By the end of high school, you were probably thinking life is just a natural progression through college, into a job, and finally living the adult life. You chose to study a domain you found appealing, probably dreaming of continuing in that same field. But by the time you finished, you realized this was not what you wanted to do for a living.
You are not alone. A surprisingly large number of people end up changing their career paths after graduation. This may look like a daunting task at first. After all, you’ve spent three years preparing for something, and, all of a sudden, it feels like all that preparation was for nothing. It’s like having the rug pulled from under your feet. But with a little bit of patience and work, you can easily switch fields, and get the job you’re looking for.
Identify Your Transferable Skills
Regardless of your major, apart from the information you were required to learn in your courses, there are many other skills you acquired. You might not have realized back then, but all those late night cramming sessions actually taught how to do research, and stay focused and organized under pressure. All the essays you wrote taught you how to take in large amounts of information, and filter out the most important points. Don’t underestimate these skills. Once you’ve identified your transferable skills, all you have to do is sell them to your employer in your CV.
Focus On Your Potential
Everyone has room to grow. Even if you decided to stay in your field, you still would have had to stay up to date, and learn new things. When switching fields, the skills you can acquire in the future become even more important. Make sure to highlight your strong points, and indicate how you can develop them further. Any employer will be impressed by your willingness to continue to better yourself.
Adapt Your Skills
Skills are tools. They help you achieve your goals. Each field requires you to use specific tools for specific tasks, but the same tools can be used for other tasks as well. Find out how the skills you’ve acquired in one field can be used in another. Nowadays, it’s all about your ability to work across different fields. Your personal combination of abilities, experiences, and desire to understand different fields make you unique. Make sure your employer knows that when applying for a job.
Take It One Step at a Time
Before plunging into a new field, try to build some work experience. The retail industry, for example, has plenty of job openings and will give you the opportunity to explore your untapped potential first. Each field has its own set of requirements, so it’s quite likely you’ve never had a chance to see all of your talents in action. The key here is not to rush. This is a pretty big change, so give it the time it deserves. If you don’t spend time figuring things out now, you might end up in a field that makes you just as unhappy as your previous one.
Stay Positive and Learn from Others
Landing a job depends on a lot on how you present yourself to people. You never know who you might meet at an event, or what opportunity might arise when you least expect it. No matter when or where that happens, having a positive attitude is sure to make a good impression. If you feel disheartened, don’t keep to yourself. Talk to people, ask for advice. There are many successful people who probably felt just like you at some point. If they managed to make it, so can you.