One day you’ll realize that it’s time to move on and that you want to completely change your career. This is a big leap out of your comfort zone – good for you! But it’s not all rosy in career makeover land, so let me save you some trouble. There are various challenges, setbacks, unexpected surprises and bumps along the way… Don’t worry, they happen to the best of us – but you can avoid them. There are three mistakes you’re probably making, will make, or haven’t even thought about it. Enjoy the ride!
Here are the 3 biggest career mistakes you should know about:
1. Not Knowing Where You Want to Go
You’ve had it with your job; and here’s where the first of the three mistakes crops up to trip you. You want something different, but do you know exactly what you want? Most women break from their jobs to find nowhere to go, or worse yet, they make a bad choice in choosing their next career.
Maybe you’re a nurse and have decided nursing doesn’t do it for you anymore; then being a home-care assistant would be the right solution for you, right? Well… maybe. The reasons you wanted a change to begin with, could also have you longing for Fridays with the new one.
Rather than letting your mind punk you, get your career change right the first time by doing some solid outlining. Jot down what you truly enjoy about your work. Even if you’re looking to change your career, there are still some things that drew you to your former position originally and certain things about you that compliment it.
Do you like helping others? Do you like the structure? Great. Now, what else do you want from a job? Would you prefer a flexible schedule? How about more time at home? Perfect. Now you can narrow down what jobs would suit these needs without falling into the same inflexible, at-work-too-much hole that drove you away in the first place.
2. Not Having a Roadmap
Mistake number two. Let’s say you jump clear over the first of the three mistakes and set your sights on a job that was practically built for you. Great!
Where do you even begin? If you want to run your shop in private consulting (hey, why wouldn’t you?), and you have the skills, that’s fantastic, but no one is going to let you take the position without a business degree, professional certification, previous experience, and a strong network. For that matter, getting the position at your dream company will be impossible if they don’t know who you are.
Now it’s time to lay the groundwork and chart out your course. Pull out the pen and paper again, and start reverse-engineering your career change. Want to be your own boss in the field of consulting, right? How do you get there?
Perhaps the first thing is to get in contact with the higher-ups of this. How do you get in contact with them? Through LinkedIn. Do you have a profile? Build one. Will they pay attention to you? No, so build a popular following and more connections before contacting them. Do you have the qualifications they’re looking for? No, so back to school. Do you have the experience they need? No, so look for a smaller position as a manager in a similar field. Or, work pro-bono, go to a networking event or start a blog.
By having this roadmap in place, you can follow each individual step to take you to your goal – and it’s encouraging to look at along the way!
3. Not Reaching Out to Others
You might have guessed from the last solution that I’m in favor of networking – and trust me, you have to be. If you have your roadmap and your completely outlined dream job, you could run into mistake number three like a truck into a brick wall.
If you’re introverted like me, or just extremely busy, it’s easy to isolate yourself and forget to reach out to others. This leaves all your efforts high and dry, because no matter how experienced you are, how can you get that ideal position if no one knows you, recommends you, or introduces you to a new opportunity?
Better yet, reaching out to others may mean sometimes asking for help working out your goals and roadmap from mistakes #1 and #2 above. Meeting new people, talking through your dilemmas, or even seeking professional help are all important elements of your success.
It can be hard to break from your comfort zone, but take a deep breath (and get some comfort food) and get to work. By taking a few minutes every day to engage on social media with people in your desired field, or just inspirational people in general, you can make connections that will springboard you to greater opportunities.
Takeaway: Career Change is as Easy as You Make It.
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