What Career Changers Need to Know

Job seekers have many options. You can look for a new job that is similar to your last job. You can work in the same occupation and in the same industry. You might look for a job that is in the same occupation, but you would work in a different industry. Or you could work in a new occupation and in a different industry.

Choosing to look for a job in an occupation different from your old job, or in a different industry is called "changing careers." To find out more about the differences between jobs, occupations, and industries, go to Manage Your Career.

Here are some things you need to know about yourself and the job market before you change careers:

  • Research the trends. Some industries are less likely to lay off people than others are. Some industries, like health care, are growing and will need more workers in the future. Find out which occupations and industries in your area are growing.
  • Learn about salary ranges. Before you choose a new occupation or industry, you should know the expected pay and benefits. Talk to a career coach, or use an accurate source from the library or the Internet to find salary information.
  • Transfer your skills. Know which of your skills you can use in other occupations and industries. Review the list of Common Transferable Skills. Look at your list of skills from your skills assessment. See Match Your Skills to Occupations.
  • Network. It's a good idea to make connections with people working in different occupations and industries. They can help you find out which employers are hiring people with your skills.

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