There’s a spectrum of people I work with who want to make changes in their careers.
I kind of put them in two camps. I know that’s reductionist, but humour me here…
There’s people who need to change NOW.
They hate what they’re doing, they’re miserable and they’ve kind of got a six month timeframe, max.
Then there’s people who can stick it out for a period of time, probably a two year time frame.
They know proactively they need to make a change, but they’re not yet at “I need to get out of this right away”.
If you’re one of those people who proactively want to make a change, perhaps you realise that there’s something in your industry changing that is going to mean that you’re not going to have a job in the medium term, or you’re just unhappy with what you’re doing right now and you want to make that shift, read on.
Recently I sat with a guy who was in that exact situation and I helped him build a plan to help him transition over a two or three year time frame.
I’m going to share with you how you can do it for yourself.
This is how to go about it if you want to make a proactive change over the next two or three years.
The first thing is you need a VISION. If you’re not sure what that vision is in two or three years of what you want and what you don’t want check out the “Career Compass” blog here.
The Career Compass helps you consider your strengths, your practical situation in your life, and what’s important to you. If you do the work you’ll come up with a sense of what your vision career-wise will be in two or three years. Practically, you’ll be able to describe what you want to do more of and what you want to do less of, and what trajectory you’re heading in. The Career Compass will help get you that vision.
To help you get TO your vision, I want you to watch this other blog I did on how you switch industries. Basically what you’ve got to do is when you have your vision, you then go and retrofit the capabilities and the skills you’re going to need for that new role into your current role so you’re practicing there already. Watch that blog and it will give you some ideas about the things you need to change now to get you where you want to be.
Usually when transitioning between industries I work with people on three things.
One is to change their network to create new contacts to find the opportunities. The second is around capabilities and skills and experience and the third is mindset.
The biggest problem with career transition is that people don’t do it.
Because they don’t want to get out of their comfort zone.
The enemy of you actually having a better life and work is that it’s not costing you enough, it’s not painful enough to stay where you are. That’s what I see with people who are on this two or three year transition.
The antidote to the comfort zone is creating new habits.
What I worked on with this person when we were sitting down was some mindset habits.
I got him to write down four new things he was going to tell himself every time he looked at his plan. Everytime he looked at his plan he was going to tell himself these new things. Things like, “If I get to the vision my family and I will be happier.” Some reinforcing mindset things.
We talked about him continuing to work on new projects within his current role that built his capabilities and for him to do that each quarter. One a quarter. Not one a week, one a quarter which leads to him being able to tell new career stories that enable him to say “You know what? I’m not just what I was, I am something new and I can prove it, because I’ve done THIS, THESE are the results I got and THIS is what happened.”
The fourth one is: each quarter, he was going to set up lunch or a meeting with someone in the second ring of his network. The second ring of your network is not your first level contacts, those friends, family that you know really well, but people who THEY know who would be good people to meet in the path to his vision.
If you’re not in any particular hurry, if you’re not miserable or in a screaming hurry to move within six months but you want to make a proactive change, build yourself a career transition plan.
Have the vision at the top, work out the things that need to change for you to switch industries or switch roles, and then build yourself a plan of things that you’re going to do each quarter.
The amazing thing is what happens when you have the discipline to focus on these activities is initially it can not lead to a lot of change, but then over time they all add upon one another and it becomes a really powerful effect towards you achieving your vision.
If you want to, build this plan for yourself. And if you need help, get in contact with me.
This is a really great way for you to keep yourself accountable and not stick in your comfort zone and get this change for yourself.
I hope this has been useful.
Talk to you next time on The Reason & The Road.