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5 Crucial Steps for Making a Career Change in 2016

Is a new career on your holiday wish list? Utilize these techniques to land your dream job. [TWEET]

As 2015 draws to a close, it’s common for thoughts to turn to resolutions and changes. If you’re unsatisfied in your career or stuck in the wrong job, make one of your resolutions to find a job you love in the New Year. Start making a career change by using these five career transition techniques.

Step 1: Figure out your why.

TED Talks speaker Simon Sinek points out that it all starts with why. Why do you want to leave your current job? Why are you thinking of making a career change? What do you really want to be doing and why? Maybe you already are in touch with your purpose or maybe you’ve never thought about it, but connecting with your why can keep you going when the going gets tough.

Step 2: Use your imagination.

As professional sports players and their coaches know, you have to see the shot before you take it. The same is true for a career transition. Before you take any steps at all, you have to imagine yourself in a new position. Where will you work? What will you do there? What will you be paid? How will you feel in this new role? Flesh out your vision as much as possible and hold onto it.

Step 3: Prepare your resume.

This is your primary marketing material and it needs to reflect your latest accomplishments in a way that highlights your suitability for the next great role. A great resume for career change is critical, do not do this step halfway. A great resume will not necessarily get you the job, but a bad one can kill your opportunity. Invest in a professional service if this is not an area of strength for you.

Step 4: Do some research.

Signing up for job boards and applying to jobs is one way to look for work, but it’s also a good idea to do your own homework. Based on Step 1, figure out what companies out there match your values and do the kinds of things you want to be doing and what qualifications they require from candidates. Do not, under any circumstances become afraid of what you may find out. It is possible you will learn you need more experience or education, but knowledge is power. Go back to your why and get to work on making yourself the perfect candidate for your perfect job.

Step 5: Put yourself out there.

Once you’ve identified the companies where you’d like to work and ascertained that you have the skills required for your new job, see if you can get an introduction. Use LinkedIn or other professional networking associations to determine who you know at your target company, or can introduce you to someone there, and reach out. It’s a good idea to craft an email explaining what you want to do, and for whom, and ask for an introduction. Make sure to use appropriate networking etiquette and reciprocate where possible.

There’s no reason why you can’t find yourself making a career change in the New Year; the secret to getting there is to be methodical and pursue it!

Ready for a new career in the New Year? Get started today.

Write your resume like a pro.

TopResume's resume worksheet is just like the one our pros use. Download it now for free and start getting more interviews!

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Write your resume like a pro.

TopResume's resume worksheet is just like the one our pros use. Download it now for free and start getting more interviews!