Changing careers is hard. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. If you think you’re going to just magically, and instantly, find a new job in a completely new field in your projected timeline, you’re likely to be mistaken. It takes work, reflection and a lot of translating in order to really find a job in the new field you want to be in.
It’s not impossible however. And you don’t need to go back to school to do it. You CAN get a new job in a new field with a little elbow grease and some serious dedication.
When I’m talking to clients during my Career Changer VIP day, we spend a lot of time talking about what they’re currently doing and why they want to leave so badly. In some situations they don’t actually want to leave their current work but they want to get out from under an icky boss or a toxic work environment. Others absolutely do – they want to go from one industry to something completely new. Finding a new career can be super exciting but also challenging!
When I thought about this blog post, I really sat down and put together a few things that I think are really important when you’re starting out on that journey to find a new career.
Demolish your expectations
If you are ready to leave your current job and are on the market for something completely different you may want to set some realistic expectations. You’re going to be competing with people who have the experience, the know-how and the connections in the industry that they work in – and you won’t necessarily be competing against just a few people with all those qualifications but hundreds if not thousands. If you go into a new job hunt with the expectation that you’re going to get every job you apply for, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. But if you go into it with the expectation that every job application, every call back and every rejection is an opportunity to learn, grow and discover new skills – you’ll be walking through this job hunt with a growth mindset!
When you do land a gig in a new industry or field – you’re going to need to work twice as hard. We, as women, are already working harder to prove ourselves in any industry, but when its all new to you – you’re going to be putting in a lot of extra hard work. Don’t go into a new job with the expectations that it’s going to be smooth sailing.
Really Understand Why You Want the Change
Sometimes we think we want to make a big change in our career but it’s really just an issue with a manager or a work environment that isn’t serving us in a positive way. Really dig into why you want to leave your current role. Is it because you are really seeking a change or something else? Is it even anything to do with work? Our home lives can impact us in ways that affect us at work too. Take a week or so to really evaluate what’s going on at work, write down all the things you don’t like and start connecting the dots. If this is something you’re not sure about – schedule a 30 Min Career Clarity Call with me, we can dive deep into what’s happening at work that’s causing you to want to leave!
Create a strategy for improving your situation
So you’ve determined that it’s not in fact something that can be remedied by changes at your current place of employment and it really is a desire to change your career. Create a strategy for how you’re going to make the big changes. What skills do you need to have that you don’t currently? How do intend on getting them? Figure out your finances, how much do you need to get by comfortably if you take a pay cut? How long can you tolerate where you’re working now before you just can’t take it anymore? Do you have a back up plan?
Creating a strategy for a career transition is a good way to set expectations, find ways to spin your lack of experience and to create areas of opportunity for growth.
Network. Network. Network.
When you are transitioning careers – asking for help is essential. Get support from mentors, find new mentors in your new industry. Ask friends and family for connections, join Facebook Groups for career seekers, go to meet ups and attend career fairs. Get your name and your ambition out there. Meet people, take business cards and ask for introductions. The more contacts you make in the industry you want to be in, the better your chances for a new opportunity in your new field.
Be prepared for a hard journey – but changing careers is obviously not impossible. If you need support in transitioning your career to an entirely new field, join me for a VIP Career Changer Day – we’ll go through everything from determining what you’re really looking for in a new job to revamping your resume to interview practice. You’ll be fully prepared and by the end of the day we’ll be sending out that new resume to your potential new dream job! Want more details go HERE.