STEP ONE: Define your talents:

Uncover what your unique talents are, how you stand out from your peers in industry, and identify your transferable skills. Transferable skills are those that can translate to other industries.

  • Action steps:
    • Take 30 mins with your resume this week, with someone else alongside, identify unique skills
    • Spend an hour interviewing a friend, a family member, a former co-worker about “your greatest strength” ask them what they think it is

STEP TWO: Brainstorm additional career ideas:

Research and brainstorm other career paths you can take with your talents and experience. Examples: if you’re an architect you could look into green construction, if you were a banker who investigated and researched fraud cases you could look into police work or becoming a lawyer (both things that involve research and uncovering facts).

  • Action steps:
    • Spend an hour this week searching the ONET database (online.onetcenter.org) using keywords and skills
    • Search monster and careerbuilder for job postings in specific industries to get a feel for what’s out there in those industries and if they would be a fit for you. Indeed.com is another useful site
    • Talk with friends and family members at social events this week; ask them to brainstorm career ideas with you


STEP THREE: Research your ideas with a fine tooth comb:

Find out what it takes to get into those industries you’re considering: what skills, experience or expertise is required. Do you either have those already, or can you get them by volunteering somewhere-taking a class-becoming certified in something? Are you qualified for these jobs or can you become so, how realistic is this? Make an assessment, then make a plan.

  • Action steps:
    • Search monster and careerbuilder for job postings in specific industries to get a feel for what’s out there in those industries and if they would be a fit for you. Indeed.com is another useful site.
    • Print out those job descriptions, do research on people who work there through their LinkedIn profiles.

STEP FOUR: Tailor your resume to those jobs:

A well-written professional resume is priceless. If yours is not, get a resume writer. Have one master template resume, then use that to create different resumes for the different industries you’re looking at.

  • Action steps:
    • Review your resume and decide if you can revise it on your own, or if you need help.

STEP FIVE: Apply for the jobs:

Be honest about your past but also able to sell yourself. Be confident in your skills and abilities and know how to market yourself effectively. Show them how you do qualify for those positions, even though this is a transition for you.

  • Action steps:
    • Practice responding to interview questions in front of the mirror. Some good sample questions can be found on about.com. They have a great career section.

Hallie Crawford
Atlanta Career Coach