Changing a career is a very personal decision – and transitioning to a new role will depend on your goals, values, and experience as much as your desire to move. However, there are some jobs that welcome career-shifters more easily and which are perfect for targeting when you are looking to change careers.
Transitioning careers mid-way through is never easy. It can involve expensive retraining, or time out for reskilling. It may even require you to take a backwards step in order to get a toehold in your chosen new industry or, perhaps, a pay cut.
However, there are some careers that are easier to shift to than others, and not having experience isn’t the major hurdle as it might be elsewhere. Ideally, you should look for a post where you can employ your existing skills.
A project coordinator is a more junior role than a project manager, where you will benefit as you won’t be expected to be an expert in project management theory.
The role is ideal if you excel at organisation. Attention to detail, good time management, and the ability to coordinate and communicate across teams are also necessary skills. These skills are all highly transferable and in demand – which means that, not only is the role easy to transition to, it is easy to transition out of as well.
You don’t need specific qualifications to move into sales. What you do need is good communication skills. The ability to listen to the needs of prospective customers and shape solutions accordingly is vital.
The great thing about moving into sales – apart from the remuneration and bonuses if you succeed – is that not having experience of sales can sometimes be an advantage. Moving into a sales role in the industry in which you already have experience gives you an advantage because you bring gravitas and experience to the role. As well as being a subject matter expert, you have an essential understanding of your customer’s point of view.
You might wish to leave your current career, but do you want to turn your back on all the skills and experience you have built up over it? Rather than leaving the profession entirely, consider whether you could use your expertise to help other people.
This is ideal if you wish to move to a more flexible approach to working while still leveraging your existing skills and knowledge.
While you do need skills to become a developer, these skills can be nurtured before you make your career move. Research the types of roles you would like to move into by talking to people in the industry and to recruiters. This way, you know which skills are most in demand.
You can begin with online courses at home, then move on to self-directed learning as you build your skills and confidence. One of the best ways to add to your CV is to join online communities of developers. If you can show that you are active in a community – by enthusiastically contributing to open source code, for example – you will be able to demonstrate to potential employers not only your skills but also your motivation and commitment to your new career.
Recruitment is another area where you can leverage your existing skills and knowledge to tackle new challenges. Sector expertise is a real bonus for recruitment consultants, especially if you were responsible for hiring people in your previous career.
Understanding what the client is looking for in a prospective candidate will help you to maximise your chances of success. You’ll need to be tenacious and a good communicator. Once you’ve built up your experience in recruitment in the field in which you used to work, you can move on to cover different industries.
If you have experience in STEM subjects, then taking a year out to retrain on a fast-track programme and become a teacher can be an extremely rewarding career change. Your skills are much in demand.
Good salaries and benefits are topped up with the joy of guiding the next generation to learn new skills and knowledge and be the best they can be. Plus, the long summer holidays are great too!