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4 steps to kickstart your career change today

Steps to Kickstart your career change

Imagine you recently started a new job. You’re in the same industry, but you have a different role with a better title and higher pay. 

You were hopeful you’d be in this job for several years with many opportunities for growth. 

A few months in though, you start to see that the growth opportunities are limited. The industry is changing and you can’t see yourself stepping into your boss’s job. You start to feel pigeonholed in your line of work and industry, and you’re not sure how to go about making a change.  

What do you do? 

First, you’re not alone. This is the exact situation I was in a few years ago after working in media for several years. When I’d research new opportunities online, I wouldn’t get very far. 

Job sites like LinkedIn and Indeed would recommend other jobs in media since that’s the industry I already worked in. This made me feel even more stuck because I knew I wanted to expand beyond media, but wasn’t sure how. 

Even though it was a challenging time, I learned that change is definitely possible. It required putting a plan and strategy in place. I’ve also found that leaning on support rather than trying to do it all on your own is really important. 

Here are 4 steps to kickstart your career change today! 

Make a list of all of your questions

This is always the best place to start. 

When it comes to making a career change, you’re likely thinking, how do I do this? And is it even possible? 

I see clients stay stuck in these questions for months and even years rather than looking at their questions as doorways to their next step. 

Start by doing a brain dump of all the questions that are swimming around in your mind. 

This list of questions might look something like this: 

  • I’m considering the healthcare industry. What knowledge do I need to make the transition?
  • What opportunities and roles are currently in demand? 
  • What skills are needed for these roles?
  • How can I develop these skills? Are there courses I should take? 
  • How long might it take me to pivot? 
  • What might get in my way? 
  • What are the salary ranges? 

Starting with what you don’t know is incredibly powerful. It allows you to have a starting point. 

The next step to kickstart your career change is to go out and get answers to these questions. 

Schedule at least 5 conversations 

The best way to get answers to all of your questions above is to have conversations with other people

Start with your current network and schedule some calls. 

Starting with the people you know is low hanging fruit, and it allows you to start making progress on answering your questions. 

Use the conversations to share where you’re at – that you’re currently exploring a career transition but you’re in early stages and trying to fill in your knowledge gaps. Be honest about your current struggles, and also be direct with your ask. 

Ending each conversation with a clear ask lets the other person know how they can help. 

Here are two examples of a direct ask. 

  • I’ve identified that I’d like to explore Industry X. Is there someone you recommend I connect with in this industry? 
  • I’ve identified I need to gain skills in project management. Do you know someone who is especially talented in this area that I can connect with? 

This will allow you to keep the ball rolling on your search while helping you expand your network. 

Do a deep dive into the future

You can also fill in your knowledge gaps by conducting research. We know that change is the only constant these days. Artificial Intelligence is shifting industries and job roles quickly. Doing a deep dive of where different industries are headed will allow you to better plan for your future. 

Here are three questions I recommend you research:

  • How are recent technology changes impacting the workforce and the industry you’re interested in? 
  • How is the economy changing job opportunities and what’s available to you?
  • What are you hearing people need and want? 

These are big questions so I recommend leveraging different platforms from social media to news outlets. 

Put together a timeline and plan to make a pivot

Having a timeline and plan for your career change will give you really important parameters. It will keep you on track and help you stay accountable to make a change. 

Your plan should include:

  • Answering all the questions you have about making a career change 
  • Scheduling informational interviews
  • Having informational interviews
  • Conducting research on workplace trends 
  • Identifying next opportunities that are of interest 
  • Updating your resume and other materials to reflect your career change goals 
  • Starting the application process 

Come up with a realistic timeline and set clear goals

If you’re working a full time job, consider any circumstances that you’ll want to account for, like a busy work season. This will help keep you on track to kickstart your career change. 

In conclusion

Making a career change today is absolutely possible! We see it everyday here at Work Bigger. Start with taking one step at a time and remember to stay in action. 

For more support, download our workbook, Attach to a Purpose, Not a Job to get clarity on what you want, faster! 

Belma McCaffrey

Author Belma McCaffrey

More posts by Belma McCaffrey

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