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How to Find a Career That Diverges from Your College Course

How to Find a Career That Diverges from Your College Course

 
Managing and advancing your career
If you want to move into a career that's unrelated to your college course, we give you tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.
 
Article author: Ronnie Peterson
      Written by Ronnie Peterson
       (4-minute read)
During your childhood, people may often have asked you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” You may have said that you wanted to be a doctor, engineer, astronaut, or artist and not given it much thought after.
But it’s worth thinking about how much you’ve changed since your childhood days. How close would your answers have been to your actual future career?

If you’re the type who always knew where your passion lay, it may not have been too hard to zero in on subjects you’d need to excel in, what course you’d need to take. Maybe even which university to apply to. For some jobseekers, the path to becoming the ideal candidate for their dream industry can be a fairly straightforward path.
But what if you’ve already finished a college course and now have second thoughts about what type of career to pursue? What if you’re no longer as inclined towards specific paths even after taking a specialized degree in the  relevant subjects?



The first thing you should do is avoid worrying too much, as it’s actually quite common for people to have shifting interests as they gain more experience in the workforce. In fact, many people wish they'd taken a different career path. So don't close yourself off to the idea that your passion may lie in a different industry. Or that a fruitful and rewarding career may exist outside the field you initially started with.

It may initially be a challenge to apply for a position that’s unrelated to your college course. But here are some tips to make the transition to your new career path as smooth as possible.

1) Assess Your Core Skills and Interests

Before you dive into your new career, assess yourself and figure out what your core skills and interests are.
This will make it easier to understand your motivations as a jobseeker as well as help you identify your passions and most marketable skills.

2) Research and Explore the Job Market

Getting to know the world of your desired career will allow you to glean insight on how the industry operates. You’ll also learn what could be expected of you in your new role, giving you enough time to prepare by way of training yourself or getting references.

Visit job search websites and check the requirements of the career you’re planning to take on. You can do this wherever you live, because pretty well every country has a vibrant and active recruitment sector - especially for higher level (i.e. graduate) positions. This applies whether you're in the US, Europe, India or the Philippines. Companies that are doing job hiring in Cebu, for example, will include a list of responsibilities and qualifications they expect aspiring candidates to have. Take note of these attributes and use this information to enhance your skills.

3) Acquire the Necessary Skills, Knowledge, and Experience

You may need additional education or certifications to get a foothold in your desired career.
As such, it’s imperative that you start developing the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to build on your qualifications and make you a good match for the job you want.



You can do this by enrolling in courses or workshops that relate to the industry you want to transition into. For instance, your background may lie in philosophy, social sciences or psychology, but you now want to become a writer. If this is the case, you can enhance your abilities by reading eBooks or taking a course on the basics of copywriting or writing for marketing.

Another option is to take an internship at a company within your chosen field. Here you will gain hands on experience. You can also seek out mentors who have successfully made a similar career shift. These people can usually provide guidance, advice and valuable insights based on their experiences.

What’s more, it's important to network in your desired field. Attend industry events and webinars. Join forums that are connected to your chosen path. Networking allows you to connect with people in your field and will often open doors to job opportunities that may not have been available otherwise.

Getting a reference or recommendation from someone in your industry can also greatly improve your chances of landing a job even if you didn’t graduate in a related subject.

5) Enhance Your Professional Portfolio

Once you’ve obtained the qualifications to switch, the next step is to strengthen your skills portfolio. This means when crafting your resume you must emphasize the skills you've acquired and the marketable abilities you've developed - both during and after your college education.

And if you have profiles on job search platforms, don’t forget to update them and emphasize your interest in exploring this career path.
Doing so can catch the attention of employers and connections, bringing you closer to transitioning into a field.



6) Be Ready for Adjustments!

Although switching careers and pursuing something outside your college major will eventually pay off it's important to consider the implications. And number one will be your ability to support yourself during this transition period.

So, think about taking on part time work or adjusting your expenses. Making choices like these will help ensure that you can manage any changes in income that might arise in the short term.

But the idea of venturing into a completely different environment can be quite intimidating for many jobseekers. So don’t worry if you feel this way! But of course it’s important to choose a field that truly resonates with you and your investment in your growth.

Although your education may have provided insights into who you are and what your career preferences may be, it shouldn’t dictate what you choose to do. Embrace the freedom you have now, and use it to pursue a career path that will ultimately bring you the joy and satisfaction that is surely yours to have.

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