Reinventing Your Career – Smart strategies to change job roles, industries or professional goals…

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!

  1.  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.
     

  2. 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.
     

  3. 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.
     

  4.  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!

  

And finally…

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! 

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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.

Salary Strategies and Boosting your Income

Economist salaries by educational attainment.

Image via Wikipedia

If you’re like me, you’re naturally curious about how your salary compares with other peers and colleagues, and even more importantly, how you can increase your salary in your coporate job. 

One of my favorite websites is www.GlassDoor.com which allows you to see salaries by job title, companies, and region.  You must first enter your own job role and salary, but the site allows you to do this anonymously.

My good friend Laura Browne offers “3 Tips for Getting a Raise in 2011” including how to build a business case and partnering with your manager.

And finally, if you’re looking for a new career you may want to read Monster.com’s article “Red Hot Jobs Right Now” to get a peek at the hottest jobs and the average salary for each.

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10 Things your boss won’t tell you – article, Smart Money magazine

I love this article from Smart Money magazine called “10 things your boss won’t tell you” (and it’s not just because I’m quoted in it! ;))

The article helps you manage your career smarter by giving you a peek inside your manager’s mind with great insight on why your manager does what she does, and tips and strategies to help you manage your manager, and your career!

Enjoy! 🙂
Click to read: 10 things your boss won’t tell you.

Don’t let your environment stop you from getting your dream career.

Many times when we’re looking for a new job, we’re doing so because we need a fresh start in our career.  Whether it’s a sudden change such as being laid off, or a gradual shift such as realizing you’ve been in an unchallenging or unfulfilling job for too long –  you’ve made the decision to make a career change and start fresh.

One of the key factors that will impact your career change will be your attitude. Yes, you’ll need the right kind of skills and experience, but also just as important will be your ability to remain positive and upbeat in the job interview, as well as throughout your entire job search.

I know that attitude was a key factor in my own personal four (4) successful career changes.   Specifically, it was a mix of resilience, confidence and passion.  I found that more doors opened for me, and I had more career choices and opportunities than ever before when I had the attitude that I’m excited about the skills and talents that I provide, and that I will be making significant contributions to the next organization where I’ll be working.

I know how hard it is right now to remain positive in your job search.  It would be super easy to let yourself get down and think that you can’t get a new job because it’s a tough economy, or that nobody is hiring during the Christmas season, or the notion that because you’ve had been laid off then you’re unemployable.

But the reality is that none of those are true roadblocks to transitioning into a new career.  Companies are hiring professionals and executives every day – so why shouldn’t one of those jobs go to YOU?!  Plus, many companies hire mid-level managers and professionals during 4th quarter so that they can hit the ground running in January.  Twice in my own career I was hired during the month of December.

Also, there’s no shame in having been laid off.  In fact, never having been laid off is now the exception (not the rule!) and there are many, many professionals who have been laid off and gone on to get hired and enjoy fabulous careers!

People, including those who could hire you or introduce you to others who could hire you, are naturally drawn to professionals who have confidence and a positive attitude.  I’m not saying that you need to be Little Miss Sunshine every second of the day.  Everyone gets frustrated in their job search (it’s like a crazy roller coaster ride!) and it’s okay to get cranky – but save Mr. Grumpypants for when you can lock yourself in a room by yourself at home.

Many of my clients get stressed out at some point during their job search (everyone does!), yet they’re able to get job offers because they have the confidence and optimism in knowing that something better is waiting for them ahead.  They know that they want more in their career and truly believe that a better job is out there that will allow them the ability to do more meaningful and purposeful work.

Having the right attitude includes having the confidence that you can do the job and be an asset to any organization.  Even if you’re reinventing yourself into a new job role or industry.  Once I was working for a high tech company and hiring for a communications position.  It came down to two extremely qualified job candidates.  Both had significant talent and the same type of great experience, so I made my decision based on their response to one question, “Can you do the job?”  The man shrugged and said, “Yeah, I think I can.”  The woman said, “Absolutely!”   (Guess which one I hired? J)

I’m not talking about arrogance, but instead a quite confidence down deep inside that you’re a valuable employee who can do the job, and that any organization would be lucky to have you (of course I never recommend actually saying this out loud J)  This kind of quiet confidence will help you remain positive and upbeat throughout your career change.

Your next career is out there waiting for you – you just need to go out there and get it! J

Five Great Resources to Help You Make an Easier Career Change

Change is scary.  Change can be intimidating.  The fear of change, fear of failure, even the fear of the unknown.  EVERYONE has trepidation about change.  EVERYONE.  But when the time comes that you cannot stay in the same situation any longer –  it’s time to make your move.

If you’re ready to take action and make a career change, here are five (5) resources to help you make the change and transition into your dream career.

  1. Work your network – Talk to people who have successfully made a change in their career and learn their personal story of challenges, lessons learned, and the result of their efforts.  These success stories can inspire you and pave the way to help you make a quick and easy career change.
  2. Professional Organizations – These are organizations like the American Marketing Association, or the Professional Management Institute, or Society of Women Engineers.  If you’re thinking about changing job roles, or changing industries, these associations can help you learn more about these industries and careers to help you figure out whether or not that’s really where you want to go.Google “professional organizations” and the name of your city to see a list of industry associations and business organizations and start attending their luncheons and networking events.Also, these organizations offer excellent volunteer opportunities where you can learn a new skill – such as leadership, marketing, sales, event planning, project management and all kinds of others skills.  Plus, it’s a great way to network and meet other professionals and executives in that industry who could potentially hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you.
  1. Company Websites – Not all companies will promote their job openings on external job boards, but they will promote them on their own company website!Make a list of companies where you’d like to work, then spend time perusing their website. Read their “career” web page to learn about hot jobs and the skills that are in high demand.  Also, read their blog, their press page and investor relations section to learn about their company culture, and to get an idea whether or not you really want to work there.
  2. Professional Networking Sites – Add your professional profile to LinkedIn.com (you can look for me and join my network!)  I’m not a big fan of MySpace.com or Facebook.com for professional networking. Those sites were created for social networking.Start sending updates to your contacts saying that you’re looking for your next opportunity and ask them for leads.  Also ask them for a virtual introduction to others in their network who work in the company or industry where you want to work.
  3. A Personal Career Coach – Look for a career coach who offers experience, confidence, and results.  This is someone who can partner with you and give you the career strategies, motivation, and a proven roadmap so you can get into your new career quicker and easier.

Your Assignment:  If You’re Ready for Change – then Take Action!

Start mapping out your career change.  Take out a pen and piece of paper and write down in big letters, two of the five key strategies mentioned above that you’re going to do!

Next, pull out your calendar and schedule them in.  The question for most of us isn’t, “When are we going to do them.”  Instead, the real question is, “What are we going to GIVE UP in our schedule to MAKE THIS HAPPEN?”

Change takes commitment and action.  When you’re ready to take action and start stepping into your dream career, remember that you don’t have to do it all by yourself.  There are an abundance of resources and support available to help – you just have to make a commitment to start using them! 🙂

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Four Signs You May Be Targeted for a Lay-Off

As a career coach, one of the questions I get asked the most is, “How do I know if I could be laid off?”

Although there are not any hard and fast rules for companies to warn employees about upcoming layoffs, there were some key indicators that you may be targeted for a lay-off, and that you should start preparing a “Plan B” for your career…

  1. Your Physical Health – Many times, we ignore signs around us that a layoff could be in our future by telling ourselves that we provide too much value, and are too well liked to be laid off.  So even though you may be able to logically dismiss the thought that you could be laid off, there are physical signs that are harder to ignore.For example, if you start getting a pit in your stomach when you drive into work, or your heart beats faster, or you get a headache – these are all physical signs that something in your work environment could be drastically wrong.  Also, if you find yourself hitting the snooze button 46-times, hating Mondays, or having wild mood swings including depression, anger, or becoming introverted – these are all physical signs that something in your work environment may be toxic and that your subconscience is telling you something is wrong.
  2. Your Environment – Look around at the organization where you work.  Have there been layoffs, or talks of layoffs?  Are programs or services being cut? Is funding being reduced in your department?  These are all signs that the company may be in trouble financially, and employee lay-offs could be a next step.Another environmental sign is a shift in management’s attitude.  Right before lay-offs are announced, there is a kind of heaviness in the air throughout the building.  It’s a depressed, shush-shush environment. Is your manager more stressed than usual? Are you getting less face-time with your manager?  Do senior managers seem preoccupied, and not attentive to employee needs or concerns?  These are all environmental signs that a lay-off could be near.
  3. Your Job Role – Have your assignments shifted to performing less valued and lower visibility projects?  Do your deliverables align to the company’s strategic objectives, or department’s quarterly goals?  If not, then here’s what I want you to do… I want you to do everything you can to transition onto more high priority assignments.  I want you to volunteer to get onto those higher profile projects by talking to your manager and the Program Manager telling them how you could add value and make contributions to those projects.
  4. Your Influence – Are you finding that your opinions are no longer valued?  Are you being left out of business decisions or meetings?   Do you find that your sphere of influence is shrinking?  If so, here’s what I want you to do – I want you to increase your visibility and your credibility by talking about the results you’ve helped to achieve on your current or previous projects.  Volunteer to help out on high visibility projects, and ask your manager what you can do to help him out or to help out the department or team members.

Again, these are not sure fire signs that you’re doomed for a lay-off.  However, if you’re experiencing one or more of these changes, then you should definitely be putting together a “Plan B” for your career – an action plan to help you hit the ground running and transition into your next career should you receive a pink slip.

If you’re feeling stuck in your career– get professional help! Take control in your career by investing in some professional advice, such as —

    1. A Professional resume writer
    2. An interview coach
    3. Or a career coach

These are professionals who can accelerate your career change and help you get into a new job faster!

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YOUR ASSIGNMENT:  Invest in yourself and your career, by meeting with a career coach who can give you a proven, step-by-step roadmap that will help you transition into a new career! You’ll see how easy it is to leverage your talents, strengths, and successes and transfer them into a new job role, company, or industry. 

Career Coaching 360 helps professionals and executives change into a more meaningful and inspiring career, and we can help you, too!  Check out our career coaching packages available on-line at:  http://www.careercoaching360.com/careercoaching/ Scroll down the web page to see our complete menu of services!

Career Chat with Sherri

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I found this great article on Monster.com on 5 Industries hiring in 2010. I hope you like it! :)

http://career-advice.monster.com/job-search/company-industry-research/job-outlook-industries-hiring-2010/article.aspx?WT.mc_n=CRMUS000096

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