Part Two: Take Charge of Your Career
Part 2: Making a Change
When I work with clients, we go through a version of the Career Inventory together. If you haven’t read Part One of this two part blog, please go back and read it as it contains some really great assessment questions. Sometimes the result is that clients gain a newly found appreciation for the job they already have. In that case, we may work together to help them make small adjustments that will increase their affinity for their current job even more. Other times, the Career Inventory results in clients realizing that they are not content to stay where they are, and need to move on. They need to make a change in order to find satisfaction and fulfillment in their careers. If you’re looking to make a career change, there are three basic options available:
- Stay in your industry but change jobs. You may love the industry you’re in but not feel like your current job is the right fit for you. This is usually resolved by applying for new jobs in the same or different company. Top 3 Tips on how to stay in your industry but change jobs:
- Ask for a meeting with whoever is responsible for writing your evaluations, and then talk to them about the fact that you would like to stay with the company but explore job titles that are more relevant to your skills and interests. IF you have worked hard and they want to keep you, they will be open to this idea. If they are not willing to have this conversation with you, your career trajectory at that company is limited and it may be time to move on.
- Find some job titles in your industry that are appealing to you and are in line with your current skillset. Keep in mind that new skills may need to be built, especially in IT, but there are many resources out there to either teach yourself these skills or hire someone to teach you them. Check out Linkedin Learning. They just bought Lynda.com and it’s now a crazy awesome database of online courses and classes. Once you have found new job titles, conduct informational meetings with people who do that job, just to make sure you like the sound of it. Use Linkedin properly to find and connect with people willing to give you some of their time. Reach out to us if you need tips on how to conduct a really great Informational Interview and how to follow up appropriately.
- Use your research findings to build a resume and Linkedin profile that line up with the new job title and then network brilliantly to warm up your job applications. It is very important to use your connections when switching from one type of job to another as a warm introduction will get your foot in the door for an exploratory meeting, whereas a cold application may not.
- Use your current skills in a different industry. You might enjoy the work you’ve been trained to do but need a change of pace, environment, or industry culture. This could look like a financial analyst leaving a hedge fund to work as CFO for a tech. startup, or an account manager in an advertising agency transitioning to be a client rep. instead. The best way to go about this is to do some self assessment to determine what kind of culture you want, where do you want to work, which industries appeal to you, etc. Once you’ve determined those, go ahead and do an extensive search into companies that meet all your criteria. For example, Google, “Top 20 education companies to work for in Philadelphia.”
- Strike out on your own. Sometimes the reason you are unhappy in your career is because the only person you really want as a boss is…you. Becoming a freelancer or starting your own business does have significant risks, but also the potential for significant rewards.Keep in mind that however you choose to make a career change, your skills are always transferrable. For example, I spent over a decade working in marketing for a pharmaceutical company, launching drugs and identifying new markets. At 35, I was ready for something else, so I worked with a career coach to identify my core skills and the parts of my job I loved: marketing, working with people, and communicating. I wanted more flexibility and to focus on people instead of products. Although helping young people market themselves and launch into the workforce seems very different from what I used to do, it requires many of the same skills as marketing and launching pharmaceuticals did. And now I am as happy as a clam and earning more than I did in corporate. But it took a while, so patience and hard work is key!
There is always a path to creating a new career for yourself. If that’s something you’re ready to explore, I highly encourage you to reach out and connect with a coach. You can’t put a price on your happiness, but for the investment of 2 weeks’ salary, you will gain access to an expert who has the resources and experience to help take the next step in your journey.
Happy Career Search.