Maybe you’re feeling stuck in your job. Maybe you think your talents would be better served in a different career field. You may have been out of the work force for some time and don’t know how to get back or have never worked outside the home and now not working is not an option. Whatever it is, it may be now is the time for a career makeover.
And if you decide it’s time to take your career in a different direction, you won’t be alone. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that Baby Boomers changed jobs an average of 11 times between ages 18 and 44 (www.bls.gov).
Keep in mind that a career transition takes time. After all, how many years did you prepare for your current or most recent job? Give yourself the benefit of thoughtful planning, using a Desire, Discover, DO process to move forward.
Step 1: Desire!
Your success depends upon knowing what you want and being ready to achieve it. If you are not sure yet what you want to do, try search engines to look up different careers, ask a trusted friend or family member their opinion. Being clear and energized about your goals gives you the drive to go back to school, take that continuing education course, find a mentor at work, or develop a business plan for your own entrepreneurial venture.
Before you make the leap, spend time thinking about what you do best, and how your unique set of skills and experiences can fill a need for an organization. Pull out your résumé and see how well it matches up with your goals. Ask a successful woman about how she made the most out of her success. Ask a successful friend if you can look at her resume as a template. Imagine your name on a business card. What’s the title? What’s the company or organization? What is your new work environment like? Scanning the want ads can help you think of possibilities. Once you’ve decided where you want to go, you’re halfway there.
Step 2: Discover!
You’ve set your goal. Now it’s time to research the job market. Prioritize your new career must-haves: salary range, benefits, work environment, leadership level, etc. Considering how strongly you desire a career change, you may decide you are willing to move to a new town, cut your hair and cover the tattoos, or go back to school. Don’t discount part-time, temporary, or freelance “consultant” positions. This can give you immediate experience and contacts. If you work full-time already, try out your dream side business in small doses on weekends or whenever you’re off to see if it’s going to be worth all of your efforts. Check out the jobs page on Websites of your target organizations, and then find someone inside who is willing to help you. This requires having the guts to make phone calls to strangers. Script and plan your approach before you make any calls, that’s what the pros do. If you get discouraged, invest in a few hours of professional career counseling.
Step 3: DO!
Make at least three phone calls every morning or on your break at work or whenever you have a few minutes. Get yourself invited to a chamber of commerce event or to a trade association meeting in a field you’re investigating. If your desire is to break into the medical sales field I would make a few suggestions to help, considering this is my full-time line of work. Trade shows can be a great way to walk around and meet the most important people in a company, however, be respectful of their time. They are not there to hire a new employee, they are there building relationships and selling to their current customers. You can ask anyone in the booth, who manages the sales team in your area and get an email. You can search MedReps.com as well for positions in your territory or an area you are willing to relocate to. It really helps if you know someone with in the industry you are willing to go to bat for you and your reputation.
This is a very difficult field to break into to but once you’re in, you’re on your way! If your last interview was at the university job fair 30 years ago, you will need coaching and practice no matter what the job is— Look for committees that have public meeting in your area of interest, it’s a great networking tool for experienced professionals and you can learn from them. Be coachable! If you are new to a role or position, then accept criticism from those experienced enough to educate you. If your new career requires further education or skills training, find out what your options are and cost. In today’s environment of high unemployment, there are more programs than ever to help you become qualified to do something new. You can purchase a program online or simply look for a YouTube video on whatever it is you need help with.
Rock your next Job interview or Promotion with these tricks:
When you can walk into a room and speak with Confidence you have mastered the world of job interviews. Employers no matter what the job title, are constantly looking for someone who has the additive “can do” magic personality that will naturally encourage those around them to follow. Your job interview is the single most important link between you and the job you’re seeking, however some of the most confident people sometimes choke during interview time. Here are a few tricks so your confidence shines through and your passion for the job can be maintained throughout the interview.
Utilize every second you have been given. If the interviewer asks you to sum up your skills in 2-4 mins, use all 4 minutes. When the interviewer asks if you have any other questions or concerns you have been given an opportunity to show your people skills and confidence. Always have at least 2-3 questions to ask from your conversation, even if it’s to clarify a statement. If the interviewer has not addressed a salary, hours etc…this is the time to ask. EX: May I ask what the salary range is for a (position name) with my skill and experienced? You will never ruin your opportunity with appropriate questions and these are necessary questions.
Use strong words like passion, compassion, strength & leadership when referring to the job or yourself.
Maximize your body language. Keep your shoulders thrown back and your arms wide and relaxed. Emote with your hands while you speak – don’t let them fidget. Make more eye contact than you normally would. Speak clearly and loudly, and let your voice be animated. Employers are looking for excitement and enthusiasm for the position, not perfect answers to every question.
It’s completely normal to be nervous and slightly shaky before a job interview. Instead of trying to suppress your nerves and pretend you’re not jittery, channel them into excitement. Tap your foot and nod your head instead of fidgeting with your hands. Walk in with your shoulders back and eye to eye contact looking bold and confident. Don’t forget that smile and handshake. Let your nervousness serve you rather than inhibit you. Always wait to sit down, giving the interviewer the option to ask you to take a seat.
Don’t forget to ASK FOR THE JOB! Ex: I feel like I am the best fit for this position and would like to begin as soon as possible. Is there any reason why I wouldn’t be offered this position? Even if you are told that you will receive a call in X days, call back a few days before then and ask about the status of your application. Ask the interviewer for his or her business card when you leave and email them a thank you by the end of the day. Always reinstate in your short and sweet email why you are the best candidate. If you are not picked for the job, be polite and move on to the next opportunity.