According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American holds about 12 jobs between the ages of 18 and 52. If you’re in the process of shifting not just your job, but your entire career, such a major change may feel frightening and intimidating. Here are a few tips to help you achieve a successful transition.
Dig Deep Into Your “Why”
It sounds like a simple question: Why are you moving into a new career? But the answer is probably more complex. It’s important to turn inward and dig deep into your “why.” Ask yourself these questions:
- What daily or weekly tasks cause me to feel dread or hesitation?
- What tasks inspire joy and excitement?
- What highs and lows do I experience throughout the workday?
Being honest with yourself may reveal insight that surprises you. For example, a medical sales representative who feels unhappy with her position considers pivoting into eventing planning, but after reflecting on her past job experiences, she realizes she loves her responsibilities, just not her industry. This allows her to find a new sales position in a cosmetics company, where she thrives.
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Prepare a Skill Set Transfer
Some people stumble upon their jobs and careers by luck, but for most people, it takes strategic planning and determination. It’s essential to prepare to transfer your skillset as you pursue a new career. Ask yourself these questions:
- Should I return to school or get additional certifications?
- What online courses will help me get ahead?
- What transferable skills do I already have mastered?
Problem-solving, time management, adaptability, project management, and leadership are all highly desired skills that transfer well from job to job, career to career.
Look Inward While Investing Outward
If you feel “done” with your current job, you’ve probably already checked out mentally. You may arrive each day on autopilot, performing the tasks expected of you without any of the energy, vitality, or satisfaction you experienced in the past.
This means it’s time to get a better understanding of what brings you joy and purpose. Once you can look inward and identify those factors, you can invest outward by pursuing careers that align with your strengths, wishes, and vision. As you get older, you may find the most satisfaction by selecting a career that allows you to leave behind a meaningful legacy.
Tackle Your Fears
We all have fears. That’s just part of being human. Tackling your fears is what will set you apart from the rest. Do these fears and obstacles sound familiar?
- I’m too old to make a difference
- I’m too scared to start something new
- I don’t even know what I want to do next
- I can’t take a risk with so many responsibilities on my shoulders
- I won’t be any good at something new, anyway
These fears only define you if you let them. The truth is, career reinvention is possible and even critical at any age to remain relevant in today’s fast-paced working environment.
Don’t let anything stand in your way but it’s understandable to be hesitant in today’s uncertain environment. If you’re not completely ready, prepare in other ways so that you’ll be ready to go post-coronavirus.