want to go into, you can always go to graduate school or obtain certifications in a specific sector or career.
For graduate school, you might need to write a mission statement on why you wish to take the intended program and what you plan on doing after you obtain your graduate degree. Essentially, graduate schools want to make sure that you truly are interested in the topic as many people apply for programs every year.
Most graduate schools require you to write a thesis or intern in your new field, so it is a great way to become qualified while also getting working experience in your new career.
Certifications are another way to up your qualifications so that you can make the switch to a different job. It is essential to keep in mind that some certifications have a lot of requirements, whereas others might have very little. Some certifications require having a bachelors degree as well as a specific amount of working hours completed; however, some certifications do not have as strict requirements such as becoming CPR certified.
It all depends on the field you are trying to go into along with the career you start with and the field you would like to work in.
- Become an Intern
If you cannot seem to get paid work for the career you hope to switch to, offer up your time for experience. Many companies have intern positions available year-round. All you have to do is ask. Some companies are even willing to create positions if you offer to work for experience as there is always something needed to be done.
It is essential to keep in mind that you might not start off in the position that you aspire to be as you will be working as an intern. Most interns start off doing low-level work; however, there are opportunities to grow and learn more about the job as well as your aspiring career.
While acting as an intern, let this be a humbling experience as you might be a higher-level position in your current company, yet that might not be the case when you switch careers. Depending on the type of career switch, you might start off working lower level jobs in that field even after you gain experience as an intern.
One of the best reasons to be an intern is the potential to get hired by the companies you intern for. While interviewing for a job, companies are not aware of your potential; however, they are able to measure your abilities by how hard of a worker you are in an unpaid position. As an intern, managers are able to tell if you fit in well with the work culture along with how quickly you are able to grasp new skills.