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Making the decision to change your career after many years, leave your current job to pursue something totally different, or to move to a different geographic location, can be daunting.

The process, however, is very similar to when you searched for your first position. Below are some pointers for changing careers effectively.

Self Exploration

The first step in your career change campaign is knowing yourself:

  • What are your skills, interests and values and how have they been applied in work situations?
  • What have you learned from your past experiences (including academic and/or volunteer) about your own work preferences in terms of culture or environment?
  • Where do you wish to live?
  • What are your financial requirements?

Career Exploration

Knowledge of the job market in general and, specifically, the industry in which you seek employment—will help determine how you target your search. networking will be an important way for you to research this information. Career Services offers many “how to” resources on networking, including how to use Midd2Midd. Your career exploration should help you learn:

  • Which positions and industries match your skills, interests and values?
  • Which offer the best opportunity for the present and growth for the future?
  • What service needs are being projected for a rising and/or changing population?
  • Where are the pockets of specific industries located?

Career Action Plan

Once you have identified an industry (or industries) that fits your career interests and goals, you will then develop an action plan for uncovering opportunities in that field.

Develop and refine your resume.

Your new resume must do more than list your experience and employment history. Now, especially, it is important to show how your experience relates to the new career or job-type that you seek. In the course of your career(s) you have acquired many skills that, although used in a specific industry or job, translate to the competencies needed for the new job. These are your transferable skills and it will be important for you to to effectively communicate these transferable skills on your resume.

See our resume tips for additional guidance.


Your potential network includes your many personal and business contacts: family, friends, professional associates, social acquaintances, business colleagues, former professors and, especially, your fellow Middlebury alumni. Be sure to include Midd2Midd in your networking efforts. It is a ready-made community of alumni who have volunteered to help fellow alumni and students with career advice and information. Also see our networking tips for helpful information.

Update your interviewing skills.

Strengthen your competence and confidence by reviewing these interviewing tips. A key part of interviewing is the ability to articulate why you are a good fit for the job - and this is especially important when changing careers.