What is a Career Transition Specialist & How Can They Support Your Success?

A career transition specialist (aka career change coach) is a professional who can offer expert career transition advice and guide you during a career change.

If you're considering changing careers, having the help of a qualified career transition specialist can be very beneficial. Learning how to choose a career transition specialist can help you pick the right professional to support your success.

In this article, we define what a career transition specialist is, provide a list of benefits of having one, and give a step-by-step guide on choosing the best one for you.

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What is a Career Transition Specialist?

The goal of a career transition specialist is to guide their client to make a career change that lets them have the career satisfaction, success, and fulfillment they want.

Career transition specialists often help people to identify their best career options. This is a very important step because many people making a career transition or career change arent's sure which jobs and careers they would enjoy and excel at.

When changing careers, you must show potential employers your best qualifications. Career transition specialists are experts at helping people present their skills and experience on their resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles so employers see them as qualified for the new type of job they are targeting. 

While networking can be an effective job search strategy, people making a career transition often don’t know people in the new field they want to work in. A career transition specialist helps career changers by teaching them the best job search strategies to get more interviews.

A career transition specialist can also help people with mock interviews that will improve their interview skills and strategies.

Benefits of Using a Career Transition Specialist

Making a career transition into a different role or industry can be easier if you have a specialist to help you navigate the process. Here are the benefits of using a career transition specialist:

Assess your skills, interests, and motivations

Before making a career transition, it’s essential to identify your best strengths so you can choose work that uses them.  When starting your work with a career transition specialist, they will likely ask you to complete an assessment. The specialist will probably discuss your assessment answers with you to learn more about you.

An experienced career change specialist will identify your transferrable skills, abilities, and knowledge.

Receive unbiased insights

It can be hard to see or know ourselves fully.  Sometimes we underestimate or don't recognize our abilities and the value we have to offer to employers. It's often difficult to really see own potential.

A skilled career transition specialist will provide honest insights. Receiving unbiased feedback is very useful during a career transition because you can use it to make well-informed decisions.

Learn about the exciting job and career ideas

If you choose a job that aligns with your skills, interests and motivations, you will likely experience more success and satisfaction.

A career transition specialist will have an excellent knowledge of many different jobs and career paths. Once they learn about you, they’ll be able to identify and quickly recommend specific job and career options that appear to best fit you. A career transition specialist can also point out your longer-term career options so you can set career goals and develop a realistic plan for achieving them.


Help you prepare your job application materials

Career transition specialists can teach people the best strategies to customize their resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profile, and other application materials for the specific career change they want.  They will likely have templates and samples you can use.

This professional advice and resources can help you show you're a strong candidate despite making a career change. This is essential because a resume and cover letter that fails to impress employers can make a career transition much slower and more difficult.

Support your job search

A career transition specialist can teach you the best strategies to get more job interviews.

They will teach you the key strategies to maximize your success in applying to online job postings. 

They can also teach you techniques to discover unadvertised job openings. This can be a great job search strategy when making a career transition or career change because there are fewer applicants and less competition for these jobs. 

Provide motivation and accountability

Searching for a new job can be challenging. There are many steps, and some job seekers will feel rejected when they don’t hear back from potential employers.

Another benefit to working with a career transition specialist is that they can help you stay motivated to steadily take the right actions at the right time to make a successful career transition.

A career transition coach can help you create and stick to a plan. If you need it, they can boost your morale and encourage you to stay in action during your career change.

Prepare for interviews

One mistake in a job interview can kill months of hard work to land that interview. A crucial benefit of a career transition specialist is that they can help you prepare for interviews.

A career change specialist can help you with mock interviews so you can practice answering the interview questions in ways that highlight your transferrable skills and qualifications. They can also help you develop intelligent answers to difficult interview questions, such as employment gaps, missing skills, and the lack of relevant experience - things that are common when making a career change.

A career transition specialist can help you develop interviewing strategies to increase your chances of success. They may also provide you with supporting resources, such as interview thank you letters and ‘keep in touch’ templates.

How to Choose a Career Transition Specialist

If you're interested in hiring a specialist to help you with your transition between careers, consider these steps:

Decide what help you want

Before searching for a career transition specialist, try to clarify what help you might require to make your career change. Do you need help identifying the jobs and careers that best fit you?  Preparing a resume and cover letter to help you make your career transition?  Searching for a new job?  Acing your interviews?

Understand their expertise

If you’re making a career transition, you’ll want to ensure the coach you choose has extensive knowledge of different jobs and careers.  If you’re considering specific industries, does the coach know of them?  Has the coach worked with clients in your age range?  With your level of professional experience?  In the geographic area where you want to live and work?

Learn about the assessment process

There are many different types of assessments.  Many assessments are focused on personality, interests or motivations.  Some coaches have developed their own assessments. Ask the coach about the assessment they use and why they choose it.

Find out coaching fees and requirements

Some career transition specialists have no contracts or commitments. Others require a minimum number of sessions or have a fixed fee. Does the coach require payment upfront, or do they allow you to make payments when you schedule a coaching session? Be sure to ask the coach how many sessions they think it will take to help you achieve your coaching goals.

Personally, I believe in complete pricing transparency and have posted my coaching fees here.

Learn the coaching logistics

Would you like to meet your career transition specialist online, by phone, or in person? Also, enquire about what days and times of the day the coach provides services. If you’re in a hurry to make a career change, you might want to consider how quick the coach’s process is

Review the coach’s success

After identifying a potential coach, look for reviews. If the coach has a webpage, they may post client testimonials.

We highly recommend looking at online reviews about the coach. Do they have a few or many reviews?  If they have been coaching for a long time, do they have many reviews?  If not, why?  Do the reviews feel authentic? Are the reviews for the types of services you want?

This may seem odd, but we think a few negative reviews is a positive thing. Nearly every product or service has a few negative reviews.  Does the coach have at least a few negative reviews?  If not, why not?  If so, how did the coach respond to them? 

(If you're interested, here's a link to reviews of my coaching)

Request a free consultation

Contact the career transition specialist(s) that appear to be a potential match for you and schedule a phone consultation. To help the coach determine if they can support your success, the consultation will likely begin with a brief discussion of your background and what you’d like to get from coaching. The coach should explain their approach, services, and fees in enough detail that you understand the process.  Be sure to ask any remaining questions you have. 

Speaking of free coaching consultations, I invite you to schedule one with me to discuss your situation and my services so you can see if they would be useful to you.

Over the past 18 years, I've helped more than 7,000 people make career changes and transitions. I'd like to see if I can support your career success too. You have nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain.

Just use the calendar below to schedule a day and time that works for you.

To your success,

Jeff Neil