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How to Change Your Career

How to Change Your Career

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Are you looking to change your career but aren’t sure how to get started?

A career change can be a big life adjustment. If you’ve been working in one career field your whole life, transitioning careers may feel like a difficult feat. 

However, people change their careers all the time. Nearly half of American workers make a dramatic career switch in their lifetime. People switch careers for various reasons, with the number one reason being “being unhappy” with their previous position. 

How do you make a career change? What steps do you need to take? Check out this post to learn everything you need to know about switching careers. 

Assess Your Current Job

First things first, take some time to assess your satisfaction levels at your current job. Even if your current job completely burns you out, there are likely some aspects to it that you still enjoy. 

Take some time to write down what you like least about your job and what you want most. For example, let’s say you work in a marketing position. Maybe you don’t like writing marketing materials, but you love interacting with clients and helping them grow their brands. 

Or, let’s say you work as a teacher. Maybe the classroom hours are burning you out, but you love preparing lesson plans. Once you know what you like about your current job, you can start thinking of careers with these same responsibilities. 

Decide If You Want to Change Industries 

You also need to assess how big of a career jump you want to make. For some people, changing their career means starting over in an adjacent industry, while for others, it means starting over in a completely new industry. Or, you may just want to switch occupations within the same industry. 

Figuring out how big of an industry shift you’re going to make will help you plot out your next steps. For example, if you’re currently working as a restaurant manager, but you want to switch to a healthcare career, you’ll likely need to go back to school. 

But, if you’re working as a communications specialist and want to switch to a public relations role, you may not need additional schooling. Instead, you may be able to use your current skills to market yourself for a new job. 

Consider Education 

Another critical thing to consider is whether or not you’re in a position to go back to school. Receiving more education is often the best and most efficient way to change careers. However, it’s not necessary for all career tracks. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that receiving more education doesn’t necessarily mean going to grad school or earning a 4-year degree. You can take many alternative education routes, such as earning an associate’s degree or completing a certificate program. 

Additionally, many schools now allow you to attend classes part-time, on the weekends, or at night. This means that you can still hold down a full-time job while attending certificate programs or earning your degree and changing your career trajectory. 

Brainstorm Careers 

Once you’ve considered the above information, it’s time to start brainstorming careers. One big thing to remember is that you shouldn’t let your age, experience level, or previous education hold you back from making a career switch. 

People switch careers all the time, and even if you’re completely switching industries, your previous career will help you in some capacity. In many cases, employers view people who come from different sectors as a tremendous asset, as it means they’ll have a fresh perspective to bring to the table. 

That being said, some careers are more straightforward to transition into than others. Here are some careers and degrees to consider:

Business Administration 

Earning an associate’s degree in business administration can open all kinds of career doors for you. You can work as a human resource specialist, financial analyst, market research analyst, or even a sales manager with a business administration degree. 

Many people who earn business administration degrees also transition into marketing or advertising roles, and some even open their franchise businesses. The great thing about this degree is that there are so many different career paths you can take. If you want to launch a career in business, a degree in business administration is a great place to start. 

Drug Addiction Counselor 

If you’re looking to truly have an impact on others, consider a career as a drug addiction counselor. Many people think that to work in a counseling position; you need to earn a master’s degree or Ph.D. 

However, this isn’t always the case. Earning an associate’s degree can help you launch a drug addiction counselor. As a counselor, you’ll have the opportunity to improve many people’s lives. 

You’ll teach clients ways to cope with their addiction, and you’ll provide them with healthy techniques that help them on their journey toward recovery. Your typical duties will involve:

  • Referring your clients to support groups
  • Leading group therapy sessions
  • Identifying issues and creating treatment plans
  • Meeting with clients to evaluate their substance problems and overall health.
  • Setting up aftercare plans.
  • Meeting with family members to offer them support.

If you wish to one day run your practice, earning an associate’s degree can be a significant first step toward this goal. Eventually, you may want to earn your bachelor’s degree and potentially a master’s degree. 


The internet has transformed the way we live our lives, and it has also changed the job industry and the way we do business. Most businesses operate online in some capacity. And because of this, there’s a greater need for cybersecurity. 

According to the BLS, as of March 2021, cybersecurity professionals’ job outlook is expected to grow by 31 percent through 2029. If you’ve wanted to transition to the cybersecurity field, now is the time to do it.

And luckily, you can take part in a cybersecurity program that will allow you to launch your career in 40 weeks or an associate’s program in Cyber Security that will take longer. There are all different kinds of cybersecurity-related jobs you can land. You may find work as an information security analyst, security architect, penetration tester, IT security engineer, or forensic computer analyst. 

Consider Certificate Programs 

In addition to the above degrees, many certificate programs allow you to launch your career in under a year. Here are some certificate programs worth considering:

HVAC Technician: In this certificate program, you’ll learn how to install and maintain heating and air conditioning systems. 

Pharmacy Technician: Pharmacy technicians work alongside licensed pharmacists to prepare prescription medications for patients. 

Medical Assistant: In this certificate program, you’ll learn the administrative and clinical tasks associated with working as a medical assistant. In this role, you may find yourself working in a physician’s office, clinic, or other healthcare facilities. 

Prepare for Your Interviews 

Once you finish training for your career, it’s time to start training for your interviews. When interviewing for a job in a new career field, the biggest thing interviewers will want to know is why you’re switching careers. 

When interviewing, make sure to emphasize the positive reasons why you want to switch careers. For example, don’t just say, “I wanted to switch careers because I hated my old job.” 

Instead, focus on the aspects of your old career that you enjoyed, as well as the aspects that you thought were missing. Also, make sure to emphasize what skills and experiences you can bring from your old career to your new one. 

You don’t want to make it sound like you’re starting your career over from scratch. Instead, you want to focus on the ways your old career helped prepare you for this big transition. 

Are You Ready for a Career Change? 

Now that you know what it takes to make a career change, it’s time for you to begin your journey. As you can see, starting a new career is possible at any age, regardless of your circumstances. 

Of course, getting the right education is a significant component of making a career change. If you’re looking to enroll in a certificate or degree program, Intercoast Colleges may be a great option. We have a variety of online, on-campus, and hybrid programs to suit your needs. 

To learn more about our programs, contact us today

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