/ Asked by Sam
How do I transition career paths? All of my experience is in social work, but I'm wanting to transition to graphic design. I've got the skills to be able to do it, but my resume looks...well like a social worker, not a graphic designer.
Answered by Bret, Hiring Expert at Emerson, on Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Hello! Are you excited for your career move? I know some of the most rewarding periods of my career have been when I took a risk and tried something new.

To make the switch from social work to graphic design is a big one. There are very little if any overlapping areas. That being said you undoubtedly have some transferrable skills, mainly in the way you talk with people. That will help in two areas: sales and delivering quality results to the customer.

My advice is to worry less about the resume at first and focus on your book / body of work. Go freelance on the side to build up a reputation, contacts and referrals. From there your work and end products will speak for themselves.

You can sign up as a freelancer on Elance/Upwork or a similar sight. In a similar fashion you can build business through donating your time and work to non-profits. Again the purpose there is to start getting referrals and build a body of work. With that is place you can then start translating it into full time opportunities with a company.

Another idea that I have heard people to use is to make connections on LinkedIn or other sites that allow you to connect with other graphic designers. After connecting with them, ask them if you could share your work and they provide some peer feedback. The network will help and you should be able to leverage that into future opportunities.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

Answered by Lori, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on Friday, September 9, 2016
Transitioning from one career path to another can be scary and exciting all at the same time. It sounds like you are looking to make a pretty large leap, but it's not impossible.
When you stated that you have the skills, my question is where did you get the skills from? Perhaps you have more things you can add to your resume with regard to how you obtained the graphic design skills? If not, why not see if you can do some volunteer work in that space. It will give you great experience as well as possibly help you network with others about graphic design job openings. Also, although graphic design is technical, there is also the aspect of creativity. Are there parts of your social work role that might lend itself to being creative? How about your interpersonal skills?  As a graphic designer you need to be able to communicate with customers and business partners, so that is a transferable skill to have.
Any time you want to make a big move with your career, it is always helpful to network. Whenever you are speaking with someone, share with them about your desire to make a move as you never know who knows who or what. You can also use LinkedIn and local business groups for networking purposes. Stay the course and you should be able to ultimately transition into your new career!  Good Luck! 
Answered by Charlene, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on Thursday, September 22, 2016
This is a great question and today I am seeing more and more indivduals following a passion and making changes in careers, so it is definitely possible!  What I think is exciting about this is you have an opportunity to really express your passion and skills and grab the recruiters attention by utilizing the "Objective" statement.  My theory is only use an objective statement when your experience is not in the current field for which you are applying.  So this is just for you!  Speak to how good you are at graphic design and that it is something you love to do and find creative outlet and challenging and that you get personal satisfaction from using this talent to impact business and make a difference.  Then throughout your resume look for other skills from your social work that would be considered transferable.  For example; great communication skills/problem solving, throughout your social work through good communication skills you were able to quickly identify a clients needs and identify possible solutions to help remedy the situation. We all know communication and problem solving are critical in most jobs and this is a great way to demonstrate them and highlight them for the recruiter.  Good Luck!
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