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The 5 Biggest Mistakes Career Changers Make

To switch careers effectively

... and achieve a positive outcome, you need 4 things: clarity, courage, confidence, and competence.

Without these, you’ll most likely struggle hard and fail.  

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Career Changers Make

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Career Changers Make

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2012/04/14/the-5-biggest-mistakes-career-changers-make/

forbes.com

6

Key Ideas

To switch careers effectively

... and achieve a positive outcome, you need 4 things: clarity, courage, confidence, and competence.

Without these, you’ll most likely struggle hard and fail.  

“The Pendulum Effect”

Don't run from your career because you've broken down in it. Running away will not solve your problems – they’ll just be repeated in the next career.

Make your situation better by repairing broken relationships, finding your voice, growing out skills, and becoming more competent. Then, when you do leave, you’ll be able to achieve the next level of success.

Develop a financial plan

... that will support your transition.

Do solid research and explore your desired change with your accountant and financial consultant and experts in that career, to understand clearly, without emotion, the financial requirements necessary to support you through what can be years of transition. If there’s no money available, wait until you can access some.

The wrong “form” of work

In deciding to make career change, you must first identify the “essence” of what you want. Questions you need to answer are:

  • What skills and talents do I want to utilize?
  • What business outcomes do I want to support?
  • What type of people, environments and cultures do I thrive best with/in?
  • What types of challenges do I want to face in my work?
  • What financial compensation and benefits are non-negotiable for me?

You have to find the right “form” of work that fits you, your lifestyle and your needs.  

Dig deep enough

Do as much research and exploration as you can to determine what you want from this career change. 

Perhaps you don’t want a different career at all, but long to bring forward new aspects of yourself, your talents and skills. The question is: What professional identity will make you the happiest?

Giving up too quickly

Failed career changes often involve throwing in the towel too quickly.

You can’t make life or career change without significant effort, time, commitment, and usually some substantial money.

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Starting with you

Focus on you first as the foundation. Your beliefs, attitude, and energy will determine your success. Spend time building up your confidence. 

  • Jot down your compet...
Thinking like a historian

Your resume is a marketing document, not an autobiography that details every past role and responsibility. Your objective it trying to prompt a purchase decision, which is to invite you in for an interview.

Delve into job boards and companies' careers pages. Pull a few postings, and find what theme or criteria keep coming up. For instance, if you continually find that they need someone who can solve complex problems and navigate ambiguity, and you can do that, then put it in your resume.

Looking at the big picture

Remember all of the skills you bring to the table. If you're applying for a project management role, consider highlighting the complementary skills you bring to the table. However, it should be a value add, not a random sidebar of your career.

Showing how your specific background allows you to bring a new perspective to your work will help you to stand out above other candidates.

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Evaluate your current job satisfaction

Keep a journal of your daily reactions to your job situation and look for recurring themes

Which aspects of your current job do you like and dislike? Are your dissatisfaction...

Assess your interests, values, and skills

Review past successful roles, volunteer work, projects and jobs to identify preferred activities and skills. 

Determine whether your core values and skills are addressed through your current career. 

Consider alternative careers

Brainstorm ideas for career alternatives by researching career options, and discussing your core values and skills with friends, family, and networking contacts. 

If you’re having difficulty coming up with ideas, consider meeting with a career counselor for professional advice.

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Self-Assessment

Carefully evaluate your individual strengths, lifestyle preferences, passions, work style, and financial needs.

Know both who you are as a person and who you desire to b...

Research
  • Brainstorm possible job options and investigate them thoroughly. 
  • Learn about the descriptions and qualifications for various positions, typical entry points and advancement opportunities, satisfactions, frustrations, and other important facts.
  • Speak with as many people as possible that are involved in work that is of interest to you to get an insider’s perspective.
Experimentation

Internships and part-time jobs are an excellent way to sample a field of interest. 

They provide the opportunity to perform some of the job functions, observe others work, and evaluate the “real world” workplace environment.

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