Congratulations, you’re finally found the no-nonsense guide you’ve been looking for to help you make a life changing career transition!
You’re about to learn how to make a life change which will make you feel excited about getting out of bed! Furthermore, you will start making more money in no time.
What’s the big secret to achieving this impossible mission? Simple! Start getting paid for doing what you love!
I’m going to teach you how to get out of your lousy situation and stay out of it forever! All you have to do is be willing to learn from your mistakes and put in a little effort to get out of the rut.
How to tell if you need a career transition
- Lack of flexibility and freedom.
- Lack of control over how you handle your workload.
- Low chance for advancement no matter how hard you work.
- Disruptive office politics.
- Toxic work atmosphere and bad management.
Enduring these conditions can be demanding for your self-esteem and mental health. This can lead to feeling stress, anxiety and depression.
The good news is that there is a solution! Fortunately you’re doing exactly what you should be doing, which is eliminating the main sources of stress and finding purpose.
According to a Gallup poll, 85% of workers worldwide admit to hating their job. A whopping 23% of workers are “actively disengaged”, meaning “They act out and undermine what their coworkers accomplish.”
So what is the remaining 15% doing that makes them happy? This article will reveal exactly that.
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” – J.P. Morgan
If you’re one of the people affected by anxiety or depression at work, I suggest you read my article about anxiety at work. It will provide you with useful information and tools for dealing with anxiety disorders and panic attacks.
How to prevent the loop of changing jobs
Many people get caught up in a loop of changing jobs often, never being able to find some place where they fit in and feel stable.
If this is happening to you, then it’s because you have wrong expectations from your job. I don’t put all the blame on you though. This is a problem for many people. For this reason, the workplace interactions can be a messy business.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to task you with fixing other people. Instead, with a tactful adjustment to your attitude, you will easily sidestep these messy relationships.
Understanding how people think will help you deal with your bosses and colleagues with ease. I’ve made a very useful article about Unconscious bias in the workplace which will help you do just that.
By knowing how people think and interact, you will have an advantage compared to other people in the workforce.
As far as understanding your own expectations and motivation, this next chapter is all about that so just keep reading.
The ideal career transition
There is a Japanese concept called Ikigai which roughly translates to “the reason to get up in the morning”, but let’s just call it your career sweet spot.
You can find your sweet spot in the intersection of what you love doing, what you’re good at doing, what you can get paid for and what the world needs.
In order to know exactly which career transition will work best for you I’ve come up with this 3-point exercise to navigate your search.
Career transition guide:
- Your personality reveals what kind of work you can excel at.
The Brigs- Meyers personality test will help you understand what kind of work environment makes you most comfortable and brings out the best in you.
A few years back I found to be an INTJ, the Architect personality. Interestingly, it made me see myself at a very different light, which consequently affected my career and life choices – for the better.
- Hard and soft skills tell you what you’re proficient at.
Hard skills are your learned skills and qualifications, they are what makes you a contender to for the job. You soft skills, on the other hand, are your people skills; they help you keep the job and make you a valuable member of the workforce.
Read this article to learn more about them and how they differ.
- Your priorities and ambition reveal what you will settle for.
Now that you have better tools and ideas to find your sweet spot, it’s time to prioritize.
Are you willing to break out of your comfort zone? How much do you want to earn? Will you go the extra mile to boost your career if it comes at an cost to your personal life?
“Effort and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” – John F. Kennedy
Take your career transition seriously!
Take your time with these 3 tasks. First, write out your personality traits that you want to act upon. Secondly, think about which skills that you want to utilize and which you need to improve. Finally, consider your priorities and ambition thoroughly.
Putting effort into fully understanding your stance on these 3 points will create a beacon for your career transition.
Talk to your family and friends about this. See what they tell you but also take note of how you react to their suggestions. You probably already know the answer but you need to bring it to surface with reasons and conviction.
For some, it’s simply a matter of taking a specialization course and moving to a company down the street. For me, it was about changing my whole life by emigrating on my own, which was an immense challenge.
Make sure you think thoroughly about this, because the choices that you make afterwards will ripple out through the rest of your life.
Bottom line is – don’t aim low! Don’t settle for something mediocre. Set your goals high and believe in yourself. Merely aiming high will boost the results that you would realistically expect to gain from your career transition.
How to look for your next career
Start by looking at companies that you think are out of your league. Yeah, you read it right. There’s a reason for this other than just daydreaming.
Those companies that you thought about tell you where you want to go. The reasons why you think they’re out of your league are the obstacles you need to overcome.
Write out exactly why you think you wouldn’t get in and add those reasons to your lists of skills to work on.
Depending on your target industry and qualifications, you will need to put in some effort into growing your skills. Maybe you will have to aim for a lower ranking position.
The key is knowing where you want to go and which obstacles you need to surpass to get there. The rest will come through the miracle of the daily grind.
The important thing to keep in mind is that you are going to be exiting your comfort zone and pushing yourself forward. You will put your very best foot forward and you will have better chances then you realize.
For your next job you need to be focused on these two criteria:
If you are aiming to do something you have qualifications to do, it has to be better paid than your current job AND have more room for advancement.
If you are looking to change your profession, you will probably have to put additional effort into retraining. Regardless, you must ensure that within a few months you will be earning equally or more AND that you will have good chance of advancement.
After choosing to do something that you love, you must insist on having good possibility of earnings and growth.
You will achieve those possibilities because you will earn them by being passionate and productive in your work.
Doing what you love and what you’re good at is only one part of having a fulfilling career, the other part is being gratified for your efforts. You don’t want to find yourself a year from now being only slightly more comfortable in the same rut of career stagnation.
How to prepare for a career transition
The biggest source of stress from your job was probably the feeling of being trapped and that’s no longer the case. Any feelings of worry or resentment that you have for your current job or colleagues you need to let them go now!
From this point on, you need to focus all your energy and time into preparing for your new career and your new life.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates
For this reason, you need to start changing your daily habits and preparing your mindset for a fresh start. Career transition is stressful on its own. The last thing you need is the added strain of major changes in your daily routines.
Start building good daily habits right away, in order to be fully ready when the time comes for your career transition.
Preparation tips for career change:
-Brush up on your hard skills that will prove useful in your next job.
-Work on the soft skills that you will rely on to fit in and grow at your next job.
-Start working on your CV.
-Start looking into potential jobs where you will be applying.
-Study my other article to learn how to stay focused on your goals by maintaining a routine of health and productivity.
How to make a powerful Curriculum Vitae (CV)
CV is what gets your foot through the door. You need to present yourself in the very best light that you can without lying. Hence, if there was ever a time to stretch the truth, here it is.
What are the recruiters looking for?
Depending on how competitive the job is, the recruiter will most likely not read it thoroughly at first.
They will spend less than a minute glancing through it for red flags, in order to find reasons to trash the CV. Alternatively, they will look for impressive keywords or attributes that show value in order to keep the CV in the pile of potential candidates.
This is where you will focus. Eliminating potential red flags and accentuating anything that could be construed as a valuable attribute.
When they look at your CV they won’t be looking at who you are, they will be looking at how valuable you could be compared to other candidates.
Check out this awesome video of a real recruiter reviewing resumes to get a feeling of how they think.
How to format your CV?
While there are no rules in making a CV, you should abide to the basic formatting in order to make it easy for the recruiter to read it. Here are some resources to formatting your CV:
Aside from the basic formatting, you will have to put in some additional effort. Tailor your CV according to your pertinent experiences, the industry and the company you are applying for.
Tailor the content to impress the recruiter:
-Present the content in a reverse chronological order, starting from the most recent data points and back from there.
-Start strong in the first paragraph of each section. Remember that it’s all about first glance impressions.
-Keep it simple and relevant! If you’ve been working for many years you will have more content and that’s fine – as long as you keep it relevant. Make sure that every line counts as a powerful attribute.
-With accomplishments, focus on results rather than responsibilities.
-Show industry insight.
Use impressive phrasing in the form of strong adjectives: Dynamic, resourceful, adaptable etc. Also include action verbs like organized, oversaw, operated etc.
Make sure you include them into sentences with actual examples rather than just describing yourself as such.
This will ensure that even your weaker attributes carry a punch.
-You can use a bit of color for subheadings and titles. This will make the text more personable, as long as the color is clearly legible.
-Use a font size that’s easy to read, as opposed to cramming the text by sizing down font.
- Tailored with a purpose
Tailor your CV to suit the requirements of the industry you are aiming for and, if possible, adapt it to the company itself.
For applying to a certain company, research their company policy, how they represent themselves, what values do they uphold etc. Make your wording and overall presentation a perfect fit for their culture.
Photo is generally not recommended for CV’s, but rather for resumes. However, if enclosing a photo, make sure it leaves an impression of professionalism and maturity.
- Cover letter
This one may be the most important of all. While the CV depicts your work and education background, recruiters will focus on the cover letter to gauge you as a person.
Use the proper form, be short and on point.
This is where you make your passion, motivation, enthusiasm and other qualities vivid. For this reason, you need to put a bit of extra effort into this.
A good referral goes a long way. Now is the time to cash in on good working relationships with former teachers, managers or bosses. You can do this by asking for a letter of recommendation.
If you decide to include character references as well, make it from previous colleagues rather than your mom or friends.
How to nail an interview
Interview is all about first impression. You’ve got your foot in the door and this is the final test of all your effort leading up to this point.
Luckily, I’ve already made the perfect article to educate you about influencing skills.
Influence is a powerful tool you must use to leave a strong impression. Among other things, the article details a persuasion strategy called Elevator pitch – which will be of great use to you.
Confidence and willpower are crucial to effective influence. For this reason you must start working on your daily disciplines and mindset as soon as possible, so that when the time comes for the interview, you will be fueled with a determination to succeed.
You need to remove all room for error which could throw you off or negatively affect your odds of nailing the interview. For this reason I’ve prepared some awesome tips for you.
Tips to make your interview flawless:
-Depending on the culture of the company/industry, dress simple, clean and professional.
-Arrive early. Give yourself 5 minutes to stop before entering the building. Breathe deep to calm yourself and reaffirm your plan, in order to boost confidence and focus.
-Turn the sound on your cellphone completely off. You don’t want anything throwing you off during the interview.
-They will want to see that you are responsible and mature. For this reason you need to address your interviewer by sir/madam, be courteous and speak clearly.
-They will want to see that you’re eager and motivated, so if you’re a bit nervous that’s alright. Simply say that you’re very excited about the opportunity and eager to leave a good impression. Honesty and humility is will be appreciated.
-Prepare topical points which you want to get across. While they will have questions for you, you also want to show some assertiveness and drive.
If you answer just with yes or no, you will seem passive. Instead, you need to prepare where you want to guide the interview. This way you can give thorough and succinct answers without stopping to think and improvise.
-Know how to answer the 3 key questions: Who are you, why are you here and what can you contribute to the company.
-Review the most common interview questions. Of course you don’t need to memorize or practice them. Simply skim over them to see what you might be asked and how you might respond.
As you see, there is no mystery about finding success but there is no hacking it either. Change is possible and you can do it, but it will take effort and determination.
As long as you are willing to do the work and be smart, doors will open for you!
I encourage you to read my related articles as they all contribute to the topic. Additionally, If you need personal help or guidance, please feel free to contact me and I will help you in any way that I can.
Has this article been helpful to you? What are your career transition experiences? Let me know in the comments or contact me directly, I would love to hear what you have to say!