Career transition can be both an exciting and challenging time. Once you’ve mustered up the courage to make a professional change, you’re usually slammed with a dose of reality.
“WOW. This is harder than I thought!”
Canned coaching strategies tend to ask you to envision the future and then go for it! This can be very powerful. It also must be used creatively.
The first big truths you should know:
- Not every passion is profitable all of the time.
- You can still fulfill your purpose.
- It may or may not be the source of your income at all times.
Can you make a big change? YES. You also must be unattached to it looking a certain way (i.e. it may take longer than you thought).
Here’s some straight talk about a few situations that may relate to you:
“I want to find a new job in my industry.”
Finding a new job in your current industry can take 3-6 months or longer, especially if you are only applying online. Why? Hiring has dramatically changed in 2015. From employers being overwhelmed by the advance of technology, seasonality (i.e. hiring slows during holiday times) to the changing landscape of hiring practices, there’s just a reality to it that we can’t pretend doesn’t exist.
- Nurture your connections. Make a list of 5-10 people who might be able to give you some ideas or refer you in the right direction.
- Not sure what to say? Spend some time writing a small elevator pitch about who you are, what you do well, what you are looking for, and by when you are looking to make a move.
“I want to transition into a new industry.”
This is totally possible. You have to consider that if you want to build expertise in an area you’ve never worked in before, you’ll need to get your feet wet.
I was once recruiting for a small company looking for an event manager. I received over 150 applications. A person with no event experience was going to the bottom of my pile.
All hope is not lost. Someone who knows you and has an idea of how your transferrable skill sets may benefit their organization may give you a chance. This has happened to me my entire life and served me well. (P.S. I am not special!) I also advise people to consider a “stepping stone” job. This is a job that’s getting you closer to where you want to be, and may not be the ultimate destination.
- Find an organization or business you may be able to do in-person volunteering with to gain experience.
- Check out virtual internships you can do in your spare time in a related industry (check out internships.com or idealist.org).
- Think of 2-3 people who work in your desired industry and pick their brain.
“I want to be an entrepreneur”
WARNING: Watch the social media “self-made” inflated stories of success.
They are usually aimed at selling you a program and leave out major details. These stories give you the illusion that you can do this all simply and for no cost (all while working 6 hours a week from the beach of course!). I run a small virtual business and it just isn’t true. The tools to make all of this run cost money. You can get away cheap to start, but as you grow, your costs increase. Does this mean you shouldn’t start? NO. It means to adjust your expectations.
There’s a ton of “start your own business” programs that tap into your excitement, but few “The truth about running a profitable business” programs. Those wouldn’t be sexy enough.
- It’s all about asking yourself some tough questions — especially if your financial reality doesn’t allow for you to up and quit your job.
- How much time can I devote to creating something I love on the side while building it to replace my current income?
- Can I get a part time job and start/build my business on the side?
- Is what I want to do clearly solving a problem that people have? What is the revenue model? How will it make money?
- What lifestyle changes I am willing to make to work for myself? Am I willing to dip into my savings to fund this dream?
Hype usually sells a lot more than truth because it just sounds better. I’d rather have a smaller business built on ethics that honors people — both their dreams and their realities. Never stop dreaming or creating the vision for your contribution to this world. Just chase it with a shot of straight talk from time to time.
Stephanie Licata is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.