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Assess your goals and skills before making a career switch

Switching careers requires finesse. Assess your goals and

Switching careers requires finesse. Assess your goals and skills when considering a change. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It’s that time of year when you’re likely rethinking everything — especially your career. For any number of reasons, be it boredom or the quest for better pay, you may be contemplating a career switch.

Doing so requires a certain finesse. Here’s what to consider when moving from career A to career B.

What are you really seeking? “Determine if you need a change in function or industry, or just a change of scenery, meaning a different employer in your existing field,” says Laurie Berenson, owner of Sterling Career Concepts in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.

Assess your skills. “What skills transfer most smoothly between your current industry and the one you are pursuing? Emphasize those in your resume, cover letter, and on interviews. Use the business terminology of your new industry of interest when speaking about your accomplishments,” says Lavie Margolin, author of “Winning Answers to 500 Interview Questions.”

Identify any skill and experience gaps and make up the deficit. “The experience and training can come from traditional education, volunteer or consulting work,” says Dana Leavy-Detrick, owner of the Brooklyn Resume Studio.

Tap your network. Lean on the network you have in the new industry. “Your chances to succeed will increase based upon the champions you have in that industry,” Margolin says. If you don’t have much of a network, build one. Attend events and functions where those people will be. Invite them out to coffee, seek out informational interviews.

Be patient. Says Berenson: “Don’t think you can make the move in one jump or overnight. Steppingstones are involved and trust that you are moving toward your goal, even if progress feels slow.”

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