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5 Things to Keep in Mind if You Are Pivoting Careers

Continuing within the #greatresingantion topic, people are not only quitting to change jobs, they are changing careers too. Statistically speaking, the modern business person will change careers 11 times. That’s roughly twice per decade of your working life!

Today, I want to recap the 5 things to keep in mind when you’re planning that next career move. Trust me, you’ll want to make sure you can do each one of these before sending out your first resume or connecting with someone on LinkedIn.

Develop a plan

Planning is the first stage of making a career move. After all, you can’t execute anything without a plan. Developing your career plan comes down to a series of questions you need to ask yourself. Let’s look at each of them briefly.

  • Why are you making a career transition? Before you do anything else, make certain you understand why you’re changing careers. Ask yourself if your desire to transition is simply frustration with your current company or a result of changes in the industry.

  • What do you want out of your new career? Some people change careers because they need a better work-life balance. Others do so because they need better pay or benefits. Still, others simply seek better job satisfaction.

  • Do you have an accurate understanding of your new career? There’s nothing worse than assuming a job is one thing only to discover it’s nothing like you thought it would be. Consider going on a “test drive” of your new career, whether through an online class or interviewing someone who works in it already.

  • What does success look like for your career transition? Success for each person is different. Be sure to qualify how you define success with SMART goals or other milestones.

  • How will you track your progress? Your career transition may require learning new skills or starting at the ground level and working your way up. As with tracking success, you’ll need to establish benchmarks or steps within your plan that demonstrate progress towards your goal.

Quantify your skillset, look for transferable skills

It’s a fact of life that not all skills are transferable between industries. For example, a person I know who started in logistics later transitioned into marketing. Ultimately, their unique ability to plan, organize, and optimize delivery routes had no bearing on their ability to write creative copy.

That being said, it’s not unheard of for someone to discover they’re naturally gifted in a skill they’ve never been employed to do before. For this stage of your career transition, it’s especially helpful to work with a career coach who can help you identify transferable skills and innate giftings. Your coach can help you in a variety of ways, including skills tests that both evaluate transferrable skills and hidden ones waiting to be discovered.

Analyze your finances

There are two big considerations here to consider:

  • Do you have a safety net?

  • And how are you with budget planning?

There’s a possibility you’ll end up leaving your current place of employment before you make the transition to your new career. As you’re evaluating transferable skills, potentially taking online classes to advance your skillset, and working with a coach you may need to live off of savings for a while. Without a safety net of six to twelve months, this will be challenging unless your monthly expenses are incredibly low.

Understanding your revenue and expenses is very helpful. Budget planning is essential not only during the transition phase but when planning your next career move. Can you support yourself on just savings, yes, but can you also live off of your next expected income?

To figure this out, sit down, and whether you use an app or a simple spreadsheet, list everything you expect to earn as well as everything you owe each month. If you have multiple credit cards, list them individually including the minimum payment, current balance, and total credit limit. This will paint a crystal clear picture of your current financial situation and how your career change will affect it.

Put together a backup plan

What happens if your career transition takes longer than you expect it to? What if you change careers and end up hating your new role? Is there something else you can do in the interim while you figure things out?

The simple truth is that our plans don’t always work out as we expect them to. Can you pivot again if necessary? With a backup plan in place, the answer should be “Yes, I can!”

Consider a transition to entrepreneurship

Not everyone believes they have an entrepreneurial mindset. However, I believe that when given the opportunity anyone can find their niche and break out into entrepreneurship. As you’re considering each step and question during your career transition including your backup plan, ask yourself if you could launch your own business.

After you initially say no, ask yourself that question again. The entrepreneurial mindset simply boils down to the determination to succeed. You’ve already had significant career success, so why not plan for a potential shift to owning your own business? It may be a backup option for now, but one that could bring you immense happiness.

Together, each of these will make your career transition go smoothly!

Once you work through each of these steps, you’re well on your way to applying for that next job. Remember, planning is essential to understanding the why behind your career move. Identify transferable skills and ones you’ll need to develop so that you can better quantify success. As with any change, have a backup plan, which includes the possibility of launching your own business in your new industry.

If you’d like help with any of these, I’d love to work with you. Just contact me and schedule a time to speak. I’ll be in touch soon and can’t wait to meet you!


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