Change is Good: Tips on Successfully Navigating a Career Transition

Tips on how to transition careers-- from someone who has done just that.

Do You Have a Career Mantra?

In life, whether it is a career, relationship or hobby, we often start out in one direction and wind up pursuing something completely different. This type of change can be scary because we frequently fear the unknown. When transitioning into a new career role such as business, IT, or even an internship, I have a few points of advice that embrace change and helped me along the way.

Have an Open Mind

Wearing many hats will provide you with greater experience within a profession. By learning the odds and ends of multiple roles, you can offer more efficiency in your position. Understanding what is going on around you helps you be a better employee, no matter what role you have.  This could even mean starting as an intern and learning the processes of multiple positions and then receiving more responsibilities by working your way up. Proving you are knowledgeable of the company is one of the best ways to show your employer you are qualified.

Take Initiative

If I have learned anything, it is how to pick up the phone. We live in a very instantaneous time where the world is at our fingertips. But, with that said, just because you might be responsive on email, Facebook, Twitter, Text, etc. that does not mean the rest of the world is. If you need to contact a client, or find out further information, I wouldn’t waste time asking around. Picking up the phone and taking initiative goes a long way.


All day long we received millions of emails and have so many demands put upon us. Especially when in a new role, it can be overwhelming. As a perfectionist, I am the ultimate procrastinator. I procrastinate because I have the fear of an imperfect end product. I have learned to write priority lists to help organize my tasks. You only have so much time in a day; in order to maximize your time, figuring out a way to organize and execute each task will help you stay proactive. There’s nothing better than walking away from a long day feeling accomplished (with all those items crossed off your list!).

Use — and Further – Your Education

Whatever your level of expertise is, master’s degree, BA, or maybe just starting out with a few online classes, you are building your skill set. By tapping into the communication skills you learned in your freshman public speaking course or the leadership role you played in a group project, these types of skills are transferable and can be adapted to many scenarios in a new profession. We often hear of individuals majoring in something distinct like criminal justice and then perusing a profession in social work — how did they get from point A to point B? We make those transitions based upon a wide variety of training and guidance we gain during our educational journey.

The bottom line is to recognize your experiences in all walks of life, most importantly the accomplishments you have in education because your intelligence can be applied to everything you do in one shape or another.

Have Fun

Life can be hard. Too many times we face things that we cannot control. And, even the areas of life we can control cause us to always be on the move. Maybe it’s a combination of work, kids, animals, errands, bills … you name it, the list goes on.  But what is the point if we do not enjoy and have fun? Our jobs are very important to our well-being and the well-being of our families, time-to-time I think if we take a step back and simplify processes, or take life a little less seriously, we would be more productive, happier and better employees.

In any new position, try to keep an open mind, learn to take initiative, prioritize your tasks and have fun with what you do.

Whether you’re seeking further success in your current role or a new opportunity, Kaplan University can help you prepare for the exciting possibilities ahead.*

As an accredited university built on more than 75 years of experience,† Kaplan University offers a wide range of career-focused programs designed to develop the skills and knowledge leading employers seek. Our focus: to offer you the most direct educational path to achieve your goals. Are you ready for a change? Learn more at

* Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.

† Kaplan University is regionally accredited. Please click here for additional information about institutional and programmatic accreditation.

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6 thoughts on “Change is Good: Tips on Successfully Navigating a Career Transition

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  2. If you are taking on a career transition on your own ask friends and colleagues in the field for advice, counsel, tips, and introductions. They will be flattered and more times than not they will help you. If you find that one person’s advice and counsel is particularly useful ask them to mentor you on a regular basis.

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