Have you ever worked super hard at a job and feel like you aren’t getting anywhere? Maybe it’s not where you are meant to be. Maybe it’s time for a career change.
Career change is scary, job change is scary, the unknown is petrifiing. But, the happiness and fulfillment that you’ll feel will be worth all the not-knowing and anxiety.
I started my career over at age 31.
I was a freelance branding consultant for 7 years. I was a jack of all trades doing everything from graphic design to product photography to creative direction for start-up ventures that didn’t end up going anywhere to large mega corporations like Yum International and PepsiCo.
It was great working from home, making my own schedule, and being my own boss. However, after having a baby I knew I wasn’t fit for being a work from home mom. When income isn’t steady, day care isn’t an option, and I just wasn’t suited for the 24/7 mom life.
Career change while sounds scary, isn’t all that uncommon. I have a friend who worked in a bank and became a holistic health coach. I have another friend who was a director of marketing (and my boss!) who is now a reiki practitioner.
Life is too short, and amazing, to be doing something that you’re not 100% happy with.
I knew I wanted a full time, 9 to 5 job. My experience was in graphic design & product photography, but my goal was to work in marketing. So I started over, despite having creative director level experience, I got a full time job as a graphic designer. Using my experience with working with clients and carefully choosing which projects I worked on at the office, I quickly moved up to digital marketing manager, and then director of marketing – in under 18 months.
5 Tips to Make a Successful Career Change:
1. Change your narrative. To get any position you want, you have to market your experience in a way that resonates with the new hiring manager and company. Highlight the most relevant elements of your expertise and qualifications, that will make you an incredible asset to your new company and role.
2. Be prepared to be at the bottom (for now). If you don’t have the relevant experience, be prepared that you may have to step down a notch or two on the corporate ladder. But, if you work for the right company and manager, and if your experience speaks for itself. Rest assured that you won’t stay at the bottom for very long.
3. Make a lateral move in a similar industry. You probably won’t be able to go from being an accountant to creative director overnight. However, if you move from accounting to operations, there are very transferable skills that you can take with you.
4. Take advantage of your network. It’s not about what you know, but who you know. If you’re further along in your career, you more than likely have a larger network of professionals who could help give you an “in” at your dream company. Take them out to lunch, have a conversation
5. Be patient. This is a big change after all. Do some introspecting and make sure this feels right for you. And if it is, it may take time to find the right company and the right position. Be patient and have faith that the right opportunity will present itself.