Changing Lanes in Your Career Without Steering Off the Road

What is a career change 

A career change is the process of taking on a role that differs from your current work role. There are different reasons you may be considering a new position, but any move requires an action plan and reflection.  

Professionals change careers for various reasons, including: a change in salary requirements, a desire to have a less stressful job, a need for better work-life balance, aspirations to be challenged or acquire new skills, and/or a feeling of lacking passion for a current role. 

No matter the reason you are considering a career change, it will require a strategy and intentionality. Continue below for the four types of career changers and tips for how you can prepare to make the leap.  

Four types of career changers:  

  • A professional who changes companies but remains in the same industry. An example would be an Information Technology Specialist at UMGC who applies to an Information Technology Specialist role at UMD College Park.  
  • A professional who wants to switch to a new industry but remain in a similar role. An example would be a Sales Associate at an automotive company switching to a Sales Associate at a technology company. 
  • A professional who wants to switch their role within the same industry. An example would be a Customer Service Representative at a pharmaceutical company applying for a Human Resources Generalist role at the same company. 
  • A professional who wants to switch their role and industry. An example would be a Certified Nurse’s Assistant at a major hospital switching to a Technical Support role at IBM, Inc.   

Each type of career changer experiences some level of difficulty. They each take a leap of faith but with preparation it is possible to succeed.   

How to prepare for a Career Change 

  • Have self-reflection and consider your options  
  • Do your research on the company and the role  
  • Gain relevant experience and skills  
  • Grow your network 
  • Update your resume & cover letter (tailor it for the new industry and/or role) 
  • Prepare for interview questions  
  • Utilize the CareerQuest resources 

This information and more was covered in the recent resume webinar, Changing lanes in your career without steering off the road. If you need resume assistance, check out the career services resume tool, VMock. If you need further guidance with your career transition, then the Career Advising Specialists are here to help.  

Isa’ Martinez is a Career Advising Specialist in the Office of Career Services and Alumni Relations at the University of Maryland Global Campus. She has over ten years of experience in Education in enrollment services and a student support capacity.  She has a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Bowie State University, where she practiced counseling for a year and discovered her passion for career counseling. Isa’ is committed to putting students first, providing career development to students and alumni and believes in the power of an education.