We use cookies on this site to enhance your online experience. By continuing to use this site, you agree to accept cookies.



Once you’ve spent years on one profession, it may seem difficult and daunting to switch to another. But not impossible.

I can attest to that. After 15 years in software engineering, I switched gears and spent the next 20 years in education positions. Here are some tips I’ve learned, from my own journey and from helping countless others do the same thing:

  • Tally your transferable skills. Transferable skills are important now matter where you work. Skills such as communication skills, leadership, teamwork, and problem solving transcend professions. I worked with a PhD in English who reinvented themselves as a software programmer. It was their communication skills that gave them the edge in the job market.
  • Take on small jobs or projects in your new field. While working full time in software engineering, I took every opportunity presented me to teach. I also taught part-time at a local university college. By the time I switched careers, I already had experience in my new profession.
  • Earn micro credentials. You may not need to go back to school for an entire new degree or credential. Take specific courses or certifications to gain skills in your new professions. Take online university courses, weekend courses, attend online workshops, or take edX free online courses. For example, before I switched from software engineering to education, I took a weekend-based certification for teaching adults.
  • Attend job fairs, conferences, or workshops to meet people in your chosen profession. One of the most difficult things about switching professions is that you may not know anyone. Look for opportunities to expand your professional network in your new field.
  • Do informational interviews. Whether you’re currently working, or have left your last position, informational interviews can give you a much better idea of what companies need, and will help you focus on the journey ahead.

Reinventing yourself is possible. And it can start long before you leave your current position.

If you want help mapping out next steps in your career, feel free to make an appointment with CareerFirsts today.

Want to learn more?

Book a Meeting