One of the challenges for professionals who decide they want to change jobs is to demonstrate that they have competence in the new discipline through the capabilities they developed in their previous discipline.
A year ago, my daughter decided that she wanted to leave the academic world of her postdoc research at Stanford and use her cognitive psychology research talents in User Experience research. She applied for lots of jobs but rarely got past the initial phone screen.
So she decided to demonstrate her capabilities by doing a couple of small UX experiments with a colleagure who was developing a software product. The result is her UX_Research site.
The site acted as a portfolio does for an architect or a designer by showing what she did, the process she used, and most importantly that she knew the terminology in her desired discipline.
She then had several experienced UX researchers look at her website and provide suggestions for both how to improve the research that she did and how to communicate the results.
Within a short time she got through the extensive interview process and was hired by AnswerLab in San Francisco.