How to Navigate a Career Change at a Mid or Senior Level

By TERRA Staffing Group

Posted on February 23, 2023

Office professionals waiting for an interview

A recent poll shows 48% of salaried workers earning six figures were planning a career pivot. That’s a testament to how common it is for people to want to change their profession when they’re at the mid or senior level.

Yet, most career-building advice is geared toward those that are new to the workforce.

If you’ve spent more than five years working in the same industry, making a change will look different.

We’re here to help. We’ve put together some best practices to help you navigate a career change at a mid or senior level.  

Tips for changing careers at a mid or senior level

Check in with yourself.

Before you make any plans, ask yourself why you’re seeking something else. This is the most crucial step.

Take your time. You don’t need to rush this decision. Pause, reflect and evaluate. 

Here are some guiding questions to get to the root of what you’re craving.

  • Are you looking for a total pivot from your career? 
  • Do you want a new job in an adjacent field or department?
  • Are you looking to make more money?
  • Are you just unhappy in your current job?

Once you answer these questions, you’ll be in a better position to move forward. 

Make a plan.

Now that you know what’s driving you, create an action plan. 

Transitioning careers is a process. So having a well-thought-out strategy will help you get there faster. 

Depending on the path you take, there may be different factors to consider. Think back to the questions you asked yourself. Your answers will show you what to do next.

If you want a total pivot from your career.

Completely changing careers is the biggest transition. It can require more work, more research or more education.

Find out what the requirements for this route are so that you’re prepared—not surprised. You might need to take a pay cut, for example, if your first job in the field is entry-level. But if you plan for it, it’ll be easier to stay the course. 

If you want a job in an adjacent field.

You’ve spent a long time investing and developing your skills to reach this point in your career. Now it’s all about finding a way to translate those skills. 

Research the requirements. Tailor your resume to highlight any experience that is transferable. And if there are any skills or experience needed for this path that you don’t have yet, make a plan to acquire them. 

If you’re looking to make more money.

Deciding you want a new career for the sole purpose of earning a bigger paycheck is understandable. Money is important. Especially if you’re feeling underpaid in your current job.  

That said, shifting your career may not be necessary just yet. Search your job title online first and see what you find. It’s possible that a better-paying position is out there. 

If you’re dissatisfied with your job.

There are a myriad of reasons why people might be unhappy with their jobs and experience an urge to change careers. Maybe the relationship with your boss or your coworkers isn’t great, or perhaps your employer isn’t a good culture fit. Figure out what you’re hoping to change so that you know what to look for in your next job. It’s important to identify what you’re unhappy with before making a big decision. 

Having a plan will help prepare for takeoff. You’ll feel more informed, and perhaps excited, to go for it.

Take action.

Once you have your game plan ready, don’t wait. Remember the reasons that prompted you to seek out something different and get started. 

You’ll feel empowered once you take that first step because you’ll be on your desired path.

Remember, stick to your plan, be patient with yourself and embrace the process.

And when you’re ready to start looking for a job in a new field, here’s a list of resources to help along the way. 

From Professional Dancing to Recruiting

It may not always be easy, but it’s common for people to change careers at a mid or senior-level. 

One example is Emily Mintun, Branch Manager of TERRA’s Broomfield, CO location. 

Before joining TERRA, Emily spent 10 years working in the hospitality industry—and as a professional dancer and manager for a Caribbean cruise line, leading the production cast.

Emily shared her experience on what prompted her to make such a drastic career change and how she leveraged her professional experience to kick off a successful career in staffing.  

Emily Mintun, Broomfield Branch Manager
Emily Mintun, Broomfield Branch Manager

Dancing professionally was always a dream of mine. I told myself I was going to keep doing it until I felt that I had fulfilled that goal. And when I did, I began looking for ways to build another career for myself that would allow me to start a family and settle down.

I leaned on what I had always defaulted to, which was hospitality. And I didn’t assume I couldn’t do something because I lacked experience. I put myself out there, worked hard in whatever job I had and expanded my skill set as much as possible. I wanted to create new open doors. I just followed my heart!

It wasn’t easy, though. I literally had to start from scratch and work multiple jobs until I built up my credibility in the new industry I was trying to break into.

When we first moved to Colorado, I was teaching at random dance and fitness studios to pay the bills and get my foot in the door somewhere. Through the connections I made from teaching, I got more involved in marketing and management. I partnered with a smaller boutique fitness studio to basically work there all the time and learn as much as I could. 

Eventually, I took over as Studio Manager and that allowed me to build my resume with sales and marketing. From there, I started applying for jobs in the hospitality industry and landed my first official “sales” job which led me to TERRA! 

Changing my career took a few years, but I didn’t have any specific expectations or timeline in mind. I just kept hustling until I felt like I reached the job that offered me a good salary and made me happy. I didn’t know what that job looked like or when I would get there, I just knew I wanted to get there. 

And I’ve never been happier. 

Partner with TERRA

Whatever your reason may be for wanting a career change, it’s important to find something that makes you happy.

You don’t have to do this alone—TERRA Staffing Group can help. We have offices in Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, and Seattle-Puget Sound areas. Contact us

We work with many leading companies across a variety of industries and can connect you to great jobs and help you find a career you’ll love.

Or if you’re curious about a career in recruiting, we’re hiring! Check out our current openings!

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