Three steps to getting the job you really want.
By Jenny Hoff, Photo by Priscilla Du Preez
Losing a job and moving are two of the top five most stressful life events. While a career pivot might be a choice you’re voluntarily making (if it’s not due to job loss), it’s still a major life event that can cause high anxiety. If you’re looking to make a career pivot, here are some ways to make it an easier and less stressful process.
Conduct informational interviews and build your network.
Whether you want to stay in the same industry and start your own business or change fields altogether, nothing will be more helpful than talking to people in that industry or who have been through the same process you’re about to start. Take them to coffee or schedule a Zoom call and ask them lots of questions you’ve prepared ahead of time so you can make sure you’re getting the information you need. You’ll be surprised how many people will be willing to share their experiences—the good, the bad and the ugly. This has an added bonus: You’ll have a relationship with someone who could possibly help you land that new job.
Start with people you know and branch out to contacts you might have on LinkedIn. Don’t be shy to ask for 20 minutes of someone’s time. Just be clear this is strictly informational and you’re not asking for anything else. At the end of each conversation, ask if there are two or three people they could connect you with who may also be willing to share their experience. This alone could land you a job. Remember the old adage: “Ask for a job and people give you advice. Ask for advice and people will give you a job.”
Revise your resume to reflect your dream career.
If you’re looking for a total career pivot, then you’ll likely need to seriously revise your resume to put the skills necessary for this new career up top. First, make a list of all the activities, volunteer work, hobbies and jobs you’ve had and the skills you’ve gained through those experiences. Once you have a list of all your skills, both work and non-work related, search job descriptions in the career you’re interested in and see what their top requirements are. When you create your resume, make sure you include those requirements toward the top under summary and experience. If you’re looking to move to a new industry, it’s likely you have some experience that has helped prepare you for that career, so highlight it.
Consider creating content to show off your knowledge.
Almost everyone today is a content creator to some degree. If you have a social media account you keep up with semi-regularly, then you have the skills needed to start creating content to show off the relevant skills you have for the career switch. You can start with blog-style musings that you share on LinkedIn. If writing isn’t your forte, consider a podcast or an Instagram account that highlights your skills. Keep it professional, but authentic.
Imagining an entire career change can feel monumental, stressful and high-risk. But by doing research, getting to know your own skills better by writing them down and sharing your knowledge in a deliberate way, you will find it much more manageable and even fun.