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Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering | Resources for Online Students

During this past year, I’ve been experiencing some health challenges and recently came across this quote: “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.” It certainly gave me something to think about and put things into perspective. The worst was behind me and I would persevere through these challenges. I think the same thing can be said for anyone who has experienced any type of changes, transitions, or hardships in their lives.

Many of you are currently working in a job or industry that is completely different from the one you aspire to. I commend you for this because it’s not an easy decision to return to school and switch careers. It takes a lot of commitment to pursue your goal.

I recently had an appointment with a new alum who had an extensive career in the health care industry. He was completing an online degree in the information technology area and was confused about how to proceed because he had no industry experience in this new field. He overlooked the fact that he had to complete numerous courses and develop the required technical skills to earn his degree. He discounted the skills he developed in his current career. When I referred to him as an IT Engineer, he had a hard time owning his new identity.

Here are a few tips I shared with him to assist with his career transition.

Identify your transferable skills

Take the time to reflect on who you are and what you want to achieve in your career. It’s about highlighting the most relevant elements of you, including your expertise and qualifications, that will make you an asset to your new company and role.

The skills you developed in your previous career may not look exactly like the skills you need to have for the position you want. However, these skills may have prepared you to do the role you desire.

Even though you don’t have industry experience in your desired field, employers will take this into consideration. They will value the skills you’ve developed through your academic projects and previous career.

Conquer imposter disorder

To successfully and confidently make a change, you need to overcome the mental block that tells you that you don’t have the qualifications. When you’re stretching your comfort zone and trying something new, you will usually see this thought rear its ugly head. If you’re not careful, it can keep you stagnant and hopeless. Acknowledge it and move forward anyway.

Be patient and realistic

Patience and realistic expectations are key to successfully embarking on your career change. Everyone experiences obstacles and challenges along the way and you’re no different. If you’re committed to making a career change, your persistence will pay off.

Even though career transitions are not easy, I guarantee it will be worth it.

If you need assistance with your career transition or other aspects of your career development, the Fulton Schools Career Center is here to assist you. You can schedule an appointment through Handshake.

Betty Boza is a Career Development Specialist for the Fulton Schools Career Center. Her primary responsibility is assisting online, graduate and doctoral students with all aspects of career development including résumé preparation, professional network expansion, effective job search strategies and mock interviews.