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Career Transitions

Get Inspired by the Option of a Second Career

The ways that we work have changed dramatically over the last few decades. Facing the prospect of a career change? Remember it’s your drive and passion that make you successful in life. You can absolutely make a career change at any age. There are some things for you to consider as you contemplate a career transition.

You’re not getting older, you’re getting better!

Get clear on why you need to make a change. What is motivating you?

  • More money?
  • A long-held dream or life-long passion?
  • The need for a new challenge?
  • Does your current position leave you feeling stressed or burnt-out?

Keep an open mind.

Start by identifying your passions. 

Big salaries are tempting but research tells us that it won’t make you significantly happier. This is especially true if you don’t find the work to be motivating or stimulating. Not sure where to start? Consider all kinds of options based on things that make you happiest.

Love helping people?

  • Improve the lives of your friends and neighbors by becoming a community health worker.

Do you make the best sandwiches in the tri-state?

  • How might you open your own delicatessen?

Have a knack for computers?

  • You can learn to code for free with online communities and tutorials.
    • Anyone can learn computer science. Code.org has free courses and activities for people of all ages
    • Want to learn about coding but don't know where to start? Code Conquest has a free online guide. 
    • Have a little knowledge but want to learn more? CodePen Challenges give users a new prompt each week based on monthly themes. Learn from a community working on similar solutions. 

What else should you consider, when changing your career?

Get some insights about fields you might want to pursue. The career profile self-assessment will help you identify your interests.

  • Will the salary allow me to cover my expenses?   
  • Will enough be left over to contribute to my savings?
  • Can I afford my favorite leisure activities? 
  • What is the employment outlook for this industry or field?   
  • Do I have the support of friends and family? 

OhioMeansJobs.com has tools to help you answer these questions for yourself.

It can be hard to make big changes in your life. Having some good reasons for making this transition, a solid support system, and a passion for your second career is important for your long-term success. 

Do your homework.

No job or industry is perfect. Find out the real story from people who are doing the job today before you take a big leap. Getting behind the scenes and understanding the daily operations of a job will help you feel more confident in your decision.

It will also give you more credibility as you apply for positions in your new field. Depending on your dream position, you may try different paths.

  • Do you know anyone who has your dream job today? Contact them and do a short phone interview. 
  • Are there apprenticeships available in your desired field?   
  • Can you take a part-time job or a volunteer shift? 
  • What about freelancing or a side project to develop your experience?
  • Will you need professional certification or a license?    
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when faced with new challenges & opportunities.

You can use OhioMeansJobs.com to find apprenticeships, part-time jobs, and contract jobs in your area.

When you’re ready to start applying, you will want to take a critical look at your job search documents (resume, cover letter, digital networking profiles).  Consider the perspective of your target industry and position. You will want to position yourself as neither under-qualified nor over-qualified for the job you want. 

Focus on your transferable skills. 

Concentrate your resume on the parts of your experience that would be most interesting to the recruiter or hiring manager for your desired job.

  • Leadership 
  • Decision Making
  • Written and verbal communication 
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Research and analytical skills
  • Personal motivation and time management   

Don’t make assumptions. 

Don’t make them wonder why you are applying for this job. Tell them why. 

At best, you have 30 seconds of attention when a recruiter or hiring manager is reading your resume. Plainly state how your previous experiences make you a good fit for the job. Irrelevant previous jobs and information will only distract your reader. 

Give your resume a full refresh.

Start from a blank slate. Think about the format of your new resume. What will best present your skills, tasks, accomplishments, and qualifications for this job?

You don’t need to list every job you’ve ever had. Your goal is to highlight the most relevant parts of your background for your second career.  Focus on the most valid parts of your story. Aim for quality over quantity.