How to Start Your Career with the Best Foot Forward

About the Episode

Planning to start a new career can be an exciting yet stressful experience. Listen along to learn how to find a compatible career that works for you. In this week’s episode, Cristina and Will welcome Jordan George from Addition Financial and Cliff Marvin from CareerSource Central Florida to discuss the best practices of switching and starting new careers. Learn how to financially prepare for this transition and how to stand out in a competitive job market with the help of our financial experts.

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Cristina asks Question 1: “How can you tell when it's time to consider a career change?”

Cliff responds: “A big sign is if you're feeling bored or complacent at your job or if you've become careless at what you're doing. That’s a good sign that you’re burned out and ready for a change. Another common theme among people who switch careers is feeling like they’re not making an impact with their work.”

Learn more: How to Change Careers at 30 (and Why It's the Best Age to Switch)



Will asks Question 2: “What do you recommend to people who want to switch careers but they aren't sure what to do?”

Jordan responds: “The first thing you should do is recognize that a career switch is a big deal and shouldn’t be done lightly. There will be financial and personal implications on your life when you start switching careers. For example, it might impact the hours you work, your availability or the location you live in. A good place to start is to find the intersection between what you enjoy, what you do well, and what you can get paid for.”



Cristina asks Question 3: “What can people do to make a career switch or when they’re looking for a first job?”

Cliff responds: “Building on what Jordan mentioned, it's all about understanding your strengths and weaknesses. It's also about understanding what type of career journey you want to engage in. Research companies that will be a good fit for you or align with your best interests. People should also research jobs in their area because sometimes geography plays a big role in job availability.”



Will asks Question 4: “What are your recommendations in terms of financial preparations when it comes to switching careers?”

Jordan responds: “A good rule of thumb is to save as much as you can before you decide to make that leap. Depending on what your skills are and how closely related your new career is to your old one, you may need to take a pay cut to switch careers. It's important to have a nice financial cushion especially when your new career doesn't compare to the previous salary you had before.”

The Step-by-Step Guide to Relocating and Starting a New Job


Will asks Question 5: “Let's talk about career development. How important is it to know where you want to go in a new career?”

Cliff responds: “It’s very important to have some idea of where you want your new career to take you. Most interviewers are going to ask about a five-year or ten-year plan and you need to have a good answer. It really depends what you’re doing now and what you want to do. You want to have a clear understanding of the skills you have now and where those skills can take you. Additionally, you should figure out which skills need to be developed along the way to get you to where you want to be.”



Cristina asks Question 6: “What interview advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out or trying to make a career change?”

Jordan responds: “That's a great question. I would start with research to understand the company you're interviewing with. Make sure you understand what the company is about or is involved in. If the company is involved within the community, try to analyze the big challenges they may be facing. One great way to find the answers to these questions is through networking. Get to know the people who work there by using resources like LinkedIn. Don't be afraid to reach out to them and ask for insight about the company before your interview. Another piece of advice is to not overthink it. Try your best to highlight your skills, education and experiences but never lie or be someone you're not.”

Learn more: The Best Career Advice for Those Just Starting Out



Will asks Question 7: “What advice would you give people about creating or updating their resumes?”

Cliff responds: “Before you submit a resume for any job, you should review the job requirements and edit your resume to highlight the areas where your skills and experience match up with what the employer needs. If you know someone from the company you're applying to, make sure to reach out to them to understand the workplace culture and what the organization stands for. Make sure your past experiences are uniquely relevant, fresh and up-to-date on your resume and include skills that will ultimately benefit the employer. You should also position your resume with strong keywords to bring your resume to the top of the pile.”



Cristina asks Question 8: “What if people want to make a career change that involves additional education or certification? What’s the best way to approach that?”

Jordan responds: “If you can afford it, you should go ahead and pursue that certification or degree independently. However, if you don't have the financial means, some employers may be willing to pay for your additional education after you've come on board. You can even bring that up in the interview and position your resume by saying that you're willing to complete the certification within the first six months or something along those lines. Another option is to ask about tuition or certification assistance in the job interview. It's a good way to invest in yourself while getting your foot in the door at the organization.”



Will asks Question 9: “Last question before we take a break. What other preparations should people make when starting out or before switching careers?”

Cliff responds: “Preparation equals success. Watching videos, reading articles and networking are all great ways to prepare for a new career. Networking can help you find potential mentors and learn about the industry you want to work in. It may also be useful to attend conferences or even to watch presentations from past conferences, which are usually available online. Finally, you should consider joining a professional organization so you can have a better understanding of what the industry looks like now.”

Learn more: 6 Tips for Starting a New Job You Can't Miss



Cristina asks Quick Question 1: “When is it not a good time to switch to a new career?”

Cliff responds: “If you have other big life changes going on, it may not be an ideal time to switch careers. For example if you just had a baby or if you're in the middle of buying a new house, it's not a good time to switch.”



Will asks Quick Question 2: “What’s a question you think people don’t ask before switching careers that they should ask?”

Jordan responds: “A lot of people don't think about how a career switch is going to affect their life outside of work, so this is one question you should consider. Additionally, many people forget about all the benefits a company has to offer beyond a paycheck. Remember to ask about paid time off, scheduling and other wellness benefits besides medical and dental plans.”



Cristina asks Quick Question 3: “What’s the most important quality someone can bring into a new job?”

Cliff responds: “Open-mindedness and a willingness to learn. When you're in a new career, you need to be prepared to admit that you don't know everything. You should also be willing to be coached and to accept guidance from your peers.”



Will asks Quick Question 4: “Do you think people should work with a career coach or is it possible to switch careers without one?”

Jordan responds: “It's absolutely possible to switch careers without one, in fact, most people do. However, if you have the finances available to afford a career coach, it can definitely be worthwhile to work with someone to help plan out your career path. Another alternative is to work with a mentor. This can be a professor, a career leader or even someone in your family.”



Cristina asks Quick Question 5: “Is it ever too late to switch careers?"

Cliff: “I don't think so. Some companies may be reluctant to take on a more seasoned employee, but it's never too late to pursue your passion, your dreams, or any work that is meaningful to you.”



Switching careers or moving to a new city can be stressful and in this episode we offered listeners the chance to download The Step-by-Step Guide to Relocating and Starting a New Job. It’s got tips about saving money on a move, budgeting, switching careers, and getting off on the right foot with a new job.

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