Need to Change Careers? Here’s Your Ultimate Guide

Tech Career Hub
Written by:
App Academy
Published on:
December 3, 2022

Here's your ultimate guide to help you navigate through the process if you're considering a career change. Discover practical tips and strategies to make your transition smoother and more successful.

There are countless reasons why people need to change careers or move between roles and industries but, at the end of the day, the process in which you change careers looks the same no matter what career you hope to pursue.

Changing careers can be a really daunting experience, so it’s important that you approach it methodically and check all the necessary boxes. We’ve created the ultimate guide to help you if you need to change careers or are looking forward to doing so in 2023 and beyond.

Why you might need to change careers

For one reason or another, many people will need to change careers at some point in their life. These are just a few of the many reasons:

  • Layoffs or firings: Regardless of why you were terminated, sometimes it takes losing your current position to help you reevaluate what you want out of your next career move
  • Economic uncertainty: During times of recession or economic downturn, it’s natural to consider other options that may provide better job security
  • Aging: It’s natural to age out of certain careers; luckily, there are plenty others that value your experience and age
  • Changing career interests: You may want to explore new interests or skills that could eventually become a career
  • Changing financial or cultural circumstances: If you want to make more money, work for a company that better matches your interests, or earn benefits that are better aligned with your values like remote work, it could be a good idea to change careers
  • Lack of advancement opportunities: For many, upward mobility in their career is a big priority, regardless of what that career is, and changing careers gives them the opportunity to move up the ladder

No matter what the catalyst may be, there are a few crucial steps you should take when it comes to shifting jobs or overhauling your career entirely.

6 steps to take if you need to change careers

Consider any new career possibilities

Start by making a list: What do you like to do? What are you interested in? What do you want out of your next career, both financially and personally?

Do you research and list out any possible careers you may want to consider so you can start to put the wheels in motion.

Determine what level of education, training, or additional learning you’ll need to upskill/reskill yourself

In addition to the list of roles you’re interested in, research what sorts of training or experience you’ll need to move into those positions. Find overlaps in your existing skill set to understand what you’ll need to learn and what assets you can flaunt in future interviews.

Work in sales or marketing currently, but want to switch to tech? We’ve created the sales to engineering pipeline as well as the marketing to engineering pipeline so you can see where your skills overlap with that of an engineer.

Start skill-building

Now that you know what you need to learn and how, it’s time to start skill-building. Some roles may require you to earn a college degree, but other jobs require no college degree at all. Instead, you can opt for bootcamps or other trade programs, whether they’re in person or online, or self-taught learning.

It’s important to give yourself the foundational skills you’ll need in your next role. For example, aspiring software engineers need to have fundamental coding and programming skills, plus a portfolio to back it up and showcase their work.

Consult your network and your network’s network

Arguably the most critical step of all will be lean on your network. Reach out to former colleagues, friends, family members, college classmates – anyone you can think of for advice, a referral, or to set you up with someone in their extended network.

The saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” couldn’t be more true when you’re in the process of changing jobs or careers entirely.

Start your career change resume

Your career change resume may look a little different than your resume would if you were staying in the same role. These are a few things you should add:

  • Prior experience, especially overlapping skill sets
  • A template that puts your former and new experience side by side
  • Skills section with new and existing skills
  • Professional summary or objective statement
  • Education section, especially certifications or new training
  • A portfolio or personal website that shows projects or things you’ve worked on

In the same vein, these are a few things you should leave off your career change resume:

  • Photos
  • Irrelevant experience or fluff
  • Social media profiles
  • Buzzwords or too many “I” statements
  • Elaborate formatting

Start applying – and open yourself to new opportunities or places

New roles may lead to new opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise considered. That could even mean relocating. With the career change mindset, you need to open yourself to these experiences you didn’t know you’d have and trust your gut if the right opportunity presents itself.

The best job to consider for those who need to change careers

We may be biased, but the data doesn’t lie: Software engineering presents some of the best opportunities for fresh talent in any industry in the world. The projected growth of software engineering jobs is higher than in any other role, and software engineers earn incredibly lucrative salaries.

More people have the capacity to be a software engineer than they may realize, but just haven’t had the opportunity to try coding or flex any other muscles that engineers use in their roles. Luckily, App Academy has a free coding course for you to get your feet wet, then bootcamp programs for when you’re ready to really solidify your training and make software engineering your next career move.

Learn more about our free coding curriculum, App Academy Open, here.

Learn more about our part-time, online coding bootcamp program here.

Learn more about our campus-based full-time bootcamps here.

Learn more about our remote full-time coding bootcamp here.


Don’t miss a beat with The Cohort!

We’ll send you the latest Tech industry news, SWE career tips and student stories each month.

You can unsubscribe at any time. View our Privacy Policy.
Thank you! You've now been subscribed to The Cohort.
There has been an error. Please try again.

Interested in an App Academy Bootcamp?

One of our coding bootcamps, prep course or free online coding platform (App Academy Open) could be the next step you need to make a lasting career change!