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Career changes are some of the biggest shifts we will make. They often involve some retraining and will impact your personal life.
When you manage the situation through the lens of a few mental models, you can clarify which direction to go and find a path to get there.
Change will never be right unless it aligns with what you want to get out of life.
Do you know where you want to go? There's no point just moving at speed without knowing where you want to go. When you articulate your desired direction, you give yourself a clear purpose in your career.
Knowing what skills you already have will reveal what you can repurpose.
We often fail to realize how versatile our existing experience is. Being good at presenting the monthly status update doesn't mean that you're good at presenting monthly status updates. It means you can articulate yourself well, analyze information for a diverse audience, and build networks to get the correct information. Consider what else those skills can be used for.
To find out what your dream job will be like, try to get an accurate picture of what the day-to-day is like. No job is 100% fulfilling all of the time.
Talk to people doing the job you want. Talk to people in the organization. Talk to the ones that enjoy it and to the ones who quit.
Once you know what direction you want, planning for change is vital.
Two models are useful to help us identify what we need to plan.
Once you have narrowed down your options for a new career,, consider these questions: Which one would you bet on for being the better choice one year later? How much are you willing to bet on it?
Doing this exercise will not guarantee that any choice will be the right one. It helps you quantify your thinking based on the knowledge you do have available.
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