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Preparing for a Career Change



My aunt has been a registered nurse for as long as I can remember. She has a BSN but recently she went back to school. She is taking courses online for her masters degree in nursing so she can eventually transition from working with patients in the hospital, to teaching other nurses online. I was so excited for her career change and so proud of her when I heard the news.

I worked for years as an EA/PA in Finance, and was in grad school preparing for a counseling career. Now, here I am looking to do my own career change and considering my educational options and what path I should take with navigating a change of career.

Here are a few items I’ve come up with so far with regard to preparing for a career change:

Decide what you want

There are so many schools, programs, careers, industries, etc. to choose from. It’s overwhelming. Even if you’re like me and know the fields you’re interesting in changing to, there is a lot to decide within the fields. Take some time to decide what it is that you truly want.

Research like crazy

Once you’ve decided what you want, you must research like your life depends on it. Online, in books or however you wish, just research the field, position and education required to ensure this truly is what you want (this is the stage I’m currently in).

Make a “game plan”

Planning is key in any big life change. After all the research is complete, you have a better idea of what’s realistic, and what can be done, and when. Making a solid game plan will keep you motivated, on track, and knowing you’re going in the right direction toward your goals.


No (wo)man is an island, right? Networking with people in the career you’re interested in is key for your change. Doing informational interviews, shadowing, connecting on social media, and using your personal network for “friend of a friend” connections is important.

Find Support

I wrote an entire post about support before, and it bears repeating. Having a solid support system is key to a successful career change. You’ll need the open arms, shoulder to cry on, and knowing, loving foundation. It can be family, friends, or a mentor, but having support is essential.

Then….Work your plan!

I’m really grateful that there is so much information out there to help me navigate this decision. I’m both nervous and excited but I know that I’ll make the right choice.

What tips do you have for someone preparing a career change?


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


* Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.

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


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Rashida Thompson

Thursday 9th of January 2014

I'm looking to make a career transition this year. Right now I'm a project/campaign manager for an email marketing agency but I'm looking to cross over into the tech industry. I was thinking maybe a product manager role but I'm still exploring!

Roni Faida

Thursday 19th of December 2013

I would tell them not to be afraid of the fear. It's going to be scary to start something different but if it scares you then it's probably right. We get comfortable in our routine but when we shake things up we line ourselves up for greatness!


Wednesday 18th of December 2013

Nice tips Dani. I've been battling with this for a while now.

Dani Faust

Wednesday 18th of December 2013

Glad you dig the tips. What careers are you looking into?

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