Thursday, November 30, 2023

Changing Up Your Career Path? An Expert’s Top 5 Tips for Making the Switch Successfully

There has never been more of a shift in our values as there has been this year. Suddenly, climbing the corporate ladder hasn’t mattered as much as it used to. Going into an office feels vaguely repugnant. And don’t get us started on 9-5.

If you’re one of the many who are finding their current hustle just isn’t do it for you anymore and you’re contemplating a career change, read on for Actualise co-founder and career expert Melissa Jenner’s top five tips for finding your ‘why’. (And check out our in-depth interview with Melissa and co-founder Vic Jack about understanding your worth and demanding what you’re worth here.

Change GIF by memecandy
  1. Know thyself

When designing any change or solving any problem, you have to start with a solid perspective on ‘current state’. Unpacking and being clear about your current circumstances, why you are where you are, what you want and need, and what problem you are trying to solve are the key starting points. Ideas are easy, execution is hard. Don’t work on an idea that won’t solve your problem. Know what you want and evaluate ideas against that. Self reflection is critical and something we don’t do enough of when it comes to things as important as work. Pull out your journal and start mind-mapping how you got where you are, who you are, what your core values and talents are and what you need from your future. If you like, our Discovery Planner can guide you through. 

  1. Generate multiple ‘pathways’

There are no ‘unicorn’ jobs out there, and nor is every job – as rosy and exciting as it might sound initially – right for everyone. You need to develop a range of options for yourself in order to decide which one is the right one for you. Deciding on the ‘path’ you are on comes first, the actual job second. So, for example, are you ready to go out on your own and hustle for your own clients and income? That’s a pathway.  Are you in the right job, just the wrong company? Do you need to pivot into a new industry? That’s a pathway.  Or do you need to re-invent yourself, and maybe retrain to do something more creative or sustainable? That’s a pathway. Decide on which ‘path’ will fit your needs and your lifestyle and whether you are ready to take the risk, first. Then figure out the job and the company. 

life career GIF
  1. Communicate future value, not historic events.

We believe that people do their worst sales job on their greatest asset – themselves. So many of us fail to communicate their true value to a future employer, and consequently find themselves ‘moving around’ in the marketplace, as opposed to moving up or across into something new and more suited to their renewed purpose. Instead of relying on the age-old (and we would say, broken, CV) as your billboard, create your own Value Proposition. What are your beliefs? What are you proud of? What have been your greatest learnings in your career? What is your super-power? What value will you bring into a future organisation? Your billboard should not be an account of where you’ve been in the past and what you did; honestly, no one cares that much.  It should be about your future value – what you are bringing to an organisation – what they can expect from hiring you.

  1. ‘Know, like, trust’

One of the greatest mistakes people make is ‘outsourcing’ finding a new job or opportunity to recruiters. Whilst recruiters play a valuable role in helping screen opportunities, if you truly want to find the right person, role, company and opportunity for yourself, find it yourself. People in New Zealand hire and help people they ‘know, like and trust’. Fact. We are a small community and your reputation, your community and your network are your greatest assets when it comes to finding a new opportunity. Practice your pitch and get out and meet people. Tell them what you are looking for and why. Ask them to connect you. Ask for help. People love helping people progress, so identify your top 10 influencers in your life – they could be an old boss, your best friends, Mum, or a highly regarded business leader – and reach out and connect. Take ownership, get in the driving seat and direct traffic to you. 

season 1 friends GIF
  1. Strap yourself in

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the five career pivots I’ve made, it’s this. You need to be brave. You need to be prepared for a rough ride, and you need to want it badly. Nothing great ever happens without both hard work, determination and a lot of grit. If you don’t have it, you won’t make it. Simple. We have worked with many people who have had amazing ideas and insights about their future, but in the end, the safety and security of where they are has kept them from moving. It’s cold out there – on your own job hunting or starting your own business. But would you rather be cold for a while on the journey to your new home?  Or comfy in the wrong house. You have to believe in what you are doing and you have to want it. Commit, take action, just start. As soon as you take action and do things, you will feel the rush of creating some new value in your life. And it will all be worth it – the journey is, honestly, almost as good as the destination.  

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