Whether you’re bored with your career or your job is being eliminated, career reinvention is possible at any stage in life. The No. 1 thing to remember is a career change doesn’t happen overnight.
Here are four things you must do now to change to the career of your dreams:
Study your new industry and get clear on the job you want.
Every career comes with a series of headaches and ugly truths. What type of lifestyle do you expect to have? Are you clear on the expectations of the new career path?
How long is the typical workday? Do people typically work on holidays? What are some of the challenges and trends in the industry?
Connect with at least three people who have worked in your new career for at least five years.
Use social media to follow people in your anticipated career, study their backgrounds, and build relationships with them so that you can learn the inside scoop about what it’s like to work in the field.
Sharpen your people skills.
During a career transformation, relationship building, negotiation, communication, and persuasion are key because you will have to sell yourself as well as your transferable skills to at least get an invite for an interview.
- Prepare your “connect the dots” story – Many people think they have to hide or downplay their experiences from their past career. But with a career change—short stories help employers or even a potential investor see how you’re a great fit for a new role or position. So to connect the dots between your past experiences, prepare a 1-2 sentence story that articulates your value and showcases how your skills and experiences are relevant to the new career.
- Send an email to a few friends or colleagues and explain your desire to switch careers. Ask them if they can connect you with someone who may have some insight.
Master your mindset.
Understand this, you can’t get the promotion without going through the process. What sacrifices or investments are you willing to make? When switching careers, many people face a serious skills gap, which may require that you take a lateral move, apply for an internship later in life, or invest in courses. Are you willing to take a pay cut or accept a lower level position so you can increase your skill set?