Employment Expertise: How to successfully change careers


Did you know that the average person will change careers five to seven times in a lifetime? Not just a new job, but a completely new field. For example, leaving a marketing position for accounting or moving from manufacturing to retail.

Why do workers change careers so often? Sometimes it has to do with frustration in a current job. Other times, a business closure or downsizing forces a move. A lifestyle change can leave workers needing more time at home or a larger salary. As workers mature, they better understand their talents and interests.


Whatever the reason, multiple career changes is the norm in today’s workforce. So, how can you do it successfully?

Understand yourself. Take time for self-reflection. What are your passions, strengths and weaknesses? Not sure where to begin? Consider taking a personality test, like the Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment, to get started.

Find the right fit. Once you understand your skills and personal preferences, start exploring your options. There are many good career exploration sites online like Pure Michigan Talent Connect. Their Career Explorer page has tools that match your interests and skills with the best career for you.

Prepare. Research the position you want to transition into. Are your current skills transferrable? Do you need additional training or education? Consider volunteering in the field. You can gain knowledge and make connections.

Network. Speaking of connections, do you know anyone who is already working in the field? Would they be willing to provide a reference, or do they know of current job openings? Join a professional network in the field and attend local networking events. Prepare a strong elevator speech to let your new connections know why you want a new career.

– Employment Expertise is provided by West Michigan Works! Learn more about how they can help: visit westmiworks.org or your local Service Center.

Courtesy: Hollandsentinel