Entering a new year is a milestone event, and it causes you to start taking stock of your work life. It makes you start contemplating what you want to do for the next five, 10 or 20 years.
For many people, they may be bored and tired of their job. Due to the ascendancy of artificial intelligence and companies laying off and offshoring jobs to other countries, others may find themselves forced into finding a new job or career.
You may find yourself considering a career reinvention or pivot by choice or lack of alternatives. Making this move isn’t easy. It calls for careful and thoughtful analysis. You’ll need to conduct a self-assessment, set goals, research, explore, network, financially plan and take bold actions.
How To Get Started
Take a good, hard look at what you have to offer. Think about what skills, talents, accreditations, credentials, educational achievements, interests and values you possess to determine the type of work that aligns with your aspirations.
Set clear career goals and define a daily game plan to pursue a new career path. Ask yourself the following questions before you embark upon the journey of self-reinvention.
- What is my skill stack? Are there new skills I want to learn or existing ones that I need to strengthen? What will it take to do that?
- What fields could benefit from my skills? Are there positions available within these industries?
- What do I like and dislike most about my current/past job(s)? What are non-negotiables moving forward?
- What is my preferred work style?
- What organizational culture do I thrive in, and is most aligned with my values?
- What jobs or careers interest me, where I can make money and support myself and my family?
- Do I have a nest egg that will financially support this transitional period?
- What is my “it” factor?
Do Your Homework And Network For Ideas
Explore different industries and job roles to find out what opportunities are available. Identify potential employers or industries that align with your goals. Tap into your professional network and connect with people already working in the sector you’re interested in to learn about working there. Seek advice from mentors, coaches, sponsors and truth-tellers who will offer feedback, constructive criticism, advice and guidance.
Research the skills and qualifications required for your desired career. Are there significant entry barriers, such as needing to go back to school or taking lengthy and costly courses? Factor in the financial consequences. The change will come at a cost, so you must consider the financial implications of a career pivot. Do you have sufficient funds to endure the duration of this reinvention period?
Recreate a new and compelling career narrative. You’ll need to highlight transferable skills that could make a hiring manager believe you can cross over to this new type of role. Retool your résumé, LinkedIn profile and social media footprint to show how you have the skills and other attributes that make you a contender for this new field.
It Will Take Time And Overcoming Hurdles
Be prepared, as changing course may not be easy. It could require you to leave behind a safe job and career. Your identity is most likely tied up in your position, and you’ll lose the social status associated with it.
Family, friends and colleagues may question your decision to pivot. They may be afraid to try something new and take career risks, and they may assume that you’re running away.
Put together an action plan. You’ll need to gain a sense of how long this reinvention will take to find and start a new job or profession. Consider not making any immediate drastic moves. Take your time to make intelligent and thoughtful decisions instead of jumping into something immediately. Don’t quit your job without anything lined up, especially if you don’t have emergency funds.
Do some self-analysis. It’s not easy to make drastic changes. In a challenging economy, it’s harder to find a new job. Hiring managers are less open-minded when they have many candidates to choose from. Companies will only want those with the exact skills and experience mirrored in the job description, which puts you at a disadvantage since you are pursuing something completely different.
You must put aside your ego. That might mean becoming an intern and starting from the bottom.