Whether you just completed your education in the engineering field or are interested in using your current skills in a new engineering career, making a job switch often feels natural when beginning a new year. But making such a big change can initially seem intimidating, even scary.
With proper preparation, you can make the transition into a new field simpler than you imagined. If you are interested in taking your career in a new direction, here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Review Your Expectations
It is easy to imagine yourself in a similar role at a similar level of your current one, but a career change often requires taking a step back. You may have to consider more entry-level positions depending on how dramatic the shift will be. Often, this realization can create anxiety, but it is important to focus on where your new career can end up instead of where you are starting.
Objectively review your current skills and education, as well as any new training that may be required. Then compare that information to openings in the engineering field. This will help you determine which opportunities you should target as you move forward with a career change. It will also allow you to see where your career can go as you gain more experience and training.
Create an Action Plan
Now that you know what your target positions require, you can create a plan to help you land the job. Look into acquiring any new skills that may be needed, or honing any current skills that translate into your new career.
If you need experience in the field, look for volunteer opportunities that allow you to put the applicable skills to use. You can often find options that will work around your current schedule, enabling you to maintain your current employment (if appropriate) while acquiring the experience you require.
Create a Network
A professional network can help connect you to decision-makers in your target engineering field. If your previous work does not have the connections you need, then you should look at expanding your network into new territory. Look into local professional associations focused on your new career or alumni associations from your alma mater. You’ll be able to meet potential hiring managers that are relevant to your new path and may find unadvertised positions to which you can apply.
Work with a Recruiter
Since you may be unfamiliar with the idiosyncrasies of your new career field, working with a recruiter can help you explore your options. Recruitment professionals have a thorough understanding of the local job market and their areas of specialty. You will have access to their network and can use their advice to help you create resumes, cover letters, and profiles that best show how your current skills and education apply to your new goals.