How to Navigate a Career Change and One Industry You Need to Consider

This article is in collaboration with CompTIA, the world’s leading tech association and leading provider in IT training and certifications. From their new IT professional association to their leading certification programs, from their original research to their member communities and councils, their unparalleled programs set industry standards, foster skills development and generate knowledge and insight every day.

Find out more about IT with CompTIA, the leading provider in IT training and certifications here.

Wondering if IT is right for you? Take CompTIA’s free career quiz here.


Setting sights on a career change? While career changes can be hard — even harder than the regular old job search — they can also be very exciting, necessary, and rewarding.

Why consider a career or industry change?

Switching industries is a tough choice to make, especially when you’ve already invested time, money, and effort in a different direction. A new industry change, however, can be just the move you need to achieve your career goals.

Sometimes, the role or industry you originally considered wasn’t what you thought it would be. Maybe you’re not into or challenged by the work, or are situated in a toxic environment. Maybe you want more time to pursue your real passions outside of work. Maybe you’ve realized you’re just not able to break into where you thought you wanted to be, and would rather be a big fish in a small pond.

Maybe (and most likely), you’re looking for a lifestyle upgrade (more $$), and you know the path you’re pursuing just can’t get you there (thanks, Glassdoor!).

If any of the above sound familiar, one field you can consider making the switch into is information technology – i.e., IT. Fun note, there are more IT jobs than people who are actually applying for them. For you, this means more opportunities to stand out to recruiters and hiring managers! Plus, you can enjoy a healthy work-life balance, meaning more time for you to enjoy life and pursue your hobbies and other projects.

IT careers also pay well — according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary is $87,870. 

Raining Money GIF - Career Change

Career changes can seem daunting, but it’s not impossible. Here are five things you can do now to help you land a role in a different industry like IT.

 

Highlight your soft skills

There’s an excellent chance that many of the soft skills you already have are easily transferable to a new industry or role. From communication to project management, you may be surprised to find out other types of roles you’re qualified for outside of your current position.

For instance, you love getting creative, enjoy solving problems, and helping others to use technology in their lives – you already have the skills that’ll help you become a star in IT.

As you’re crafting your resumes and cover letters, make sure to highlight how your soft skills are applicable to the skills mentioned in the role’s job description. Custom cover letters and resumes are key, even more so when you’re making a career change. 

While you can always receive training to build on your technical skills, showing excitement about trying new things and eagerness to learn and grow will help you stand out. 

Go Get It GIF - Career Change

 

Invest in yourself and your education

There are (many) times when it makes sense to further invest in yourself so you can keep building on skills and knowledge in areas you’re interested in — especially when you know the education will help you land a job that will pay more than what you’re currently making.

Now more than ever, a traditional Bachelor’s degree isn’t needed for certain roles — more than 25% of IT professionals don’t have college degrees.

Plus, there are so many different ways to take advantage of continuing education — online, offline, part-time, and hybrid — to name a few.

For instance, CompTIA offers a variety of IT certification programs that have flexible online and in-person classes and make it easy to add the certifications to your resume and LinkedIn profile.

mission accomplished gif - Career Change

 

Network offline and online

We all know networking is important, but it’s even more important to build relationships when you’re making a career switch. You might feel behind others who have been in the industry longer — but using sites like LinkedIn to find people who’ve made the switch, too will help you realize you’re not alone and anything is possible (cheesy, but true).

For example, notice that a person in your network is connected to someone in the type of role you’re shooting for? Ask for an introduction! When you land informational interviews, focus your questions on what you can’t easily learn via Google, like the best companies for hiring folks from non-traditional backgrounds. 

BTS - Career Change

 

Pursue your passions as hobbies or side projects

If you’re transitioning out from an industry or role you were (originally) passionate about, just because you’re not doing it for your 9-5 doesn’t mean you have to give up on it. Pursue your passion as a hobby or side hustle, or through joining clubs, attending events, or doing volunteer work.

Sometimes, not making your passion your 9-5 is an even better way to make sure you stay passionate about it! 

Kris Jenner gif - Career Change

 

Take it one day at a time — it’s never too late to start

Career changes take time, patience, and don’t happen overnight, so give yourself the space you need to make it happen within a reasonable timeline. It’s all about baby steps. You have more free time than you realize — before work, lunch breaks, after work, and weekends can add up — especially when you remove Netflix and Facebook from the equation.

If you’re still holding back on making the change, ask yourself — are you making excuses that you’re not ready or don’t have the time? Don’t let your worries or any distractions get the best of you.

Celebrate short-term wins like getting replies to applications and submitting your first homework assignments for a new course. It will keep you motivated to achieve your long-term goals.

Maybe you don’t want to feel like a “quitter” by making the switch. Honestly, “quitting” and starting again because you know it’s right for you is just as brave and admirable as any career move.

You Can Do It Meme - Career Change

Have any other tips on making a career change? Share in the comments below!


This article is in collaboration with CompTIA, the world’s leading tech association and leading provider in IT training and certifications. From our new IT professional association to our leading certification programs, from our original research to our member communities and councils, our unparalleled programs set industry standards, foster skills development and generate knowledge and insight every day. With our members, we’re building the foundation for technology’s future.

Find out more about IT with CompTIA, the leading provider in IT training and certifications here.

Wondering if IT is right for you? Take CompTIA’s free career quiz here.

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