Explain Why You’re Making a Career Move

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Your decision to shift careers is often hard to translate to others. People may question whether it’s too risky to leave your current company or if you’re really qualified to enter a new field. But you can address the skepticism of potential employers, colleagues, and others by doing these three things:

  • Connect the dots. Make it clear you’re not starting from scratch. Link the skills you used in your previous roles to what you’ll be doing in the future.
  • Tell a story. Create a coherent narrative of your career trajectory. People will understand more easily if they see the move as a logical extension of the past, rather than a rupture.
  • Focus on the value you bring to others. People sometimes view career transitions as a sign of narcissism or a midlife crisis. Don’t reinforce that by making it all about you. Instead, focus on the value you bring to the new position.

Adapted from “How to Explain Your Career Transition,” by Dorie Clark.

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