REINVENTING YOURSELF: How to Change Job Roles, Industries or Professional Goals

Yes, there is life after a lay-off! And the good news is that you’ve been given a clean slate to reinvent yourself to transition into a career that fulfills and energizes you.

I’ve reinvented my career five times including being a disc jockey in radio, public relations director in professional sports, community relations director in television, regional marketing manager in finance, and now I’m a global program manager in high tech. And each time that I reinvented myself – I received a pay increase!

Reinventing your career successfully simply means repackaging your skills, qualifications and accomplishments so that you can transition into a new job role, company, or industry. Below is my personal 5-step blueprint for reinventing your career more quickly, easily and maybe even with a higher salary!

  1. Define your passion – In which industry would you like to work? Advertising? Finance? Health Care? When I wanted to stop being a disc jockey, I knew that I wanted to go into television. And after a successful career in television, I then set my sights on getting into Corporate America. I wasn’t sure what kind of job role I wanted (or could get!), but the first step was determining the industry where I wanted to work. If you’re not sure where you want to go then read trade magazines, industry publications and on-line job postings. Visit a bookstore and browse through books and magazines to see what grabs your attention. Allow yourself time to figure out what lights your fire and inspires you!
  2. Identify 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 ALL great skills to have, and they transfer from industry to industry. All industries and companies value employees with these types of skills and characteristics.

  3. Match your transferable skills to job roles – Read job descriptions posted on, and, as well as the classified ads in industry magazines, trade journals, and local newspapers. 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 job requirements and the skills you have, then look for ways to gain that experience such as taking on an extended assignment in your current job, freelancing, consulting, or even 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, responsibilities, and advice for how to break into the business.

  4. 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.
  5. Showcase only those jobs, responsibilities and successes that are relevant 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? Get resume help now.

  6. Attitude is king! 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!

Remember, great jobs don’t just land in your lap. You have to know what you want – take action – and go after it! Your job is out there. You just need to go get it!

Smart tips to avoid a layoff

Here is my most recent TV interview on NBC-TV Phoenix with some smart tips to avoid a layoff!  Enjoy!! I’d love your feedback.

Yes, Companies are Hiring!

Yes, Companies are Hiring!

My phone keeps ringing. Normally, I like that!
but these days it’s due to a flurry of professionals panicking because in their
mind “there aren’t any jobs out there.”

That is simply NOT TRUE.

Great companies are ALWAYS hiring high
quality, results oriented professionals and executives.  And more so today, than ever before!
Company leaders know that they will not
survive in this economy doing business as status quo. They must have great talent supporting the
company to rise up and move ahead.
The result of this sluggish economy is that
companies are now taking inventory of which employees are go-getters and
helping the company move forward, and which employees are not.
So, if you’re looking for a new job, know
that yes it’s a little trickier finding those great job openings these days, but
with a foolproof job search strategy and a top notch resume – you CAN and you
WILL get hired!
I’ve written this week’s article to help you
manage your career and stay in control during these tumultuous times.  I’ve also started a new on-line community
where you can get even my resources and tools to power up your career, PLUS!
receive my career strategies even faster! Join the new Career Coaching 360
on-online community on
Finally, if you’d like to hear ALL of my career success strategies on
how to make a fast and easy career transition into a new job role, company, or
industry – then check out my “Career Change Boot Camp


As always, if you ever need any career help
please feel free to call me at the toll free phone number (877) 559-4533, or
write to me at

To your

Sherri Thomas

5 Tips to Getting Into a New Job Fast!

Part One (of a Two-Part Series)…

economy is tough right now, and the job market is even tougher, so it’s
hard to get hired right now, but there are some things you can do to
significantly increase your chances of getting a new job. 

  1. Power up your confidence.  You
    never want to say in an interview, “MMM, yeah, I’m pretty sure I can do
    the job.”  If YOU don’t have confidence in yourself, hiring managers
    won’t either!   So you need to power up your confidence, go in with
    you’re “A GAME” and let them know that without a doubt you can do this
    job successfully! 
  2. Define your career goals.
    If you’re not sure about what type of job you want to be doing…  a
    great place to start is to write down some career goals… so write down
    the type of industry you want to be in, the kind of company, and the
    type of work you WANT to be doing.  And then, get laser-focused on
    finding job openings that target those goals.  …you’re much more likely
    to get hired when you’re passionate about the position!

  • Think up, down and sideways.  A lot of people get stuck in a rut looking for the same job title as their last job. But you can double your options
    by looking at smaller and larger companies.  The smaller company may
    have the same job role listed but with a bigger title (like a Director
    of VP-level), and the larger company may have a smaller title (like a
    manager or specialist) – but it’s the same major responsibilities. 
  • Also, apply for jobs outside of your industry. 
    There are a lot of job roles that you can do in just about any
    industry.  For example, if you’re in a marketing role, or finance role,
    or sales – they need these types of employees across all industries! 

    So start reading trade publications, industry magazines, and the
    Business Journal to learn which industries are hiring, what the hot
    jobs are, and where you can fit in.

  • Leverage your transferable skills. 
    Transferable skills are critical when you’re trying to switch into a
    new job.  Those are skills that transfer from job role to job role.
     Let’s say for example that you’ve been in sales and now you want to
    try something new! You probably have some great experience negotiating
    contracts, so you could punch “negotiating contracts” in your resume to
    help you cross over into another job role – for example, finance or
    business management.
  • Also, -all great
    companies need great people managers and project managers.  So if you
    have either of those skills, be sure to showcase them in your resume –
    they could help you get a new job!   

  • Create a job search plan.  So
    many people post their resume up on, and then sit back and
    wait for the phone to ring, and it doesn’t happen that way! In today’s
    market, you really need to work at finding job openings.   You’ll want
    to create an integrated job search plan that includes on-line and
    off-line activities such as:
    1. Your wish list of companies that you want to work for and check out their website every week.
    2. A list of on-line job boards like and that you check every week
    3. Industry magazines and newspapers that list classified ads that you read every week.
    4. Networking
      events that you attend every week like industry conferences,
      association meetings, and business networking events.

    faith in yourself, be persistent, and follow these five career
    strategies to get into your new career.  Your new job is out there
    waiting for you – you just need to go get it!

    Sherri Thomas
    is President of Career Coaching 360, an international
    speaker, and author of “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful
    Personal Brand.” Career Coaching 360 (
    provides career planning, management coaching, and
    leadership development support to help professionals change
    careers quickly and easily.


    Need a Few Strategies to Explain a Layoff on Your Resume?

    Read Sherri’s tips in the Wall Street Journal:

    Preparing Your “Emergency Career Toolkit” – the secret to rebounding quickly!

    There are times in everyone’s career when a setback occurs.  From a department-wide layoff, to a demotion, to getting fired – it happens to the best of them.  Those professionals and executives who anticipate and prepare for change are known to rebound quicker, and get their career back on track faster!

    So, in today’s increasingly volatile economy, it’s more important than ever to recognize that a change could happen to YOU(!) and do everything you can to prepare for it.

    Just like with any emergency situation it’s critical to have a plan, an exit strategy, and a toolkit with all the essentials to help you navigate the storm.  So to help you bounce back quickly from a career setback, here are five essentials you must have in your “career emergency toolkit”.

    1. A professionally critiqued resume.  Think your resume is good enough?  Think again.  The unemployment pool is getting bigger and your resume must be in the top 2-percent to get noticed.

    Imagine that a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity comes up and you have one shot to get your resume in front of the hiring manager.  Will your resume help you, or hurt you?  Invest in a professional resume critique.

  • An “Interview Prep Kit” including a polished portfolio, briefcase and power suit.  Make sure you’re prepared for an interview, by having a hefty sample of your best work available including reports, strategic plans, proposals, campaigns or presentations that you created.  This helps validate your successes and what you can do for the next company that hires you.Also, make sure you have a smart looking briefcase, power suit, and matching shoes so that you make a great impression when you walk into a room.  You’ll need these for business networking events, as well as interviews.

  • List of high powered references.  Start identifying those who could give you a strong professional recommendation.  Go after those managers and executives with the highest title, biggest influence, and work for the most prestigious companies. If you’ve lost touch with someone on your list, start searching them out now. Professional networking sites such as makes it easy to find past colleagues.  Also, consider who you WANT on your list and start looking for opportunities to get connected.
  • A Deep and Wide Professional Network.  Don’t wait to start networking – do it now. Send your contacts links to reports, case studies, press releases and websites that you think may interest them.  Invite them to business networking events, and introduce them to other movers and shakers.  Career influencers (those who could hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you) are drawn to those who are resourceful and well connected.Make sure you have updated contact information including e-mail address and phone numbers.
  • Your Plan “B”.  What kind of work could you do to generate income if you lost your job right now?  Could you freelance or start consulting?  Would you prefer to work part-time while getting some specialized training or advanced education to help you come back better and stronger?Your Plan B is a back-up plan that should include a career strategy, as well as a finance plan with monthly costs you’re prepared to cut immediately if the worst should happen.
  • As one of the Presidential candidates recently said, “Hope is not a strategy.”  This is especially true with regards to your career.  The key is to always be prepared for the worst – always.  By having the right tools and plans in your Career Emergency Toolkit, you’ll be better equipped to manage through any career setback, as well as come back faster and stronger! 

    Sherri Thomas is President of Career Coaching 360, an international speaker, and author of “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand.” Career Coaching 360 ( provides career planning, management coaching, and leadership development support to help professionals change careers quickly and easily.