Ideally, everyone would find their true calling in life at their very first job – and never need to make another career change. But often, it doesn’t work that way. A recent survey of New York professionals found that they expected to change careers an average of three times in their lifetime. So if you’re at a crossroads, you’re not alone. But, what do you do next? How do you smoothly transition into this new phase in your life?
Develop Your Unique Brand
Look to develop a unique combination of hard and soft skills that, along with your personality and experience, will set you apart. When it comes time to make a change, you want to stand out from the competition in a positive way.
- If you work in a specific area of your company, think about what other strengths would complement that function. For instance, if you’re tech savvy, work on building your business and soft skills. Master communications, marketing, budgeting and project management, to name a few.
- It works both ways. If you’re an HR expert, cultivate a strong understanding of the technical side of your industry. You’ll become a highly valuable go-to person because people will know you can understand details and translate them to the right people. You’ll quickly rise within the ranks and won’t be stuck competing with a bunch of people with HR skills and nothing else.
Find a Career Worth Having
As you work to strengthen your new skillset, here are some tips to keep you on track:
- Think about what energizes and excites you. While passion isn’t the only requirement for being content in your career, it’s the first and most essential requirement. When all is said and done, it’s what keeps you going, through even the toughest times.
- Take a test. If you’re not sure what you’re best at or most interested in, a career assessment test can be a very helpful tool. There are a number of them out there, starting with the well-known Myers-Briggs Personality Index.
- Try an internship. If you can afford salary flexibility, at least for the short term, an internship is a great way to test drive a new industry or type of career. It also can be a great way to get your foot in the door and eventually land a permanent job.
- Find a mentor. A mentor can help you through your career transition, including expanding your network of contacts during the process. Or, find someone in your desired field to shadow for a few days to see what it’s really like. (Hint: They may be one and the same.)
- Make a plan. Put all these pieces together into an action plan. Map out exactly where you want to go, with a time frame and concrete milestones to be reached.
Changing careers is a sprint, not a marathon. And it helps to have the right coach at your side as you strive for the finish line. If your desired specialty fields include engineering, accounting, finance, marketing, logistics, cybersecurity or supply chain management, turn to TRC Professional Solutions. We have your coach – and we can help ensure a winning strategy for your future. Contact us today to learn more.