Strategies for a Successful Career Change

switching to a trade job

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Reasons for a career change may vary. Maybe you simply don’t enjoy your current profession any longer, maybe you want to increase your earning potential or maybe you seek greater work-life balance. In any case, it is important for those who want to make a career change do so for the right reasons and follow the steps that make the transition easier.

At any rate, making a career change will likely turn into a much easier endeavor with the following career-changing strategies.

6 Steps to Take

  1. Self-Assessment: What do you like doing? What are you good at? What are the must-haves of a new career? These are why taking an honest assessment of your preferences, skills, and qualifications will significantly help guide your choice of a new career.
  2. Career Research: Make sure you understand the industry before you enter it. There is information both online and at your local library – talk to the reference librarian. You should also try to talk to people in the industry. They may become good contacts in the future. You may also want to learn the job prospects and pay levels. Many are surprised that some of the high-paying jobs these days can be blue-collar jobs, such as HVACR technician, electrician, or solar installation technician.
  3. Training: In many cases, those who switch careers will need to acquire additional training. The most important thing to do when starting a new vocational career is to obtain technical training at a trade school like RSI, where programs range from six months to two years. Upon graduation, skilled tradesmen may wish to seek additional certifications such as Type I, Type II, and Type III HVAC certificationor certification as an electrician or electrical journeyman.
  4. Network: If you enter a new job sector, you may need to rely on contacts to find gainful employment. You could consider joining trade associations, attending HVAC industry conventions, and talking to people in the desired field to get a feel for what it is like to work in that career, make important connections for the future, and learn some of the industry-specific language.
  5. Mentorship: Finding a mentor who is already a skilled worker in your preferred career can go a long way in helping you to transition into a new industry. That way, you can learn what daily experiences, challenges, and frustrations come along with a specific career. It may also help you become familiar with the qualifications needed to enter and succeed in a new industry.
  6. Flexibility: Getting the dream job may not happen the moment you switch careers. You may have to pay your dues for a little while. Once you gain experience, there may be possibilities for promotions and advancements. Anybody switching careers should consider these possible compromises.


A career change can be both exciting and frightening at the same time. However, with careful planning, sufficient preparation, and additional training, the transition to a new, more rewarding career should be manageable.

Get Started on the Path to a New Career

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