Planning for a new career can be an arduous task if you don't have insight and foresight for the road ahead. A career transition is a journey that requires a mental commitment for your approach and direction. You can't be lackadaisical about the what, why, and how, but have to create an effective plan to set yourself up for success. Part of the plan should be rooted in a genuine desire to rid yourself of any unhealthy baggage you accumulated. Despite the challenges you may encounter, ensuring a positive attitude for a promising outlook will be half the battle. For the other half of the battle, please know that the advice "money will not solve all your problems" still rings true. Nevertheless, if getting rich is the end goal, why not combine your desire to be materially rich while using a R.I.C.H. mentality to pursue the profession you want?
Research Your Field
Researching your field gives you the ability to intelligently communicate what you want and why. Most times when people are asked this simple question, they can't give a succinct or confident answer. Even if you don't have a title for what you are positioning for, be able to state it in a manner that is strategically focused. Equally important, know what you don't want in your next career. Understand the salary range, necessary qualifications, and any barrier to entry. This will help you be intentional and on purpose for what you are seeking. Define "success" by your standards so you won't chase after someone else's dream.
Invest in Yourself
Investing in you is a very important part of career management. Like software, skills can become outdated if you don't continually upgrade to the latest version and add new features. Remember
Windows Me? Exactly. As technology advances and your industry landscape changes, you can't be effective without enhancing your skills. Be strategic and know the skills that you are adding to your resume will give you an expertise that creates competitive advantage. In the end, the investment will be worth your time and effort, and if selected correctly, will make dollars and good sense.
No one knows everything, and the sooner you admit it, you will make better choices. Making this very important decision without any professional guidance is a major risk. The key is to find people who can give you the information you need to hear, and not what you want to hear. If your new career requires getting a bachelors, masters, PhD, or certification, then your career consultant, mentor, or coach should be forthcoming and tell you what is needed to be competitive. Pursue a second and third opinion to uncover all options (and pitfalls). It's your life, only you can decide how much you want to invest and what success looks like for you.
Attitude is everything. You can have all the skills, degrees, and experience to make you appear qualified, but without the right attitude and approach for advancing your career, you will only make one think twice about your character and motives. Be sincere and not superficial, exhibit confidence but not cockiness, and look to serve others, not the other way around. The only way to do this right is to do it the right way, and sometimes we have one opportunity to make a great (or awful) impression.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stacey Rivers is the director of an executive portfolio management office for a large media company. She is an avid blogger and enjoys sharing career advice on her blog, careerbluprint.org.Back to Candidate blogs