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Switching Careers: 8 Things to Do Before You Apply for A Job

Updated on November 10, 2012
How many jobs have you had?
How many jobs have you had? | Source

I used to do writing for a blog called Yellow Brick Road where I had the terrific opportunity to write about various career-related topics, which is something that I actually really enjoy writing about. One of my favorite articles that I wrote there was a 10 Step Guide to Switching Careers. What you will find if you check out that article is that there are a bunch of things that you should do to prepare for switching careers before you actually go out and apply for a new job, which I think is something that a lot of people may not realize. That is why I wanted to emphasize that point here by putting together a list of the eight steps that come before "apply for a job" in the list of things you should do before you jump from one career path to another.

The eight things to do before applying for a job in a new field are:

  1. Identify the flaws in your existing career. What is the real problem? If you don't know then you could end up in a new job with the same exact problems.
  2. List all of the things you want out of a new job. Now rank them in order of priority. You may not get everything you want but this will help you see what you most need from a new job.
  3. Brainstorm a list of the jobs that you might want to do. You shouldn't just leap into a new career field without considering all of the possible options. Sure, list your dream job but also list all of the other jobs that might work for you too.
  4. Compare and contrast the job options you've identified. You want to look specifically at how they meet your priorities outlined in step two but also look at the education and experience required to get into those jobs because some may be easier for you to get into than others.
  5. Get hands-on experience in the jobs that seem most appealing. You aren't going to know if you really like this new career choice until you try it so volunteer or shadow before you make the leap.
  6. Based on the experiences you've had, choose your new career field.
  7. Figure out every step that you need to take to get yourself into this new job. Identify all of the education and experience that you have to get and how you will get it in order to meet the requirements of switching careers to your new chosen field.
  8. Go the extra mile. Since you're going from one job to another, you will need to prove that you are really committed to this new career path. Figure out what other courses, accreditations and skills you can aquire to make yourself the best applicant for the new job.

Once you have completed this eight steps you are ready to apply for jobs in your new career field, one that you should now know for sure is the right one for you and one you should also now be the right candidate for as well!


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  • Crystal Tatum profile image

    Crystal Tatum 5 years ago from Georgia

    A good and simplified breakdown of what can be an overwhelming process. Voted up and useful.

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

    Some really good suggestions here. Well put and following the advice here will be very helpful and less stress.