In my previous article, I told you about a job seeker I was working with who had been in retail and sales since high school in order to help support his family. Now, at age 25, he is ready to discover his own career path and move into a field that excites and satisfies him.

Our first step was an in-depth discussion, and then he completed his JUMP by eParachute profile. It’s been two weeks since our initial conversation, and he has spent a lot of time reviewing his JUMP results and thinking about what he ideally would like to be doing. After hours of consideration, talking to industry professionals, and researching role types, he has decided he wants to go into the field of corporate training.

When it comes to changing careers, you’re rarely going to be able to make a clean jump into your new, ideal role unless it is in a field related to your current job. So, it was time for us to map out how this job seeker would get from retail to corporate training.

The First Step Is Research

You need to look at position descriptions and advertised jobs, focusing on what employers are looking for in terms of essential and desirable criteria. Note these down and think about your current skills and experience. Which of these criteria do you already meet, either in direct skills and experience or transferable skills and experience? In what areas do you need to develop? For the skills you need to develop, can this be done through on-the-job learning, or do you need to complete further education?

Reach out to some people in the career you want. Make time to speak with them. Ask them about what their jobs are like on a day-to-day basis. What are some of the challenges? What does it take to be truly successful?

Next, Make a Plan

Once you have an idea of the skills and experience you need to develop, make a plan for how to do that.

The job seeker I was working with already had some transferable skills from training and developing his current sales team. He researched and enrolled in a training certificate program to gain nationally recognized skills. He also decided that once the program was completed, he would like to earn an MBA in order to improve his business knowledge.

From here, he started to look for companies that had sales training departments and found an amazing opportunity with a business that delivers sales training to other businesses. After reaching out to the company, he secured a meeting, which then led to an interview. The hiring team was impressed by his motivation, and he was offered a role. This will give him the chance to grow and develop his training skills while he studies and improves his business knowledge. He plans to spend the next two years studying while working for this company. From there, he plans to start the search process to move into a corporate training role.

Career change is a journey. It takes time to do it right, but it is worth every second if you want to change your life for the better. I am excited to follow this job seeker’s journey while he is studying and building his dream career. I cannot wait to hear about his progress!

Stacey Gleeson is the founder and job search/interview coach at Primed Interviews. If you have a question about your job search, send her an email at

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