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How To Successfully Navigate a Career Transition

A career change doesn’t need to be a massive disruption. For some, the change could be as simple as a slightly different role that’s better suited to their skills and interests. In an article in Harvard Business Review, they write, “Transitions aren’t just about doing something different. A career transition is a lifestyle redesign that often entails rethinking how you want to feel at the end of the day, how you want to spend your time, and how this relates to your longer-term goals. When you feel this need for change, it isn’t necessarily related to a fancier title or more money, but your inner voice whispering that you could do more, be more, experience and achieve more.” Here are some things to consider when switching careers.



It’s important to do a self-evaluation of your interests, skills and knowledge. There are probably aspects of your current role that you excel at and enjoy. Think about what careers would rely on those skills and potentially be a better fit for you. In the same Harvard Business Review article they recommend, “While some may know already they want to work in another industry or go back to school to learn something new, many don’t know what their next step should be. But it is impossible to know where you are going if you don’t know where you are. The simplest way to conduct this self-assessment is to ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s my end goal?
  • If I keep doing what I am doing today, will I get closer my ultimate goal?
  • Will my 80-year-old-self have more or less regrets because of my current choices?

After that, write down the steps you will need to take to make your future self proud and the problems that you might encounter in doing that. An important part of learning where you are is in understanding the challenges that are keeping you there. Then, look at the list of things you need to do to get closer to your goal. Find, know, or strike out challenges you have no control over.”


Gain Experience and Consider a Bridge Job

You may need to enhance your qualifications and gain more experience before transitioning to a different career. Look into what courses, trainings, or workshops would be beneficial. If you need to gain more real-world experience to help you transition to your next role, consider a bridge job. In an article on Forbes, they explain, “If you’re looking to make a career change, but don’t feel you quite have the qualifications yet, a “bridge job” might be the way to go. A bridge job is a transitional role that allows you to gain experience in your desired field while still earning an income. A bridge job can provide a smoother transition while helping you develop the skills you need for your new career path. These roles can be a practical and effective way to build your confidence, craft a narrative that appeals to hiring managers, and ultimately reach your long-term career goals.” Even if it’s not your dream job, a bridge job will help you learn, make connections, and gain relevant experience.


Be Open-minded and Seek Guidance

Along your career transition, be open to opportunities that may present themselves. Guidance from mentors, family/friends, and recruiters can also be helpful as they can offer insights, support, and advice. In an article on LinkedIn, they write, “Embrace a growth mindset and be open to continuous learning. Recognize that transitioning careers may involve a learning curve, and there will be challenges along the way. Proactively seek opportunities to expand your knowledge, network, and skills. Emphasize your willingness to learn and adapt during interviews and conversations with potential employers.”