Whether it’s starting a new career, or whether it’s about advancing in your current field, there are many routes to follow to achieve your goals, without having to sacrifice work or family time.
There is truth to the oft-repeated career change advice of starting with educational upgrades. Look through the job ads to see which jobs you most want, and whichever requirements you currently do not have, pursue them in the classroom.
Be it a night course or two through a post-secondary institution, a community centre, or even online, there’s no shortage of opportunities to learn (or update) new skills. You may even be invigorated from the new knowledge set. It’s a new line item on your resume, a possible new door opening, or even higher salary. If you think it could be a strain to take this step, try a single short-term course, and see how it goes.
Taking on mentors is another way to open new horizons and discover new potential. Ask yourself: who do you look up to in your industry, who has accomplished what you might like to accomplish, or who has business savvy skills that you can emulate? Be bold – send out emails asking if people will be willing to have a phone conversation, a video call, or even meet for lunch/coffee (which you may have to pay for). Let them know where you’ve been in your career and where you’d like to land. Then ask if they have advice for your desired goals. Take notes, take action, follow up with them occasionally, and at the very least, these influential individuals may even have the next job lead for you.
Next, network, network, network. Is this, indeed, a method of turning your career around? Most definitely. Online job boards are nice, but the truism of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” is timeless. Get those business cards primed, tweak your elevator pitch, and start shaking hands at networking events. Truly, nothing replaces a face-to face meeting. The further your network expands, the more likely it is that somebody might know somebody looking for what you have to offer.
And finally, look at turning your hobby into sales. Harness the go-getter in you, take what you’ve created, and start spreading the word through friends and social media.
These are, after all, days of the “gig economy” – the freelance world – where for some, it’s the consequence of automation, layoffs, recessions, technology shifts and attrition. Grabbing it by choice means you get to do things your way, on your watch, on your terms, never caught by the surprise pink slip. So many others like yourself are turning their passions into fulfilling careers.
If you’ve been wondering how to change careers, or how to land the job of your dreams, these steps could help. Please note it might not come as fast as you want, but the idea is to keep swinging at the ball until you make contact.