Reinvention: Top 10 Tips For Career Changers
1. Forget job titles
Focus instead on the ?ingredients? or components of roles you are looking for in a new career. Once you do this, you open yourself up to a wider range of jobs and careers that play to your strengths and interests, many of which you didn?t even know existed.
2. Stop over-planning and over-thinking
Most people have some vague ideas about the type of change they?d like to make (even if they never share it with anyone else). But they never get off the ground as they over-think things - which usually overwhelms them into doing absolutely nothing. The key is to not over-plan, but to just get on and take the next steps.
3. Get your finances in shape
Unless you are already working or have a ?buffer? of cash, find an income stream quickly. Whether it means part-time work, freelancing, contracting work or even renting the spare room out - do something. You can?t focus on change when you?re worried about paying the mortgage.
4. Build and cultivate genuine relationships
Every contact you need to help you discover what you want and then find the next opportunity is either in your mobile phone or your diary - or in the mobile phone or diary of your contacts. So make sure you?re building genuine relationships, ask for help and let people help you.
5. Build a new peer group
Surround yourself with like-minded people who:
a) Have made major changes in the past themselves
b) Are already in the new career you want to transition into
c) Are confident, positive and open-minded enough to encourage you, instead of scaring you
(And of course, stay away from doom-mongering negative types who will try to convince you that the world is about to end and so you should just hide under the duvet and do nothing).
6. Trust your gut instincts
Very often, you know what you want to do, but the advice (and fear-mongering) from the people around you makes you doubt yourself. So listen much more to yourself than to others. Your intuition will be more of a help with navigating your journey than people who have never been on that journey, or been around people who have.
7. Play to strengths
Every major firm is reinventing itself to focus on strengths in relation to the changes, needs and problems in the environment. That?s precisely what you should be doing. So what are your natural skills and unique talents? What are you interested in? What excites you? What are the key problems that you?re best placed to solve? Where can you add value? Now with that level of awareness, what are your next steps..?
8. Don?t be idealistic
Focus on transitioning into work that excites you and interests you 70% of the time. Don?t listen to all the life coaches and ?experts? who harp on about ?finding your ideal job? or a ?dream career that you?re totally passionate about.? It?s all a big lie. I really love what I do, but I still have crappy days - that?s life. So forget being an idealist, stick to the 70% rule and transition into careers you?d enjoy ?most? of the time.
9. Make holistic career choices
Your career choice has an impact on every part of your life - your health, wealth, family, friends, hobbies and interests as well as your religious/spiritual side. So ensure the decision you make makes you successful as a person - not just in your career and bank balance.
10. Get out and experiment much more
The internet is great resource and tool, but it?s made us all very lazy. The answers to all your career woes are not on the web (unless you?re on the Career Hub site!). But they are ?out there.? So get out and meet people, experiment, try new things, go volunteer your time, go work-shadow. The clues and opportunities will come from there, and not from the internet.
11. Embrace the uncertainty
Reinventing yourself, your career, a business or an economy is never a straight-line, step-by-step process. So expect the unexpected and become comfortable being uncomfortable.
12. Invest in yourself
We reap what we sow. To create the time, money and lifestyle you want, you have to invest it first. That may involve reassessing your skills, researching, networking, attending training events and the like. Change won?t just happen - it requires some kind of investment from you.
13. Expect it to take longer than you thought
I thought this article was going to be a top 10 list but it?s overrun and become 13 points. That?s what it?s like making a career transition - it?s a little unpredictable. So just ensure that you?re mentally and financially prepared for things to take longer than expected.