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How To Switch Careers Without Going Back To School

No, you don't have to get another degree.
PHOTO: Nick Onken

We, as millennials, are notorious for changing our minds and not being able to sit still. And why should we stay and do something we no longer feel passionate about? If you're someone who's struggling with making the decision to start over and take a new opportunity, know that it's possible to do so without having to go back to school and dip into your savings.

1. Figure it out, step-by-step.

The mistake that most millennials make when they switch gears is thinking that they should quit their full-time job and then figure things out. They may even take a part-time gig. But that's just another job—it's not a career. It's 100 percent possible and even advisable to work at a job you hate and plan to make a career change at the same time. The internet has literally everything, including answers to all the questions you have about a particular field or industry.

2. Study on your own, and become a subject-matter expert.

School isn't the only place where you can learn; in fact, most people think that you learn more through experience. But if you need to know the basics and you don't want to go back to school, there are thousands of resources out there. The downside is that without formal education in the field you're trying to enter, it's hard to prove to employers that they shouldn't just dismiss you. We suggest starting a blog or website where people can see that you do know your stuff. It might be tricky to get your blog off the ground, but writing requires a lot of reading and research, especially if you want good content, so why not give it a shot?


3. Network your ass off.

As much as we all hate networking, we can't deny that it works. Take a look at your contacts, and find out who you can reach out to. For example, I wanted to be a writer, so I asked someone who worked at a publishing company—the biggest one in the Philippines—and within hours, he tagged me in a job post on Instagram that I would have probably not found on my own. I also got to ask him about the culture of the company, and what kind of work I should expect.

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4. Be your own champion.

If this is what you really want, you should feel comfortable and confident talking about this to anyone willing to listen. You have to promote yourself as a brand, and believe that you're worth listening to. Even if you don't have all the answers yet, get the word out there. You never know who'd be willing to give you a chance.

5. Give your resume a total makeover.

Update your CV or resume as you move forward. Do not submit the same freaking CV you created in college. We have to admit, the school you went to still matters, but what matters more is your experience; it's all about your skill set. Don't forget to tailor your resume for each company you're interested in. 

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