Displaced Professionals and Career Changers

If you are considering seeking employment in a career field outside of your previous experience and/or education, you should spend time evaluating your abilities, skills, accomplishments, desires and expectations before making the career switch. We also know this can apply to those who are dealing with unemployment or questioning their employment stability, or who have been laid off or recently furloughed. Review this section of the website for information on making the decision to transition from one career to another.

 

mapping of assess, research, network, prepare

Evaluate/Assess

The first step to any career transition is to evaluate or assess your values, expectations and desires for the new career path. There are both formal and informal assessments that can be completed to better understand your personality type, strengths and values.

If facing a possible layoff or unemployment, take time to assess your situation. Sit down and organize your finances. You will want to apply for unemployment as soon as possible.

Identify

The next step to the career transition is to research and identify the industries or fields you wish to pursue. There are multiple resources in which to research career options including career development sites, professional organizations, industry-specific sites, and company websites. For industry information, please review the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. Another key way to identify careers is to talk and network with people in the field of your choice or conduct informational interviews. If you are an alumnus, you may also visit the Embry-Riddle Alumni Engagement Website for networking opportunities.

Prepare

Preparation is the final step before beginning your formal job search. Now, you need to determine what you can offer potential employers in your new field, what you may need to accomplish before entering the field, and what actions you can take to best prepare yourself for the job search. In researching your field, you hopefully identified the skills, training, and education needed in order to be a well qualified candidate. In addition, you should also consider the skills developed through previous work, academic, military, leadership, and/or life experiences called transferable skills. Transferable skills are general qualities that employers value, regardless of the environment in which you develop them. When transitioning, you should emphasize your transferable skills to potential employers.

Examples of transferable skills include: analyzing, creating, leading, listening, organizing, planning, researching, training and writing. Visit these websites for more information about transferable skills:

Experience and exposure, regardless of the venue, should be part of your preparation process. Not only will experience give you insight into your career field, it will provide you a building block on which to conduct your job search. Here are some ideas on how you can get related experience.

  • Complete an internship or cooperative education experience in your field; review information on Embry-Riddle’s Cooperative Education/Internship Program
  • Volunteer your time and services to open the door to opportunities
  • Select courses, projects, and research that relate to your field of study
  • Attend conferences, seminars, and career fairs
  • Participate in professional organizations; take on leadership roles within the organizations
  • Conduct informational interviews, job visits, and industry tours
  • Receive training and certifications
  • Find a mentor within the industry

Another preparation tool you should use is relationship-building with people in and around your career field. Networking opportunities can be found in most any situation, but you should focus on peers, professors, family/friends, industry representatives, members of professional organizations, and anyone that may be able to provide you solid information about the industry for which you want to work. In addition to in-person networking, consider using social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to develop contacts within the industry, conduct research, and search for opportunities.

Recommended Resources

Career Transition Articles

Displaced Professionals Articles

Disclaimer:

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University does not and will not endorse, condone or support either the companies seeking employees or any new job and surrounding activities for which employment is sought. The intended purpose of this service is to provide possible job opportunities for students and alumni and creates no warranty as to any listed company or website. Choosing a job is your decision; please use caution and common sense.