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How to Make Your Career Transition Smooth? [Ultimate Guide]

Last updated:
19th Oct, 2022
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How to Make Your Career Transition Smooth? [Ultimate Guide]

You may be thinking of making a career change. You may be thinking, “how to change jobs?” Also, the transition must be successful. 

Here are the steps to make a successful career change

1. Identify the Reason for a Career Change

We keep experiencing changes in our lives, and our career is no different. The need for a career change may be voluntary or due to external factors. We have all heard the famous saying: “Change is the only constant in life.”

In today’s modern world, the word change is popularly known as disruption. We are experiencing an outage in everything, including our careers, which may lead to the all-important question of how to change jobs.

There could be various reasons for changing a career, some of those driven by external factors or some by internal factors.

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Industries are changing today, and in today’s times, what matters are the skills and what change you can bring in by working in your role.

On the other hand, professionals look for those roles that give them satisfaction, higher compensation and benefits and, most importantly, better work-life balance.

Some of the reasons for a career change could be compensation, employee benefits, work culture, career advancement, industry relevancy, unsatisfactory management, etc.

2. External Disruptions

With regard to careers, the disruption can be due to technology, government regulations, environmental concerns, etc. Disruption in technology, on the one hand, is making some existing careers (for example, retail stores) redundant. On the other hand, it is bringing in some exciting new career opportunities (for example, e-commerce).

Similarly, other technological disruptions (paging and cameras have made way for smartphones), government regulations (ban on smoking, liquor, etc.) and environmental concerns (ban on usage of plastic) affect people working in those sectors.

These disruptions are unforeseen and are guided by various factors which are not in the control of professionals. In order to survive these kinds of situations, people react by taking actions that have longevity and are safer to proceed with. This is also why professionals proceed with career change.

3. Internal Disruptions

Sometimes, internal disruptions inspire a career change. Over time, our likes, hobbies and passions, change. We are no longer content with the work we are doing. If you regularly get up in the morning and no longer find it exciting to go to work, it is time for a career change. In such circumstances, do what Katharine Whitehorn has said: “Find out what you like doing best, and get someone to pay you for doing it.” 

While doing career transition due to internal reasons, professionals look at the sustainability of pursuing a certain career. Sometimes, the professionals do not feel satisfied with the compensation they draw, and they look for better opportunities that give valuable compensation for their efforts and skills.

Moreover, professionals do not find internal satisfaction while pursuing their profession. They wish to make their hobby or something else their career. This is also another reason for a career change that drives by internal factors.

The other reason for a career change would be the unsatisfactory feeling towards the industry. Some professionals find it difficult to find better job opportunities in their industry. To grab better opportunities and larger career advancement, they go for a career change. In order to materialise this, the correct choice would be to go for courses for career change that could help while transitioning out to the new industry. 

Although there is no best course for career change, the best course is determined by the type of career you wish to transition into. Begin by understanding the industry and its requirements you wish to transition into and, thereby, invest your efforts to gain skills to gain better opportunities. Depending on your industry, you can go for upskilling courses such as IT courses for career change, marketing courses, finance-related, and more.


4. Ask Yourself, “Where Do you Want Your Career to Move?”

It is important to ask yourself where you want to move when thinking about a career change.

Do not shoot in the dark and be totally blank while going for a career change.

The right strategy would be to define the goals, understand the skills the industry requires and, most importantly, the career path and ways to reach where you want to go. 

Some Answers to This Question Include 

1. Changing the Department Within the Same Company

You can make a smooth career transition within the existing company itself by moving from one department to another. For example, you work in a retail company that is changing its business model from offline stores to online sales. Thus, it may require you to change your job profile. 

2. Career Transition from One Industry to Another

Sometimes, a career change may require you to move from one sector to another. For example, you are working as a Sales Manager at a retail garment shop. Over some time, you realize that photography, which has been your hobby since childhood, is where you want to make a career. This is a complete change, moving from the retail industry to photography. 

Converting your hobby into your profession is the best career transition. Sometimes, you should listen to your heart rather than your mind. It is always better to do what you love rather than dislike what you do.

Read: Jobs and Careers with a Prospect for the Future

3. Plan Out your Career Transition

To remove all doubts about how to change jobs, you need to have a proper plan in place. 

Now, Let us Discuss How to Improve Job

1. Have an Emergency Fund in Place

It should be able to take care of your family’s regular monthly expenses for at least six months. You should also keep aside some money for enrolling on a course to upgrade your skills and get certified.

It is very important to have an emergency fund that is set aside to take care of any unforeseeable emergencies or circumstances life may throw at you. In order to provide for your family and yourself, an emergency fund becomes highly critical.

2. Upgrade Your Skills

Some people believe and say: “I am indispensable.” Well, there is no point in living in that illusion. Learning should never stop. The day you feel you know everything, you will either become stagnant or start moving down.

As part of a successful career transition, you should upgrade your skills by enrolling for a course and get certified. You should evaluate which technical skills and soft skills you are lacking for your desired career and accordingly decide the path that you should enroll for.

If you are not sure of which course to register for, you can refer to the upGrad website. upGrad is an online higher education platform providing industry-related programs in collaboration with world-class faculty and industry. We offer courses in Data Science, Machine Learning, Digital Marketing, MBA, etc. 

3. Career Coaching

If you are still not sure about how to change jobs, you should take the help of a career coach. At upGrad, a career coach can provide you with a bouquet of services. These include identifying career opportunities best suited to you, laying out a career path, recommending upskilling courses, finding jobs, helping with interview preparation, etc. Milton Berle said: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” A career coach is your door to opportunity.

Follow People who have Already Gone through a Career Change Successfully

There are a lot of people who have gone through a career transition successfully. Read about these people and how they managed to do this successfully. It will motivate you and also give you suggestions on how you can also do the same. You can also listen to Career Relaunch podcasts hosted by Joseph Liu, in which he has interviewed many people who have transitioned a career change successfully.


This is one of the best ways of making a career transition successfully. Networking can be done online as well as offline. In the previous point, we mentioned that you should follow people who have already gone through a career change successfully. You can connect with such people on a professional network like LinkedIn or other social media platforms. You can ask these people for opportunities in their organization or other references.

You can also do offline networking by attending events, seminars, workshops, exhibitions, start-up conferences, etc. related to the industry that you wish to make a career in. You will have to invest some time, money, and efforts on networking, but it is well worth it. 

Volunteer or do Some Freelance Assignments

Once you complete your course in your required skill set, volunteer to participate in some projects related to the desired profession. You can also do some freelance projects. On completion of these projects, talk about them on your social media profiles and also include them in your resume. These allow you to try out the new work profile to help you understand whether you can make that a career choice.

Update your Resume and Participate in Career Fairs

Take the help of professionals to make a good resume and upload it on job boards. Participate in various career fairs and look for job opportunities in your area of interest. You can take help of a professional organization like upGrad. upGrad can help you with making a professional resume, employability tests, and mock interviews. We have job boards with 100s of open opportunities. upGrad also organizes career fairs and hackathons to help you get that perfect job.

Read more: 15 Best Resume Writing Tips To Help You Land a Job

Crack those Interviews and Fly Again

Once you do all the networking and job applications, you can expect to get interview calls. Attend them with confidence, and you will come out with flying colors. Once you clear the interview and have a new offer in hand, serve your notice period or buyout the notice period in your current job and leave on good terms. 

Also Read: Are you dreaming the right dream about your career?


Live your dream rather than living someone else’s. 

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Let us quickly summarise how you can go about your career change. Understand why a career change is required, whether external or internal disruption. Figure out where you want your career to move. Finally, make a plan on how to change your job and track it till you get your dream job.

Learning online has become more relevant today than ever before. If you’re interested in learning online, you can get a course and start your journey today. Checkout upGrad’s top courses in Data ScienceMachine LearningDigital Marketing, MBA from LBSFull Stack Development.



Dilip Guru

Blog Author
He is a Growth Hacker, Digital Marketer & Blogger. He loves solving problems of scale and long term digital strategy.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What questions should I ask when transitioning into a new role?

Transitioning into a new role is not the easiest thing to do, especially when there is no method to it. One should focus on asking questions that are important such as 1. Why should I transition? 2. Which industry should I transition to? 3. What does the industry require? 4. Which skills does the industry require? 5. How my career look will look like if I transition to the new industry.

2What is a smooth transition?

With the efforts put into upskilling and gaining skills required in the industry. As a result of this, getting good job opportunities that are a prelude to a successful career. This is how one can define a smooth transition.

3How do you establish yourself in a new job?

In order to establish oneself in a new job, one must make sure to not be afraid to ask questions that could help them to navigate through work effortlessly. Moreover, be quick and adaptive and show an effort to take on the responsibilities and fulfil those to the maximum. This is how you gain the confidence and support of your colleagues. Lastly but most importantly, keep upskilling yourself and finding ways for you to grow.

4What jobs are booming right now?

Some of the industries that are booming right now are data science, marketing, healthcare, IT, finance, data analytics, law, machine learning, cloud and other technology-related fields.

5What should you keep in mind before switching jobs?

Make sure that you are equipped with skill sets that can take you far. Viability of the role and how it facilitates your career growth. The company culture, compensation, and employee benefits are also important concerns.

6How do I survive a career change?

In order to survive a career change, make sure that the decision that you have taken is not influenced by other people’s opinions but by you is well-thought, well-researched and practical as mental stability is of utmost importance. Make sure to upskill, network and give yourself time while going through a career change.

7How do you learn something quickly at a new job?

Utilise the online resources, and online content, enrol in courses, take help from a colleague and most importantly, practice as much as possible! This is how you can learn something quickly at a new job.

8Is it normal to struggle at a new job?

Yes! It is totally normal to struggle at a new job. Everyone starts out new, and no matter how well-experienced or inexperienced you are in your career, it is normal to find your ground while starting out at a new place. The important thing is to not lose confidence in yourself, as there is always a solution for everything.

9Is changing careers a good idea?

Change is difficult, but switching jobs is necessary for both personal and professional growth. You seek new challenges and grow when you change careers to attract new opportunities. Changing careers is definitely a good idea if it has a higher salary potential. If you have the skills to make the switch in your career, it is worth the pain as it opens doors of opportunities for you in the professional field. If you are motivated and passionate enough about what you want to do, it is never too late to embark on a new career path.

10What jobs are in demand for the coming future?

Everyone wishes to go into the field that provides lucrative opportunities, not just right now but for years. That means choosing a high-paying job that is in demand today and will continue to be in demand in the foreseeable future. The job profile of an actuary is that which is projected to be in high demand in the coming future. Actuaries work for insurance companies and are responsible for evaluating risk. An industrial engineer is another job profile whose projected growth rate is 14% from 2020 to 2030. They are in the business of optimisation and efficiency. Data scientists, information systems managers, information security analysts, financial managers, and sales engineers are other job profiles that can be expected to see a boost in demand in the near future.

11Why are career advancements important?

When employees are offered career progression opportunities, it makes them feel like they are growing personally too and provide them with a sense of purpose to make it bigger in life. The scope of a career advancement increases satisfaction rates among the teams and feeds the hunger to learn and grow in life and at work. When employees feel supported in the workplace, they become more engaged and productive, and happily invest in the company that invests in them.

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