The biggest barrier that I think many professionals feel is that because you don’t have the exact same job experience for a position that you want to get into, it’s impossible for you to take on that job. Thus you feel stuck, and you really don’t know what to do to get you into that new position.
I have four key tips that I think will really help you to reframe your mind, so that you can start to get yourself in the direction of making that career change you want.
Leverage what you have
If you’re working in a certain type of workplace setting that is not at all aligned with the type of environment that you would love to get into, then the first thing is to change your environment.
For example, let’s say that you are a researcher or a scientist who currently works in a lab. Recently you’ve realized, after a year or so of working there, that it really isn’t the type of job that’s aligned with your natural inherent talents. You have started having visions of yourself working in a corporate environment, maybe doing a marketing or branding job. What you can do to initiate this desired career shift is to apply to a pharmaceutical or a medical based company, because they will probably value the experience and knowledge that you currently have. They will have the kind of opportunities available that you could start to maneuver your way into. By approaching those companies, you will be putting yourself in the right setting, so that eventually you can pursue that career of getting into marketing.
Compromise a bit in the short run
If the ideal role you want isn’t possible for you right now, find something in between to begin with. This is something that so many professionals don’t realize they need to be doing. They want to make that instant leap. The truth is nothing in life happens instantly, and especially in your career. You have to be willing to take calculated guided steps if you really want to find and pursue a career that is truly meaningful for you.
So what you really want to do is envision your destination, which is, in the example given above, that you’re a lab scientist and want to be a marketing brand manager. You know where the destination is and you see where you are currently. This will enable you to view your desired career shift as a high-level map. Zoom into the map, and start to identify the roads and detours that you need to take, in order to get yourself to that final destination. Check out any intermediate positions that you would probably have to do in between, before you can get yourself to that marketing position. It’s all about getting yourself one step closer each and every time to your ultimate goal.
If we go back to the lab scientist and marketing brand manager example, what are some positions that would be outside of the lab, but would get you a little bit closer to the marketing job that you want? An example could be getting into pharmaceutical sales or an operations role that is still more of a corporate position as opposed to lab based work.
In this way, you will hopefully and eventually be able to earn the job that you ultimately desire to have. The transition phase will enable you to develop the skill sets and experiences that are going to more closely relate to your desired job position, before you can actually dive into that position.
Match your resume to your desired job position
Let’s say you’re selling your house and you know that your house is going to be really attractive for people with young families, couples with young families, or people who are just about to start their families. If you know that that’s the likely buyer for your house, then you obviously want to attract that buyer as much as possible to the home. For example, your real estate agent may suggest a few things that you can do. Perhaps you want to keep the baby furniture, so that any potential buyers may see the nursery, and envision the nursery for themselves one day. Or perhaps keep up pictures of family, baby pictures and family photos on the walls. Keep things feeling and looking like it would be a perfect home for a starter family. After doing all of that, you’ll increase the chances of being able to sell your house faster.
When you’re applying for jobs, your resume is essentially like this home. Your resume has to be catered and framed for the right person to read. You have to be able to leverage the experience that you already have. You want to cater it to an employer who would be interested in hiring someone with your background, but also can see how you would fit into that next position, as a pharmaceutical sales rep let’s just say.
Anytime you’re applying to a new role, you want to make sure that you cater yourself and speak to the audience who is going to be reading that resume. You can’t be giving in the same resume across the board, and explaining all the things that you’ve done in that role, if they’re not even relevant to the position that you want to get into.
Envision yourself in your desired job role
The last tip is to envision yourself in the job that you’d love to do, and believe that it will happen. I highly believe in the idea of visualizing your future in order to achieve what you want. When you can visualize where you’re going, what it’s going to look like, then it gives you clarity and direction. You have a sense of purpose behind your actions, and it motivates you to get up every day and execute what you want to do. So the more you can visualize and feel and believe that it’s there for you, the more likely it’s going to happen.
Of course visualizing it without finding the right ways to approach your career is useless. So use the resources that you have. Learn what you can through this journey. Be willing to make decisions that may not necessarily appear at the beginning to directly get you to where you want to go. But as long as it’s getting you closer to your goal, that’s all that matters.
At the end of the day, it’s all about you having the willingness to do everything in your power to go after the career that is going to be truly meaningful and fulfilling for you.