Transitioning your way to a new career

Posted by Amanda Augustine

August 22, 2012

Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of being introduced to Dr. Debra Condren, the radio host of “Ambition is Not a Dirty Word” on WebTalk Radio.

In addition to her show, Dr. Condren is a business psychologist who specializes in assessment-based executive coaching, talent and leadership development, and career advising. She is the also author of “Ambition is Not a Dirty Word: A Woman's Guide to Earning Her Worth & Achieving Her Dreams,” and is the founder of Manhattan Business Coaching LLC. And you thought you were busy, huh?

Dr. Condren invited me on her show to discuss making a career transition – what you need to do to prepare for this type of job search, and what you can expect along the way. We had a really great conversation that covered the job-search gamut, from identifying goals, to formatting cover letters, to keeping upbeat when things aren’t going your way.

Below are three of the career-transition tips I shared with Dr. Condren and her listeners:

1. Do your research

    • Identify industries that are strong or emerging, and are similar to your previous experience.
    • Once you’ve chosen your target industry, use social networking, online resources, professional associations and network connections to learn as much as you can about the industry, its hiring practices, and any open opportunities.

2. Focus on job requirements, your qualifications and results
    • Your cover letter and elevator pitch should focus on your ability to deliver results.
    • When applying to jobs, focus on demonstrating how you meet all the primary job requirements for the role.
    • If you’ve worked in multiple industries, leverage this point to demonstrate that you have been successful in a variety of industries in the past, and can be so again with this organization.

3. Show passion…and patience
    • Determine why you find a particular industry or company appealing and show that passion in your elevator pitch and interviews.
    • Remember that transitioning to a new role can be a long process, especially in this saturated job market. The greater the gap between your job goals and most recent experience, the more challenging this transition can be.
    • It may be necessary to compromise on compensation and job title in your next job in order to get you on the right track towards your dream job

Click here to listen to the full radio segment.

Click here for more tips on making a career transition.

I’m always honest, and it’s true that making a transition can be tricky in this current market. But don’t give up on your dreams! It may take you longer than you expected, but it can be done. Stay positive, continue looking forward, and keep working hard!


Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.

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