5 Career Change Tips: How to Change Careers Successfully

By: Kaplan Financial Education
March 29, 2019
Sign post with signs indicating the reasons people might switch careers

If you are burned-out, bored, or fed up with your career, it could be a sign that you are ready for a change. Before you jump into a big career change, we advise you to work your way through these 5 tips for a smooth and successful transition.

1. Ask Yourself Why You Want to Make a Career Change

Before diving into a new career, it is important to ask yourself why you want to make a career change. Create a list of qualities you like and did not like in your current and past jobs. Jot down what environments you like best and what motivates you. Do you like working in teams or on your own? Do you prefer getting into a routine groove or constantly tackling new projects? What are you looking for in an employer? From there, you should have a good list of things you want (and want to avoid) in a new career.

2. Research New Career Options

Take your list of qualities you want in a job and research careers that match what you are looking for. Research the marketplace to identify emerging and growing industries to make sure there will be opportunities and job security in your new career. Take advantage of the Department of Labor’s free Occupational Outlook Handbook to research the projected growth for different occupations over the next ten years. Check out job boards on popular sites like Monster, Indeed, and Glassdoor to see what is in demand as well. In the financial services industry, familiarize yourself with careers like financial planning, insurance, and securities

Download the free eBook, Getting There from Here: Career Path Stories from Finance Professionals, to get firsthand accounts of what it's like to have a rewarding career in finance.

3. Conduct Informational Interviews and Volunteer

Discover if a job is truly what you want to do in your next career by conducting information interviews with people in the industry. Utilize your network of contacts, LinkedIn, and online research to find folks who may be willing to talk with you. You could even offer to volunteer or do some part-time work with them to see if this is an industry you would like to enter.  Better to try on a new career before you jump right in!

4. Build Relationships

Breaking into a new career field can be difficult without contacts in the relevant industry. Building mutually beneficial relationships with employers, industry professionals, and recruiters can help you transition into your new career. There are many ways to build relationships – both in person and online. Look for relevant networking and Meetup groups and attend their events. Join relevant LinkedIn groups and be sure to participate in discussions. This will not only help you meet contacts, but you can also provide resources for them as well to foster a more reciprocal relationship.

5. Market Your Transferrable Skills

Often, people trying to change careers get discouraged because of their lack of experience in the industry. It’s important to market your transferrable skills both in your written materials like your cover letter and resume and in interviews. Do research on what skills are necessary for your new career path and evaluate what transferable skills and experience you already have. You may be pleasantly surprised with how qualified you are for your new career.


Looking for more information about changing careers? Visit Kaplan Financial Education’s Resource Center for more information and inspiration to get started. Should you choose to join the insurance or financial services industries, visit our website or call our team at 800.824.8742 to enroll in an upcoming program.