5 Tips: How to Speak to Your Career Changes Gracefully

5 TIPS_CareerChanges

After college, I started testing the waters in different jobs and found out that I had a wide range of untapped skills that I wanted to explore. I worked in the fashion industry; I spent a year hustling in sales and playing an HR role for my husband’s small business; I worked for one of the top Financial Advisors in the state; I went to grad school for my Masters in Strategic Communication & Leadership; I was hired on at a Marketing Agency; I taught up-and-coming Fashion Designers at a local design school; I joined a team of brilliant iOS App Developers and headed the marketing strategy for their app… all in about 4 years.

My past years of work experience can be challenging to wrap up in a pretty, 30-second bow at a party or networking event. I’m giving you my tips for streamlining those career jumps gracefully:

Focus on the positive of each role you have had. Speak on what you did well but why that next role was even better and too juicy to pass up. What made you irresistible to that next employer?

Do not complain about your experiences. No one cares if you had a boss that was overbearing and didn’t value your potential, or if the job description wasn’t what was promised. We’ve all been there and no one wants to talk to a negative Nancy no matter how justified your shitty experience was.

Talk about all of the amazing connections you’ve made along the way! For me, this was by far the best part of all of these positions.  You leave with a bigger network and if you didn’t completely fuck up, some references whom are happy to talk about what a pleasure it was to work with you.

Don’t sound like you can’t stick out a tough situation. Even if you were laid off or there was some sort of horrific situation (trust me, I’ve got a few to share), brush past those details and talk about what you did the next week to set yourself up for success.

Last but not least, you probably have a very well-rounded viewpoint on what makes an organization successful at this point. Recap all you’ve seen and go into your opinion of what works and what sets up a team for failure. Everyone has an opinion on that, but now yours is way more interesting. Use it.

Do you have career questions for us? Leave it in the comments below.

Tell us about your current career obstacles below and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.


Katie Burke is a digital marketing strategist for Tastemakers. Her mission is honoring and empowering women who create bravely. Katie runs her dream business helping women entrepreneurs who are ready to package and prepare their company and brand so they feel confident in their business. Connect with Katie: Website || Facebook || Instagram || Twitter