So you think you want to change careers. Or perhaps you need a career makeover. You’re not alone.
Professionals of all stripes have found they need to retool their careers or re-engineer themselves.
There’s a myriad of reasons. It’s usually related to technology and a changing marketplace.
If you’re thinking about a career change, perhaps one of these questions pertains to your situation:
— Are you facing a lay-off?
— Are you bored?
— Are you in a dying industry or profession?
— Do you have a toxic relationship with your boss?
— Do you need strategies to overcome stress and energize your career?
— Would you like to improve your odds for a new job?
Whatever your situation, you can do something about it.
Here are 10 proven strategies for makeover success:
1. Check your motive.
Things aren’t always as they seem. Do you dread going to work? Why? All jobs have ups and downs. A string of bad-hair days is not a good-enough reason. Before you make a critical career decision, completely evaluate your work environment. Whatever your reasons, a gut check is in order. Make sure you fully understand your reasons for a change.
2. Take a personal inventory.
Take a couple of hours to consider your personal attributes, such as what are your hobbies? What are your likes and dislikes? For ultimate success, it’s important that you love your work.
3. Take professional inventory.
Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Start with your fears. The term, fear, is an acronym for Frantic Effort to Avoid Responsibility. Has a fear of public speaking held you back? Are you intimidated by difficult people? Remember a strength can often be a weakness and vice versa. It’s a matter of degrees. For example, there’s a difference between bluntness and assertive. Assess your role in your major successes and disappointments. Analyze how you would have performed better.
4. Research your options.
Surf the Internet. Read. Make inquiries. Check out emerging trends. Investigate your options. Learn the necessary qualifications for each field piquing your interest. For each industry, perform a SWOT analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – how they relate to you.
5. Get a mentor.
Contact successful people in the field about which you’re curious. Ask for a few minutes of their time to chat for their opinions. Be respectful of their time. If you develop a rapport with one you like, ask the person to consider mentoring you.
6. Develop a vision Statement.
Based on your personal and professional talents, set goals for your chosen career.Determine what and where you want to be in five, 10 and 20 years. Anticipate what you’ll need to do and write the strategies that will help you achieve your goals.
7. Be Pragmatic.
Review what you’ve done so far, make any necessary fixes. Make certain your goals are feasible and that your plans will enable you to earn a living.
8. Take charge.
Implement the changes. Don’t engage in self doubt. Once you make a decision, don’t wring your hands. Take action. Be strident if you’re normally too timid to make a warranted change. Remember the well-known adage attributed to Virgil: “Fortune favors the bold.” If your plan seems too difficult, here’s one phrase I suggest to clients: “If it were so easy, then everybody would be doing it.”
9. Be tenacious.
Treat your makeover like an adventure. Make it fun, but don’t give up.
10. Be Flexible.
Some career changes take longer to implement. If money or family matters make it difficult to jump into it right away, go slow. Take baby steps, but work on it every day.
From the Coach’s Corner, additional career tips:
8 Tips on How to Ask Your Boss for a Pay Raise — Your food, gas and other living costs have increased. But you need tips on how to ask your boss for a pay raise. You’re mindful about the economy and that unemployment rates are high. With the exception of Wall Street, payroll budgets are constricted everywhere, and you haven’t had a raise recently.
7 Steps to Convince Your Boss to Give You a Different Job — Do you feel as though you’re a round peg in a square hole? Or vice versa — a square peg in a round hole? You might think you’re in the wrong job. Perhaps you are. Is it a case of being over-qualified or under-qualified? Or do you want a promotion?
11 Tips for a Better Relationship with Your Boss — Whether you want a happier work environment or lay the groundwork for a raise, promotion or transfer, you must create opportunities for success. That includes, of course, being on good terms with your boss and often your boss’s boss. For a better relationship with your boss, take these 11 steps.
3 Best Interview Strategies for a Promotion in Your Company — So your company has an opening that would mean a promotion for you. Great. But make sure you prepare properly to avoid disappointment. To get the job you must interview well. Here are best practices to ensure your odds for success: Emulate Avis Starting in 1962. Here’s why.
Career Strategies: How to Get a C-Level Job — If you’re climbing the corporate ladder and have designs on the C-suite – CEO, COO, or CFO – a Stanford University professor has some excellent advice. In essence, he advises getting a strong, generalist-background in business. Good stuff if you’re ambitious.
I used to be indecisive about my career. Now I’m not sure.