Planning a Career Move as a Young Professional

For many young professionals, just landing your first job after college was a challenge, let alone considering a career change only a few months or years later. It’s common to feel unsatisfied in that first position. Perhaps your studies in college weren’t aligned with your current work, or your company doesn’t offer much room for advancement. If your New Year’s resolutions involve a career change, here are a few first steps as you begin to make your plan.

Reassess your Strengths and Interests

Take some time to reflect on your current position to understand what has and hasn’t worked for you. Write down some skills and professional growth you’ve developed, as well as some that are still needed. Consider some of your achievements and accomplishments, and what the most gratifying parts of your position are. Mull over the aspects of your current role and/or organization you would like to change.

Talk with a Mentor

Every young professional can benefit from the wisdom of a mentor in their field who can provide advice and guidance as they navigate their work life. If you don’t have a mentor, try contacting a former supervisor from a past position or internship. Your alma mater may assist you in locating someone in your field, or you can look for professional groups or civic organizations that pair mentors with young professionals. Mentors can introduce you to other specialists in your field, and help you weigh options when it comes to making a career move.

Work with a Professional to Launch your Job Search

If you know you want to make a move but aren’t sure where to start, seek out assistance from a career counselor. JFCS career advisors can help you identify your strengths and interests, clarify and define your goals, and devise an action plan to move you forward with success. Career counselors will also assist you to develop the tools needed to brand yourself as a young professional who’s ready to conquer the job market.

  • Elevator Pitch: Learn how to succinctly and effectively sell yourself in a few short sentences.
  • Resume: Highlight your accomplishments and learn how to target your resume to specific job positions to get noticed by hiring managers.
  • LinkedIn: Make your profile so appealing that recruiters seek YOU out! Update your profile picture. Ensure your information is current and accurate, and emphasize your strengths in a captivating personal statement.
  • Network, Network, Network: Look into local young professional associations for meet-ups. Identify people who work in positions or industries that interest you and ask to meet with them to pick their brains. Be strategic and genuine about maintaining professional relationships and work to strengthen your network.

Planning a career move at any age requires a leap of faith, but it is an especially daunting task for a young professional. If you’re ready for a change, our career counselors are here to help. Call us today at 502-452-6341 or email [email protected]

Erin Heakin, M.Ed. is a certified career counselor who specializes in supporting youth and young professionals in their career development.  Erin has worked for JFCS since 2014 and is trained as an MBTI facilitator.


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