Want to land your dream job in 2017? Last week I was interviewed for an article in Jobs2Careers and asked, “What is the #1 New Year’s resolution you should make this year and actually keep?”
For me, the answer is simple. I invest in myself every single week.
Since I have a full-time corporate job, as well as my own successful career coaching practice helping others land their dream job, I don’t have time to make resolutions that I’ll never keep. But this is ONE new year’s resolution that I make (and achieve) every year.
Just as financial advisers tell us to pay ourselves first in order to have a strong financial portfolio, I make it a habit to invest in myself every week to ensure I have a strong sense of purpose, fulfillment and get closer to achieving my personal mission.
If you’re not sure where or how to invest in yourself, then ask yourself these three questions:
- What’s the next thing you want to learn?
Block out time on your calendar to conduct research, read, learn, watch TED videos, or talk to others. Learning something new can deepen an area of expertise, change the way you think and even take you in a whole new direction.
- Who inspires you?
Connect yourself to those who motivate and energize you. Offer to help them with a project or support them in their personal mission. They will become your greatest champions in overcoming fear, charting new territory and realizing your dreams.
- Where do you ultimately want to go in your career (or at least the next stop on your career journey)?
Put a stake in the ground and envision the kind of work you want to be doing and the type of environment and organization where you want to work.
Give yourself time and space to answer each of these questions. See what unfolds. We’re not meant to stay in the same job forever. We’re meant to morph, leap, fall, stretch, grow and bounce. When you invest your time and energy every week in these three areas, your career will find its natural flow and become effortless.
Are you thinking, “I need a new job!”
Are you thinking it every day?
If you spend your days fantasizing about getting into a new career that fills you with more meaning and purpose, then it’s time to take action. I’ve successfully reinvented my own career four (4) times and I fully believethat life is way too short to stay in a meaningless job where you’re unfulfilled, unchallenged and under-valued.
As a leading career coach, the #1 biggest question I get asked is, “How can I transition into a new career without decreasing my salary?” Each time I reinvented my own career, I received anywhere between an 8% – 32% salary increase. 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 received a 17-percent pay increase.
So how did we do it? And how can YOU do it?
Moving into a new 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 I take with my clients to teach them how to reinvent their career –
Identify your transferable skills.
If you’ve been working for at least five years, then you have 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, helping a company generate revenue, save money, or gain market share.
Other transferable skills include personal characteristics such as demonstrating leadership, mentoring or training others, risk taking, 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 Indeed.com, CareerJournal.com, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com, as well as business journals and industry-specific 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.
Then, 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 needed to land my next job was like trying to weld together Lexus parts on a BMW. It doesn’t work. You need a brand new resume.
Hiring managers don’t care about every job you’ve ever had. They just want to know if you can do their job? In order to get noticed you’ll need a clean, polished and professionally written resume.
And one more tip… attitude is king! 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.
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. If you want the job offer, you’ll need to sell yourself to the hiring manager by showing you have confidence in yourself to be successful in the job. When it comes to reinventing your career, it’s not just your skills and talent but your attitude that counts!
Want a little help transitioning into your new career?
Check out my services for personal career coaching packages, resume development and interview coaching. Potential clients can request a 15-minute complimentary consultation by writing to Tim@CareerCoaching360.com
Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and award-winning author of the “2013 BEST CAREER BOOK” by the Indie Book Awards for her book “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster after a layoff, re-org or career setback”. She also authored, “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – which is on AMAZON’s TOP 50 LIST for personal branding books. Sherri is the President and Founder of Career Coaching 360 which provides resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching for executives and professionals who want to change, reinvent or advance their career.
For a limited time, you can download the three FREE chapters of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com
Each year, I create a new mantra for myself. One year it was “think big.” I spent the entire year 10x’ing my ideas, goals and dreams. Another year I claimed “follow the positive energy.” I made it my mission to pursue those people and activities that energized and inspired me. This year, I’ve declared 2014 as “The Year of Adventure!”
So when I heard about an all-ladies cattle drive taking place in the heart of Montana led by Ambassador Barbara Barrett, I did what any city girl would do – I ignored it. But the more I tried to ignore it, the more Barbara and the cattle drive crept into my psyche. Until finally, I signed up.
Why did I try to ignore it? Because it was so far outside of my cushy-snuggly comfort zone that the idea terrified me. Me, the girl who has to call my brother because I’m too afraid to chase a mouse out of my house… had signed up to go on a cattle drive, fly fishing adventure of a lifetime in Montana. Little did I know that this 6-day excursion would have such a big impact on my life.
Here are four (4) things it taught me –
Changing my mindset.
I went from thinking, “No way!” to “How could I make that happen?” by breaking it down into a few simple steps –
* Safety – I called the organizers with a list of questions to make sure it was safe for a “beginner” to sign up.
* Finances – I got my finances in order so that I had a budget for it.
* Preparation – I mitigated some of the fear by taking four (4) horseback riding lessons and a fly fishing lesson before the big event so that I wouldn’t be such a “beginner”
After I put all of these small actions into place, then the rational side of my brain gave me the green flag to go for it.
Role models are important.
On the first day of the cattle drive, we were pushing about 30 angus cattle along a narrow dirt road tucked between a mountain and the Bitterroots river. One of the calves decided to go Maverick and bolted up the mountain to make a U-turn and run back to his buddies in another pasture. A female wrangler named Holly yelled “YEE HAWWW!” as she smacked and kicked her horse straight up that mountain to chase down Mr. Angus. It was impressive. It was jaw dropping. It was crazy inspiring to see someone role model boldness and bravery. If you want to learn something new – go watch a role model in action. We need people in our life to role model “how” and “that” we can do it.
Trust in yourself that you’ll figure it out.
For most of the initiatives that I lead in my career, my plan is about 50% set in stone, and the other 50% I figure out along the way. But in my Montana adventure, I had about 90% that I needed to figure out. In the end I figured out what I needed to. I asked questions, got help when I needed it, stayed open to coaching, and just kept trying. What I learned is that it’s okay to be a novice at something and it’s okay to be scared. What’s not okay is to let fear stop you from doing anything.
Repeat after me: TRY –> LEARN –> REPEAT.
The feeling of being “empowered.”
Yes, it started out as sheer terror, but after a couple of days of just doing it (i.e. not falling over backwards on my horse Tonto because “we” decided to jump over a ravine,) the fear transformed into feelings of confidence, courage and empowerment.
I can’t remember the last time I felt empowered in my career, and I’m not sure I ever felt empowered in my home life. But I sure felt empowered by day #3 of the cattle drive.
I’m going to take this confidence back with me into my real life. I figure if I can conquer staring down a steer then I can certainly conquer managing my toughest career challenge. This experience has given me a new perspective – if I can manage through something that is so far outside my comfort zone, then anything that falls inside my day-to-day world seems easy peasy
I guess the thing that amazes me the most was how invigorating and personally rewarding it was to go outside my comfort zone. I use to plan my vacations to be low key, low maintenance and low stress, because I figured I had all the stress I could handle in my daily life. Now, I’m going to seek out vacations that are new, different and highly adventurous. I’m thinking that “vacation with gusto” may be my next mantra for 2015!
Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist. She teaches others how to think differently and more proactively in their career. Her book, “The Bounce Back” is the 2013 winner of “Best Career Book” by Indie Book Awards for independent book authors. Her first book is on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books, “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a powerful personal brand.” As the Founder/President of Career Coaching 360 Sherri passionately teaches professionals and executives how to reinvent themselves into a more enriching and fulfilling career.
Want an exciting career? Then take on something that scares you.
A few years ago I was working in a cube living a very small life. I worked with a handful of colleagues on 1-2 projects, had 1-2 customers and reported to 1 manager. Small life.
I had been doing the same kind of marketing work for several years and was good at it. My customers were pleased, my boss was satisfied, and I was receiving successful performance reviews with the normal 3% annual pay raise. It wasn’t that anything was really wrong with my career. It just wasn’t satisfying. Boring. Dull. Lifeless
I was under-challenged. Under-motivated. Under-valued. My career was blah.
When my big marketing project finished, my boss asked me to lead a technical project. It was so far out of my marketing comfort zone that I would have had to take a plane to get back into my comfort zone. It terrified me. Everything in my bones told me this would be a mistake. But there were two interesting components of the project –
- Nobody in the department had ever led a technical project before. I would be the first. I loved that! These opportunities didn’t come around very often working in a department of type A scary-smart men. The thought of me being the first person in the department to do anything got my heart fluttering.
- Two project managers had been on the project, and both had failed. That’s right, failed. That meant the probability that I would fail was higher, but it also meant that expectations were low, and the risk was low. Plus, it also meant that if the team and I were successful the glory would be that much sweeter.
Game on! I accepted the challenge.
I walked in every day for the next 5 months shaking in my boots, but firing on all cylinders. I was in the game, all day, every day. Five months later, the project launched successfully and I was put into the IT department’s “Hall of Fame” for project management.
Want a more exciting career? Then go stretch yourself.
Stop playing it so safe. Stop sitting on the bench and go get in the game. Change positions. Change teams. Change sports. Do whatever it takes to start tapping into those hidden skills and talents that you don’t even know you have. You’re capable of so much more than you ever thought possible.
Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of two books including “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” which is currently on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books, and “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster from a layoff, re-org or career setback“ also available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE. Right now you can download three FREE CHAPTERS of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com765qwerty765