Starting Over: 4 Tips for Transitioning to a New Career

As my 30th birthday approached, I was thriving in my personal life. I had a loving husband and great friends, but professionally, I was unhappy.

Sure, I had a decent job, but I didn’t love what I was doing. Most of my friends were working at their dream jobs while I dreaded going to work.  I knew that I needed a change.

Here are some tips that helped me make the decision to move to something new:

Be honest with yourself.

Figure out where your true interests and passions lie. Switching careers can be a difficult transition to make and may not happen overnight. Make sure you consider all of your options before making a decision.

After I left my job, I used the next several months to do some serious soul searching. I used this time to rediscover talents and skills that I had neglected. I thought long and hard about where I wanted to be professionally.  Once I figured that out, it made it easier for me to come up with a game plan.

Be open to all possibilities.

Even if you have a specific job or career in mind, remember to be open to anything. Taking a position or an opportunity outside of your dream job or position can actually help you obtain your goals.

Fear of the unknown will only derail your path to success.

Fear of the unknown will only derail your path to success.

One of my favorite mantras is “Come from a place of Yes,” borrowed from the title of Bethenny Frankel’s inspirational book.  This mantra reminds me to take every opportunity offered to me. I believe that being open can potentially open doors for unique opportunities and experiences.

For me, some of the best experiences happened when I took a chance on something unexpected. I am a firm believer that it’s not necessarily about the destination, but the journey it takes to get there.

Be willing to start at the bottom.

In my opinion, this is probably one of the most important things to remember.  When I first transitioned from teaching, I took a volunteer position. It was a great opportunity that allowed me to start writing again. I had no idea that it would lead to a paid position that allowed me to cultivate new skills and experiences.

Although you may have years of experience and accomplishments in your previous career, you may find yourself at the bottom of the totem pole in your new path.

Don’t let this discourage you. Instead, use this as an opportunity to learn and grow. This also shows you, and others, that you are serious about your new career path and willing to put in the time to meet your career goals. You never know who is watching you, so give a 100% effort in any task or assignment, no matter how big or small.

Become a master of networking.

This is a necessity for anyone transitioning into a new career.  Connect with people who have jobs or positions that interest you.  Set up informational interviews with new contacts and gather as much information about your intended field as possible. Developing relationships with your contacts can help you in your job search and possibly lead to opportunities.

Social media is an excellent networking tool, when used correctly. LinkedIn and Twitter are great ways to make contacts and find out about job postings.


It’s been almost two years since I left the education field and although I’m not at my dream job, I’m well on my way to following my dreams. Remember: it is never too late to do what you love.

Jackie is an Ohio native who recently moved to Monterey, California. A former Spanish teacher, Jackie is now pursuing her dream of working in television. When she’s not blogging or writing, she loves to travel with her husband, work out, spend time with their three dogs, and soak up as much sunshine as possible. Jackie is happiest when she is being active. To follow her natural hair journey and other adventures, check out her blog. Got a question for Jackie? Write to

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