Have you ever thought about moving to another profession or field? If it seems to you that you are still in search of an authentic self in your career, if you could risk stability for the sake of your dream and try yourself in something new, then this article will be useful to you.
How often have you had to change anything in your life radically? Remember these sensations, which are akin to a jump into the unknown. It’s like standing on a pier, peering into the dark depths of the water. You take a breath, group yourself, drive away fear, push off, and fly down. But any seasoned jumper knows that a good jump technique is much more complicated. So in life – to “jump” must be correct and wisely.
In the last couple of years, I have changed six works in five different areas. I also managed to study in three universities and live in three cities, moving a total of eight times to different apartments. I don’t know whether it is a lot or a little, but I know for sure that these changes have taught me a lot, especially quick and effective adaptation. When my career made another round, and from the law company I got into the digital marketing and blogging field, I already knew what to do. Indeed, over the past years, I have accumulated quite a lot of life hacks.
It is essential that these rules work, and vice versa. They help not only to adapt but also contribute to getting into new conditions. Just to go and retrain for another specialty is not enough. What to do? And where do you start? Quit the tedious job at the bank and become a fashion photographer? But in reality, this is often difficult, because you are most likely bound by various obligations, family, fixed expenses, loans. Besides, no one else knows you in the new field, so your earnings may plummet.
How to master a new area without giving up your current job? It turns out a vicious circle. I, too, was confused when I realized that I wanted to change careers more than three years ago. I had a feeling that I was stuck in the same area, I did not develop, and I was marking time.
I was ready to change the vector but did not know the ways. Indeed, recruiters and employers usually offer jobs based on the previous experience of the applicant. At the same time, my friends and relatives were surprised: “Why do you need to change something? You thoroughly know your sphere and people in it, relax and go with the flow,”- which, of course, did not add confidence to me.
It was at that moment that the book of INSEAD professor Herminia Ibarra “Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career.” It collected the stories of many people who wished to become someone else. There is a story from a teacher who dreamed of becoming a diver, an accountant who realized that she wanted to be a biologist all her life, but became an accountant because her parents wanted it and other stories.
The book filled me with confidence that changing the sphere and even the profession is normal. Besides, this must be done if the work does not suit you, and there is no possibility for self-realization, and in the mornings, you cannot force yourself to get out of bed and go to the office. The strategies of the book’s heroes helped me structure my experience of change and realize which path of career change is right for me.
In a matter of months, I managed to change my field of activity and start working in a new, dynamic company. In the end, I realized that it helps change happen.
Expand Your Contact Network
Go beyond the usual circle of friends. Become interested in a new area. Don’t limit yourself to reading feature articles. Go to industry events, study the information on speakers at them to get to know them personally. Attend professional clubs, informal meetings of specialists from the field you are interested in. Sign up for short-term courses in this specialty, because if you understand that this area is not interesting for you, then spend not so much time and money.
Making new connections is much easier during training. It is of great importance that these will be the same people who are focused on changes, like you. The environment is important. And not only with useful connections that can help find a job, but also with the atmosphere – it should stimulate development, support, and move forward. If the atmosphere bothers you, run away from such an environment as soon as possible.
Immerse Yourself in The Unknown
You will never know what is “yours” and what is not until you try it in action. It is worth noting that it is not necessary to quit work as soon as possible and become a “free artist” the next day.
To begin, start moving within safe limits – develop horizontally within your organization, work in different departments, in other roles. During your holidays, volunteer on a project or intern at another company. So you can try on a new role, to understand whether you are comfortable.
Try to analyze what skills might come in handy. Ideally, if you can apply past experience and there will be a zone for development. Well, if you understand that you like a new activity, it is of genuine interest, if even after work you want to do one more thing or learn something new. If acquaintances start to ask in surprise: “Why do your eyes burn so much?” – This is a good sign, which means that you are moving in the right direction.
Continue to take small steps without risking serious projects until you realize that you are ready for the final changes. Immersion in a new sphere can be compared to entering the sea. You first try the water with your feet, stand a little to get used to the new sensations, and then gradually go into the water or jump from the pier.
Work With the Inner Self
At this stage, it is very important to have a fulcrum, strong motivation to move on. During this process, hands can go down and the treacherous question of the inner self may arise: “Why do I need all this?”
Find something that will move you forward no matter what. It can be some role model, support of friends, inner conviction that this is a matter of your life, a family that believes in you and supports you. It should be your fulcrum.
Sometimes external changes can help: a new style, hairstyle, image. It will be as if not you, but a new person in a new role. Remember Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie “Catch Me If You Can” – with each new profession he changed his image and manner of behavior. Try this game with your inner self, and the changes will surprise you.
Find Yourself a Promoter
Let’s say that you have already found an interesting sphere, passed some courses, attend industry events, and more or less expanded your network of contacts. What to do next? Recruiters are still not standing in line for you, you are still working at your old job and don’t know where to go next. At this stage, it is important to enlist the support of a more successful person. This can be a career consultant, a person who knows many in the field you need, or an expert with a name.
Why on earth will this person help you? In fact, there are many people who help, having achieved a certain level of success, have a need to “give”: conduct master classes, train newcomers, become a coach. Often such people do this not for money, but for their self-fulfillment, sometimes for the sake of a case in a portfolio.
Look for someone who is open to such interaction, but don’t be in the position of asking. You must show your willingness to work on yourself, talk about what you have already done, and continue to do to reach a new level.
You can openly offer such an expert to help you with terms that are convenient to him. Be prepared for the fact that the promoter can advise you to read books, pull up some knowledge – complete these tasks in order not to lose his confidence. Sometimes the same person can help find a new job, but if this does not happen, go to the next step.
Enlist the Support of Experts
In order to better navigate the new field and find a job in it faster, you need to ask for the help of as many people as possible. To do this in the era of social networks has become much easier. Another thing is if you are still working at your old job and cannot advertise your desire to leave. Then personal meetings remain. Using the new network of contacts that you managed to acquire in the previous stages, try to reach the opinion leaders and influential people from the sphere you are interested in.
Ideally, it is worth appointing them personal meetings, the purpose of which will be to tell about yourself as a professional who wants to work in this area. Can’t make an appointment right away for important people? Come up with a decent occasion, use the theory of six handshakes, and follow the chain. It does not hurt to use creativity.
A friend of mine dreamed of becoming a journalist, working in the advertising field. She came up with her project – an interview at breakfast with interesting people. The texts of the interview were then published on a page on Facebook. Thanks to her friends and the friends of the people who gave the interview, the page soon became popular. After six months and 10 interviews, a large number of people already knew about a friend, and another six months later she was offered the job of the chief editor of the site.
She was engaged in a personal project on the job in her free time. The project helped her achieve her goal. With the help of him, she tried herself in a new role, expanded her circle of contacts, quickly became known in the field, attracted influential people, enlisted their recommendations and got a dream job. If you can reach opinion leaders, then they will talk about you pretty soon, and sooner or later you will get a job offer.
Be Ready to Take a Step Back
Do not expect that you will immediately be offered a position of the same level that you have achieved in your current job. We’ll have to sacrifice something: salary or status, and sometimes both. Are you still here Then you are really ready for a change. Go ahead and be the change!
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