STEP TWO: BUILD A BRIDGE OVER THE GAP.
Elaine Varelas, managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career-management firm in Boston, tells me about a client who was a finance generalist in an investment firm but wanted to move into education. “He started to interview for finance jobs in educational institutions and was able to move into a business-manager role for a private secondary school,” she says. “Now that he is an insider in the industry, he can change functions more easily.”

So there’s one bridge built. Of course, there are all kinds of bridges. Education itself can be one. Want to move into a field you’ve not worked in before? Take some classes. Those can range from informal training to certification programs to courses for a higher degree.

In fact, Bob Ludwig, director of media and public affairs for the Graduate Management Admission Council in McLean, Virginia, says, “People flock to business programs during economic downturns.”