It could be the small uptick in the economy. It could be the fact that jobs that didn't exist before -- think IT and social media managers -- are ever increasing. Whatever the case, midcareer changes aren't all that unusual anymore. While it helps to research which industries have room for crossovers, the process begins with knowing you want a fresh start.
"What I have realized is how important it is to really figure out what it is that you want to do before transitioning," explains Lauren C. Lilling, who went from finance and investment banking to opening Keep it Sweet Desserts, a catering and delivery bakery based outside New York City. "It can be a huge financial risk and very stressful and you truly need to believe in what you're doing."
Don't have the cupcake itch? Consider moving into an expanding field. Career networking website LinkedIn recently teamed up with the Council of Economic Advisors to analyze industry growth from 2007 to 2011. Among the fastest-growing industries is social media, which includes positions you may see cropping up more recently on job boards, such as social media managers.
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Not surprisingly, IT and health care were also among the industries expected to expand, and they have plenty of room for those looking for a change.
"Some of the skills required to succeed in these industries can be acquired in others," explains Uva Coles, dean of career management services at Pierce College. "In other words, many career changers can leverage transferable skills and experience like accuracy, attention to detail, data entry, coding and medical terminology."