Changing careers is becoming more popular. Not just because there are more career options available, but also out of necessity. As new industries arise, others die. It's up to you to figure out if your career is still going to be around in the next 5-10 years. Some studies say we could have a many as nine careers in our professional lifetime. Which begs the question: do you know what it takes to successfully change career lanes repeatedly?
Switching careers is like changing highway lanes: you must signal!
If you want to move in a new career direction, you need to signal to the professional world you intend to make a change. You need to do it with purpose and specificity. It must look well-thought out and intentional. Otherwise, people will A) not know you are looking to make the change, and B) assume you are doing it because you failed in your current career in some way. Control the messaging, or suffer the consequences. Especially, on platforms like LinkedIn, where changing careers will mean optimizing your profile to include the right keywords related to your new career path so you can be found and contacted by hiring managers and recruiters.
1. Give the logic and passion behind your career change.
When signaling to your network you want to switch careers you must explain why both your head and heart are ready to change. Perhaps there are financial or geographic reasons (i.e., you need to relocate or make more money). But, you must also convey the excitement and sincere desire you have for this new career (i.e., you want to make a difference or work on a particular type of problem that needs to be solved). When you share both the logic and passion for the change, your network will know this wasn't a decision made out of desperation or whimsy.
2. Build a marketing campaign for your business-of-one.
Even if you do an excellent job of optimizing your online presence to try to attract employers in your new career path's attention, you likely won't get the level of interest you desire. That's because you need the opportunity to "sell" them on your candidacy. Most employers prefer to hire people with previous experience. Thus, you're going to need a way to convey to them your transferable skills from your former career path will be equally valuable. The best way to do this is to create a targeted list of employers you want to work for and then strategically network with their employees. The more conversations and connections you can have within your new career path, the easier it will be to convince someone to hire you in spite of your lack of experience. Showcase how your personality and aptitude are a fit for their corporate culture so it's easier for them to say, "yes."
To sum it up...
Once you commit to a career change, the secret to success is to make sure everyone knows about it. Otherwise, you will struggle to change career lanes efficiently and effectively.