Feeling stuck in your career? Thinking about changing your job but not sure how to go about it?
As a leading career coach, the #1 biggest question I get asked is, “How can I reinvent my career without decreasing my salary?”
A client of mine, Matt, just reinvented his career from being a manager in the TV industry to becoming a manager in high tech, and he even received a 15-percent pay increase. So how did he do it?
Reinventing your career means repackaging your skills, qualifications and successes so that you can transition into a new job role, company or industry. It takes a strong vision, a solid plan, and someone who can coach you through your transition, but yes, it is possible! Below are four steps to help you jump start your career and transition into a new career more quickly, easily and maybe even with a higher salary!
- What are your transferable skills?
These are skills that transition from industry to industry, or from job role to job role. Examples include: managing projects, teams, clients or budgets, as well as negotiating contracts, or proposing and implementing ideas that generate money, save money, or help the company be more competitive.
Other transferable skills include personal characteristics such as demonstrating leadership or risk taking, training or mentoring team members, being goal driven, results oriented, a problem solver, or having the ability to influence senior managers. These are great skills to have, and they transfer from industry to industry. All kinds of industries and companies value employees with these types of skills and characteristics.
- Match your transferable skills to job roles.
Read job descriptions posted on CareerJournal.com, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com, as well as the classified ads in industry magazines, business publications, and company websites. If you want to work for a specific company then check out their website’s on-line job postings. Learn the skills and qualifications required for various job roles.
Match your transferable skills to those jobs you want to go after. If there’s a gap between the required skills and the skills that you currently have, then look for ways to gain that experience such as taking on an extended assignment in your current job, or if you’re in between jobs then try freelancing, consulting, or volunteering.
Also, attend industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events and association meetings. Talk to people who work in the industry to learn about their career path, key skills, and advice on how to break into the business.
- Blow up your resume.
The first thing I always did before I transitioned into a new career was blow up my resume. Trying to piece together a resume that highlighted the skills I used to get my last job with the skills I need to land my next job is like trying to weld together Lexus parts on a BMW. It doesn’t work. You need a brand new resume.
Showcase only those jobs, responsibilities and successes that relate to the job you want. The hiring manager doesn’t care about every job you’ve ever had. They just want to know, Can you do their job? You may also want to get a professional resume critique to help you customize your resume and identify your transferable skills.
- Attitude is the key ingredient!
I’ve found that getting a new job really boils down to two things: confidence and passion. I’ve never walked into an interview having met all of the job requirements. In fact, for the television interview, I lacked the two biggest requirements which were a minimum of two years experience in television, and a reel to show my TV work.
To compensate, I focused on my transferable skills which were being highly creative and a solid copywriter. That got my foot in the door for the interview. But to get the job and beat out the other 4 job candidates, I was passionate about the company and the job! I also told the hiring manager that I absolutely knew that I could do the job!
There’s a kind of quiet confidence that we all have down deep inside. A confidence that comes from knowing what we’re capable of doing. When you transition into a new job role or a new company, you need to show the hiring manager that you have confidence in yourself and know that you’ll be successful in the job. When it comes to reinventing your career, it’s not just your talent but your attitude that counts!
Sherri Thomas is President of Career Coaching 360, an international speaker, and author of “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books! Career Coaching 360 (www.CareerCoaching360.com) provides career planning, management coaching, and leadership development support to help professionals change careers quickly and easily. To learn how you can reinvent your career quickly and easily, visit Career Coaching 360’s website for resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching packages.
A few years ago, my previous manager confirmed my biggest fear – I was being underpaid. “It’s not my fault your salary is so low,” he said. “I couldn’t believe how low your salary was when you came into this department two years ago.”
His words hung over me like a great big cartoon bubble. They made my stomach turn inside out. They made me furious. First, at him. Then later, at myself.
That conversation that made me realize I had to do two things: 1) stop working for this gooberhead, and 2) step up and fight for the salary I knew I deserved.
Three years after that conversation, I recieved a 35% salary increase (same company, different manager.) Below are a few of my salary strategies that may help you get a beefier paycheck, too!
- Work with people who value you!
If you’re performing high quality work but not being financially rewarded, then you’re working for the wrong person. I’ll say it again – you’re working for the wrong person! The key is to work for managers or clients who value, respect, and appreciate your strengths and accomplishments. When you work for people who appreciate you, they’re more likely to do everything they can to get you in the “right” pay range.
I’m not talking about working for someone who has a job and needs someone to fill it. I’m talking about someone who values your performance and has the means to pay for it. Big difference. One thinks anyone can do your job. The other thinks you’re one of the elite few who can do your job.
- Put Yourself Out in Front!
She who gets the biggest results, gets the biggest raise.Doing your job successfully won’t get you a big raise. Doing your job smarter could. Stop thinking that working 70-hour weeks, attending 10 meetings a day and doing the work of four people will make you worthy of a higher salary. It won’t. It’s not the quantity of work you’re doing, but the quality.
Go for projects that are highly valued and highly visible by senior management. Focus on initiatives that will generate revenue, save costs, or make the company more competitive.
Search out ways to gain visibility and strengthen your credibility with senior managers. This means stepping up and leading, or at the very least being a major contributor on these high profile projects and teams.
Yes it’s scary. Yes it’s risky. But if you want to keep playing it safe then get use to those 3-percent annual pay raises. (There’s nothing wrong with a 3-percent raise, but this article is for those who feel like they’re grossly underpaid.)
- Know what you’re worth – and demand it.
There’s no excuse not to do your homework and find out what you’re worth in today’s marketplace. Find out what your job role is currently paying in positions inside and outside the company by doing a little research. One of my favorite sites is www.GlassDoor.com
Also, check out salary calculators and reference guides on salary.com, realrates.com, and payscale.com. Ideally, the more salary ranges for the same job role in the same geographical area that you can compare, the better.
Once you’re certain of the salary you should be making, then it’s time to meet with your manager. Focus on three things: 1) clear and measurable results that you’ve delivered, 2) what the job is currently paying in the marketplace, and 3) the salary range that you want. Be logical, not emotional. Remember, you rarely get paid what you’re worth unless you ask for it – or in most cases, demand it!
One of my clients ended her pay pitch by saying, “Every day I give 110% to this company. I’m just asking for that last 10%.” She got her 10% raise! Hallelujah, Sister!! :))