How to Make Your Career Transition Smooth? [Ultimate Guide]

You may be thinking of making a career change. You may be thinking, “how to change jobs?” Also, the transition must be successful. 

Here are the steps to make a successful career change

1. Identify the Reason for a Career Change

We keep experiencing changes in our lives, and our career is no different. The need for a career change may be voluntary or due to external factors. We have all heard of the famous saying: “Change is the only constant in life.”

In today’s modern world, the word change is popularly known as disruption. We are experiencing an outage in everything, including our careers, which may lead to the all-important question on how to change jobs.

2. External Disruptions

With regard to careers, the disruption can be due to technology, government regulations, environmental concerns, etc. Disruption in technology, on the one hand, is making some existing careers (for example, retail stores) redundant. On the other hand, it is bringing in some exciting new career opportunities (for example, e-commerce).

Similarly, other technological disruptions (paging and cameras have made way for smartphones), government regulations (ban on smoking, liquor, etc.), environmental concerns (ban on usage of plastic) affect people working in those sectors.

3. Internal Disruptions

Sometimes, internal disruptions inspire a career change. Over time, our likes, hobbies, passions, change. We are no longer content with the work we are doing. If you regularly get up in the morning and no longer find it exciting to go to work, it is time for a career change. In such circumstances, do what Katharine Whitehorn has said: “Find out what you like doing best, and get someone to pay you for doing it.” 


4. Ask Yourself, “Where Do you Want Your Career to Move?”

It is important to ask yourself where you want to move when thinking about a career change

Some Answers to This Question Include 

1. Changing the Department Within the Same Company

You can make a smooth career transition within the existing company itself by moving from one department to another. For example, you work in a retail company that is changing the business model from offline stores to online sales. Thus, it may require you to change your job profile. 

2. Career Transition from One Industry to Another

Sometimes, a career change may require you to move from one sector to another. For example, you are working as a Sales Manager at a retail garment shop. Over some time, you realize that photography, which has been your hobby from childhood, is where you want to make a career. This is a complete change, moving from the retail industry to photography. 

Converting your hobby into your profession is the best career transition. Sometimes, you should listen to your heart rather than your mind. It is always better to do what you love rather than disliking what you do.

Read: Jobs and Careers with a Prospect for the Future

3. Plan Out your Career Transition

To remove all doubts about how to change jobs, you need to have a proper plan in place. 

Now, Let us Discuss How to Improve the Job

1. Have an Emergency Fund in Place

It should be able to take care of your family’s regular monthly expenses for at least six months. You should also keep aside some money for enrolling for a course to upgrade your skills and getting certified.

2. Upgrade Your Skills

Some people believe and say: “I am indispensable.” Well, there is no point in living in that illusion. Learning should never stop. The day you feel you know everything, you will either become stagnant or start moving down.

As part of a successful career transition, you should upgrade your skills by enrolling for a course and get certified. You should evaluate which technical skills and soft skills you are lacking for your desired career and accordingly decide the path that you should enroll for.

If you are not sure of which course to register for, you can refer to the upGrad website. upGrad is an online higher education platform providing industry-related programs in collaboration with world-class faculty and industry. We offer courses in Data Science, Machine Learning, Digital Marketing, MBA, etc. 

3. Career Coaching

If you are still not sure about how to change jobs, you should take the help of a career coach. At upGrad, a career coach can provide you with a bouquet of services. These include identifying career opportunities best suited to you, laying out a career path, recommending upskilling courses, finding jobs, helping with interview preparation, etc. Milton Berle said: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” A career coach is your door to opportunity.

Follow People who have Already Gone through a Career Change Successfully

There are a lot of people who have gone through a career transition successfully. Read about these people and how they managed to do this successfully. It will motivate you and also give you suggestions on how you can also do the same. You can also listen to Career Relaunch podcasts hosted by Joseph Liu, in which he has interviewed many people who have transitioned a career change successfully.


This is one of the best ways of making a career transition successfully. Networking can be done online as well as offline. In the previous point, we mentioned that you should follow people who have already gone through a career change successfully. You can connect with such people on a professional network like LinkedIn or other social media platforms. You can ask these people for opportunities in their organization or other references.

You can also do offline networking by attending events, seminars, workshops, exhibitions, start-up conferences, etc. related to the industry that you wish to make a career in. You will have to invest some time, money, and efforts on networking, but it is well worth it. 

Volunteer or do Some Freelance Assignments

Once you complete your course in your required skill set, volunteer to participate in some projects related to the desired profession. You can also do some freelance projects. On completion of these projects, talk about them on your social media profiles and also include them in your resume. These allow you to try out the new work profile to help you understand whether you can make that a career choice.

Update your Resume and Participate in Career Fairs

Take the help of professionals to make a good resume and upload it on job boards. Participate in various career fairs and look for job opportunities in your area of interest. You can take help of a professional organization like upGrad. upGrad can help you with making a professional resume, employability tests, and mock interviews. We have job boards with 100s of open opportunities. upGrad also organizes career fairs and hackathons to help you get that perfect job.

Read more: 15 Best Resume Writing Tips To Help You Land a Job

Crack those Interviews and Fly Again

Once you do all the networking and job applications, you can expect to get interview calls. Attend them with confidence, and you will come out with flying colors. Once you clear the interview and have a new offer in hand, serve your notice period or buyout the notice period in your current job and leave on good terms. 

Also Read: Are you dreaming the right dream about your career?


Live your dream rather than living someone else’s. 

Let us quickly summarise how you can go about your career change. Understand why a career change is required, whether external or internal disruption. Figure out where you want your career to move. Finally, make a plan on how to change your job and track it till you get your dream job.

Learning online has become more relevant today than ever before. If you’re interested in learning online, you can get a course and start your journey today. Checkout upGrad’s top courses in Data ScienceMachine LearningDigital MarketingMBA & Full Stack Development.

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