When I was looking for a job, Switchers by Dr. Dawn Graham was the most helpful book I read.
You don’t have to stay in the same position forever. Nor do you need to remain in the same industry. You can change to something new. Your skills are transferable, no matter where you are in your career.
While a career switch can seem like an impossible chasm to cross. Graham breaks it down into small, achievable steps.
The first task is to figure out where you are now. What is your role? What is your industry? What do you like to do? And what do you want to do next?
Switchers can get you to that next place by showing how to translate your experience into something new. The book is filled with real-world stories of people who have successfully switched jobs and industries in search of meaningful work.
What kind of switch do you want to make? Do you like your industry but want a different role? Do you want to do the same job in a different industry? Or do you want to swap your current job and industry for something completely different?
The secret is to design your resume around what you want to do – not what you’ve done in the past. Focus on where you’re going, not where you’ve been.
Apply for fewer jobs. When I was job-searching, I followed the traditional “spray and pray” approach. I’d apply for everything, even jobs I knew weren’t suited for me.
It’s more productive to aim for a specific job title and industry. Spend your time on quality jobs that you want to do rather than the temptation of clicking “submit” on endless job postings.
Try to stay out of the resume pile, Graham advises. While everyone seems to recognize that the hiring system is broken, with managers overwhelmed by resumes and applicants ghosted by employers, I don’t see an alternative, at the moment. It would be nice to think that you can network your way to something new but most people I know find new jobs through old-fashioned applying.
Graham also includes helpful tactics to convince skeptical employers to shelve their assumptions about career switchers. This is the biggest barrier for switchers but, as a hiring manager, wouldn’t you want someone enthusiastic about joining a new field?
In my job search, I ultimately ended up in the same role and same industry. I’m a digital communicator for government agencies. Thanks to Switchers, however, I know that my experience is transferable.
Life is too short for a job you hate. Use Switchers to make a daring career move into something more satisfying.