What Is a Career Transitioning Process? (With Tips for Success)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Changing from one career into another can be enjoyable and made easier with these tips for a successful transition. Whether you're transitioning from a stay-at-home parent to the workplace, the workplace to university or from one career into another, there are many strategies available that can help make your career transition smoother. Learning these methods can help you determine the course of action you might want to take before and during your transition. In this article, we discuss what a career transitioning process is and explore a range of tips to help a successful career transition.

What is a career transitioning process?

A career transitioning process is where you're in a period of change from one career to the next. This shift can involve pursuing new technical skills and beginning a second career in a whole new industry. It might also involve transitioning into a different lifestyle, like seeking educational opportunities or having children and finding remote work.

Tips for a successful career transition

Deciding to embark on a career transition can be exciting, but it can take a lot of consideration. Here are some tips that can help make your career transition a smoother process:

Be clear about what you want

Changing careers can positively impact your future. Before you transition, it can help to be clear and honest with yourself about what you want out of a career change and how that may look. You might want to change careers for greater job satisfaction or more financial reward, for example. Once you clearly understand why you want to transition and what you want from the change, it can help you identify what new career or lifestyle is best suited to your needs.

Consider your interests and values

When you're considering a career transition, it can be helpful to reflect on your interests and values. You might contemplate whether the new career maximises your interests and how closely it aligns with your core values. During this stage, it can help to write a list of the duties, responsibilities and potential progression you might experience in your new career. Considering how closely they align with your interests and values can help you determine if the career transition is right for you.

Related: Core Values: Overview and Examples

Conduct research on your new career

Once you've decided that you want to exit your current career, it can be helpful to research your new one. Conducting research into a new career choice can help you determine the best course of action for a successful transition. You might explore the required hard and soft skills, educational requirements or the labour market and career progression of that industry. Resources such as online career videos, recruitment officers or employment websites can be helpful avenues for finding out more information about your future job.

Related: The Complete Guide to Researching a Company

Audit your skills

Undertaking a skills audit can help you determine where your gaps might be and how you can fill them for a successful career transition. It can be helpful to first identify the required skills of your new career. Then you might want to consider listing your professional strengths, paying close attention to areas you may aim to improve based on the role's requirements. After undertaking a skills audit, you can plan the best course of action to enhance your skill set, such as seeking a training course or pursuing extra educational qualifications.

Create an action plan

Before you commit to your career transition, it can be helpful to contemplate what you need to complete first and what your ideal time frame might be. You can determine this via an action plan. This plan can involve listing actions that can better position you to make a successful transition. You might consider technical skills to gain, contacts to make or things in your current career that might require your attention before you can exit. You might then assign yourself daily or weekly reminders to ensure you complete your actions within a specific timeline.

Pursue networking opportunities

Networking can be a great way to find information about your new career and generate new contacts that might be useful for your career progression. One useful way to network is by attending events that relate to your chosen industry. Here you might meet interesting people who can share their industry experience and provide you with tips for entering the sector. Another helpful way to network is via social media. Social media platforms can help you contact relevant industry specialists with whom you can build rapport and access professional opportunities.

Related: Become a Networking Expert in 7 Steps

Update your resume and cover letter

Although you may have many standout accomplishments in your previous career, they may not apply to the job you're now considering. To make the best possible impression on your new target audience, you can update your resume and cover letter. You can think about how you might reword your skills and accomplishments so that they're more applicable to your future career. For example, you might convey how your experiences have made you highly adaptable or easy to train or how certain hard and soft skills you have are transferrable.

Related: How to Choose the Right Career Path

Career transition scenarios

There are many situations that might make you consider a career change. Here are some common career change scenarios and useful advice for a successful transition in each instance:

Returning to education

You may decide to return to university to pursue post-graduate studies or pursue a bachelor's degree in a new field of interest. This scenario might arise because you wish to advance your knowledge and skills through post-graduate studies, improve your salary prospects, progress in your career or enhance your employability. Alternatively, you might choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in a new field to gain the requisite qualifications and skills to enter a new career.

You may want to consider what skills you can learn from pursuing further education. Having a clear understanding of what skills you can develop in a particular subject can help you determine the suitability of the course. You might also investigate opportunities you can find with that qualification. You might want to talk with your supervisor before enrolling in a course. Your workplace may assist you in completing additional degrees, either with financial reimbursement or allowing you to work part-time while you study.

Workplace to stay-at-home parent

Transitioning from the workplace into a stay-at-home parent can be a significant lifestyle change. Foregoing your full-time income to pursue the rewards of parenting might feel challenging at first, but there are ways to make this transition easier for you. For example, rather than aligning your success with financial gain and career accomplishment, you might focus on the nurturing you can provide to your child. This can help offer you a new perspective and make the transition easier.

Another way you can make this transition easier is by joining a support group. By attending regular meetings, you can meet other parents who might have made similar transitions. Sharing tips and suggestions with parents who might be going through similar experiences can help you gain insight and ways to adjust. You may also explore remote working options with a flexible work schedule that allows you to fit work around family life. Consider looking into digital roles such as a part-time virtual assistant, content writing or editing.

Stay-at-home parent to workplace

You may want to make this transition from stay-at-home parent to the workplace because your children are older, or you have secured childcare to resume your career. You might consider a slow transition, such as working part-time for a period before slowly increasing your hours to full-time if you haven't worked in a while.

You might want to update and prepare your resume, cover letter and social media profiles. Depending on how long you've been out of the workforce, the job market might have changed. Updating and preparing your resume and cover letter to cater to any new job requirements can help you compete with other candidates. Updating your social media profiles can also help you reconnect with professional contacts and promote yourself to seek potential employers.

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