The No. 1 Way to Know When It’s Time To Change Careers, According to a Career Transitions Coach

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Reneé Zung252
Career Consultant
July 13, 2024 at 1:56PM UTC

We’re now well into a new year and it might be the perfect time for a career change. As a Certified Career Transitions Coach, I have assisted outplaced candidates for over a decade. Career transitions begin when an individual moves from one career to another. Career transition services are designed to help individuals during that transition time from one position to the next. 

If you believe that it's the right time to make a career move, you might want to consider assistance from a career coach. Professional career coaches will assist you with examining your work satisfiers, work history, skills and passions. It's not necessary to hire a career coach to make a successful career change, but the perspective of a professional career coach can help.

What is a Career Transition Coach?

A career transition coach is a professional who people hire when they are looking to change careers. The career change process can be scary and overwhelming, but a career transition coach exists to hold a hand along the way. They help the person changing careers pinpoint their unique strengths and skills and figure out how to apply those (and communicate them) in a new career that may be a different job or a totally different field or industry.
A career transition coach needs to be someone who is experienced and knowledgable on what companies are seeking in candidates. After all, their job is ultimately to help their clients find new jobs. 

Career Transition Coach Job Description

A career transition coach works closely with clients to help them revamp their resumes, cover letters, social profiles, portfolios, and other application materials to apply for new jobs, usually in different fields or industries. They may also help them to network and prep for interviews to better equip them for landing a job.

How to know when it’s time to make a career change.

The most common reason to make a career change is that you don't feel that you're making a contribution or impact at your current job.  

In a remote work environment, you might feel like you're working longer hours and become dissatisfied. It might be that you have not created boundaries in your home office or that your workload is more than one person can successfully handle. Or, it might be time for you to look for a new career move. You might want to consider re-employment with another organization, self-employment or mission-driven employment. It all depends on what you want to do.

4 steps to making a successful career switch.

1. Assess your passions.

Part of the assessment process will include self-reflection of what parts of your job you enjoy as well as what parts of the job you do not like. Knowing your work satisfiers will help you determine what type of work you enjoy. There are free assessments available such as DISC from Tony Robins, provides career advice as well as

2. Assess your skills.

If you are unhappy at work and want to make the move, I recommend taking a closer look at your transferable skills. Your transferable skills are more valuable than you think. If you need help with this step, I recommend using the Jobscan career change tool. Jobscan analyzes your resume and matches your skills to possible jobs. Using this tool will help you create a list of targeted titles and industries.

Consider what industries and jobs need your skills and align with your passion. Since the pandemic, companies are more willing to hire people into their organizations from other industries. Having different industry experience brings new ideas and companies are looking for ways to be innovative to stay competitive. In most cases, career changers are highly engaged employees because their work satisfier is making an impact. Once you have identified these skills, you will want to showcase them on your resume, LinkedIn, and in cover letters. Focus on the results that you delivered and use the terminology for the job/career you want.

3. Update your marketing materials.

In this step, you'll need to update your resume and LinkedIn profile with your transferable skills. Your resume will need to be Applicant Tracking System (ATS) friendly. An ATS friendly resume doesn’t have any graphics, tables, headers or footers and fancy fonts; in other words, keep your resume to one font no smaller than 10-point or larger than 12-point. Update your LinkedIn profile to include a professional-looking profile photo, customize your LinkedIn URL, include your email address and skills in your about statement, list 50 skills and start to grow your network to 250 first degree connections.

4. Network.

The key to any job search is connecting with others. Reach out to your network and let them know that you are looking for a change. Don't be afraid to ask for advice and referrals from your network.

If you're not able to pay for a career coach, you'll want to use resources that are available online. You'll want to develop a plan and begin to execute the plan. In most cases, you'll need to continue working while searching for another job. Don’t get discouraged and be true to your dreams. Finally, focus on how you deliver results and show that you are passionate. Your new job might be around the corner.


Reneé is a client-focused Career Services Consultant as well as a workshop and webinar facilitator. She brings over 10 years of experience providing career transition coaching to executives, senior managers and individual contributors.

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