As a mentor, I often hear from mentees looking to pivot to a new career path, but feeling unsure about everything that comes with that change. I think it is because there are a few misconceptions about the process. People worry “they might be too old for the change” or “their income will suffer”…
I like answering those questions because I can speak from my own experience and could share my thoughts on what is important during that process and how to make it seamless.
In my opinion, there are three essential aspects of the lucky career leap that are tightly connected to each other. I think those would apply not only to career switching but to anything:
1. You – your skillset, your resources.
2. People – your network.
3. The Opportunity – the right time and right place
First and foremost, it’s all about YOU. Your professional skill set, your resources, your passion, your motivation, and your continuous improvement.
Of course, developing a new skill set takes time and perseverance. But when you work and develop new skills, knowledge, and experience in parallel with your current job and schedule, the risk is minimal. This also gives you a chance to see if the new direction is genuinely the right one for you.
Next up is PEOPLE.
Building and nurturing a solid network is as important as developing your skills. In fact, research from Stanford Sociology found that people are more likely to land job opportunities through connections than by responding to a job posting.
That is about connecting with others, showcasing, and selling your skillset. But most importantly, it’s how you can be visible, create value and help others with their paths to success.
Finally, it’s all about the OPPORTUNITY.
Sometimes, the most significant barrier to your success is your current situation.
Many years ago, I worked at a company under a job title that did not match my actual role, skills, and work I was doing. And without a defined role, there was little chance of being adequately evaluated and promoted: there was no opportunity.
To share what I learned from that experience – if you really want to progress, but there is a block, and the situation won’t change – look for where you can find the Opportunity you need, even if it means looking elsewhere, everywhere.
Wishing everyone who considers pivoting to a new career path a smooth switch and a more fulfilling career.