Strategies for Shifting Career Paths While Job Searching

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Sometimes, when it comes time to start a new job search, you won't know what exactly you want. All you'll know is that your last experience wasn't as great as you had hoped, and you're looking for something different. Whether you're re-entering the search after a few years or looking to switch up your career path, taking some time to consider exactly what you're doing can be vital in ensuring success in the future.

The Huffington Post noted that the initial job search efforts many people embark on can seem daunting from the outset, which can harm morale and delay the start of any real changes. Instead of working out exactly what you think you want, the news source instead recommended starting with what you know you definitely don't want. There will be careers you're not prepared for and ones that you know you're not willing to work in. By crossing those off a potential job search list, you've already started building up what you do and don't want in the near future.

Of course, there's no time to lose in your search, so the next step you take should be delving into different potential careers that you're interested in. You'll inevitably have the education or experience to join a few separate industries, so start there. Networking with people or even just looking online in those specific locations will help you better know which corners of the industry are rife with hiring and which ones are struggling. If you network properly, you'll also have friends looking out for you who can help find openings you may not even know about. Keep your options and your eyes open, as a great opportunity can come from anywhere without you even expecting it.

Build a brand

The Boston Globe added that in addition to knowing what you want to do, it's just as important for you to build up a reputation that will draw hiring managers to you. By looking back at your past jobs you've held, you can determine which skills you have that are or aren't great selling points. Working from there, you can likely find you've got more than a few qualities that will be appealing to hiring managers.

The next step from there is to develop your identity online deeper than your cover letter and resume alone would suggest. Getting on LinkedIn is crucial, as it's a location where countless hiring managers and tens of thousands of job openings exist. It's not quite as simple as just making a profile and waiting for the page hits to roll in, though. You'll need to join groups in different fields, connect with friends, family and past colleagues, and participate in discussions to gather attention. Managers have said they look for engagement and interest in a position before they hire.

There are also a growing number of supplemental social media sites built around different fields of work, which can help a job search by further expanding a person's network. Developers can post projects and meet others on sites like Github, while health care professionals can find new elements of design on sites like Doximity. There are even job listing sites along these same lines, where they only post listings from specific industries. These specific websites are more low-key and will have less competition than listings posted on major job boards. Some sites' application rates can be low enough to prevent applicants from standing out from the crowd - taking these steps to better ensure your voice will be heard will likely help you get more attention from industry leaders.