1. Start with Self-Awareness
You need to understand who you are, your lifestyle priorities, and what gets you out of bed every morning. While sitting down and asking yourself these questions is a good start, there are also tons of resources that can help you better understand yourself out there or you may want to seek those who are closest to you like your friends and family for guidance.
2. Seek Out a Mentor
Identify someone in your network who knows you and can be your champion, such as a former manager or professor. It doesn’t have to be someone in the industry you want to work in; the point is to align with someone who can provide advice and coach you through the process of uncovering your interests and entering a new career field. This person can potentially help you gain insight into your desired field, serve as a reference for you, or help you network.
3. Work that Network
People are your strongest assets. Before you begin applying for jobs, educate yourself about different career paths by talking to as many people as possible. Use LinkedIn to seek out people who have your dream job and ask for an informational meeting. Find out more about their current role and the path that got them there. Everyone’s journey is different, and people love to tell their story. Treat these meetings as interviews, your contact may be hiring or can provide a referral. In these meetings, be prepared to succinctly tell people who you are, why you’re looking for a change, and your career aspirations.
4. Gain Real-World Experience
Volunteer or intern for organizations where you can offer your time and expertise in exchange for an opportunity to learn more about an industry. There are tons of different niche groups where you can meet and connect with like-minded individuals. Another way to gain more insight is to attend industry events or webinars, they’re great networking opportunities and help you stay current in the industry.
Be aware that learning more about a particular career path might steer you away from a job or industry you thought you wanted to pursue, which is ultimately beneficial.
5. Get Your Personal Brand Out There and Apply for Jobs
This is the final step, and should be taken only once you feel you can be strategic in your search. Re-brand yourself by revising your resume, cover letter, and social media profiles to reflect your updated career goals and to highlight new and relevant skills. An effective personal brand is authentic and consistent, as well as tailored to each specific position for which you apply.
The journey never ends, but you too can craft a fulfilling life for yourself. It won’t happen overnight, and there will never be a day where everything is perfect, you and your passions will continue to evolve, but take action now, anyway. Do what you can to find satisfaction and meaning in your everyday activities. You are the only one who can make this happen for yourself, so go explore and find what makes you smile.
Credit to author: Erica Ravich, Job Recruiter for Clarity Staffing
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