In 2016, I was invited by Microsoft to sit on a panel as part of the Janes of Digital series to discuss women, careers, technology and everything in between.
The group was made up of accomplished women from various backgrounds, ages and areas of expertise. Having been in the communications field for just a year and a half at the time after making a career shift, part of me felt like I didn’t belong there because I was still in the process of finding my footing. To a certain extent, I still am.
At one point that morning I was asked about how I did it, where did I start and am I happy with the choices I made. My answer? It was a three-year process, it began with a long overdue extended vacation and most days, I’m happy.
One thing I continue to do as I navigate through the world of communications is research. Enter Joseph Liu. I recently came across Joseph’s website. This career relaunch consultant speaks from experience. His TEDxCardiff talk is a must watch for anyone in the process of transitioning.
I asked Joseph to share his top five tips for aspiring ‘career shifters.’ Here they are and here’s to the start of a successful relaunch!
1. Start Somewhere
A lot of times, people wait for the perfect conditions before they make a move, but the reality is that the stars almost never always perfectly align. At some point, you have to take that first step toward pursuing or exploring a new career path.
2. Test the waters before making the leap
Joseph always recommend people dip their toe in first before diving in. Take an evening course. Attend an online webinar. Do some due diligence before fully committing yourself to a new path.
3. Network with people in your target role
As Jin Rohn said, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Step outside your comfort zone and set up an informational interview with someone in your target industry to get a realistic perspective on what to expect.
4. Establish your narrative
Career changers really need to connect the dots for prospective employers or clients so they understand how to make sense of their career trajectory. Invest time in getting your story buttoned up and clear in your own mind so you can concisely and clearly communicate the value you can bring from your past experiences.
5. Take a phased, portfolio approach
The people who seem to be able to successfully navigate a career change are those who don’t just take a sudden leap. Instead, they’re people who allow for some overlap between their current work and their future, desired work. For example, this could mean pursuing your new career during the evenings & weekends while still holding onto your stable, full time job.
Do you have any tips for those about to make a career shift? Share your tips in the comments section below.