So you’ve decided to make the leap into a new role or industry or both? Well done you!
Let’s all take a minute to acknowledge that that’s a huge decision.
I don’t have to tell you that you’ve got a bit of work ahead of you, but it is worth it. I promise. I also don’t have to tell you to just stab at this thing in the dark. You just can’t go off all willy-nilly. You need a game plan.
You’ve decided you want to be a thing. A new thing! That’s all kinds of awesome. BUT do you know what it really means to do the thing? Have you talked to people who do that thing all day, every day? Have you read up on latest trends for that role in that industry? Have you checked out profiles of people doing that thing on LinkedIn? Do they seem like peeps you wanna hang with? It’s time to crack the proverbial books my friend.
#2 Show You Can Do the Work
You are living in a magical wonderland of a world where a thing called thee-inter-nets exists. Before said innovation there was little way to prove you could do a new job. But now you can with even the most simple online portfolio. It doesn’t matter if you’re going in to a creative field or not - a simple site that tells your story, showcases your work, highlights your skills and helps hiring managers understand why YOU are a fit for this role - is necessary. Try a free service like Wix or an inexpensive one like Squarespace.
#3 Get to Networking
Reach out to your immediate network: friends, fam, head of your kickball team, your favorite bartender etc. Ask them who they know. Connect with other people who are currently doing the job you want. Just be real, genuine and non creepy about it. Your college groups (alumni assoc, frats, sororities, theater and debate groups) are gold mines for these types of connections. LinkedIn should be your next port of call. Research those in similar titles and find a way to connect with them on common ground.
Actively reach out to recruiters and hiring managers in the field. They genuinely want to know you’re out there. Their job is to hire talented and energetic people. Get on their radar! Make a list of 25 places you would be excited to work at. Then hit up the hiring managers and recruiters. Let them know you’re interested not only a role, but the company as a whole. Make it tailored to them. And DON’T wait for a job posting to be posted. Save them some work and build a relationship before they need to fill a role. When the time comes - hey look - you!
Remember the goal is not just meeting people, but meeting people who can help you learn and help you get into the job you want.
#4 Work on the Side
Unless you have a monetary safety net you’re going to need to transfer into your new role slowly while you build your skills and expertise. There are a (lucky for you) more ways to do this than ever. You can legit ‘side-hustle’ where you take on work as a full-on-part-time-side job. You will be tired and never feel organized enough, but you will also gain fantastic real-life work experience. You can also volunteer your services for non profits - they need help, you need a portfolio of work experience. Win win. You get on a site like Upwork or Fiverr and do a project here and there. You can ask your uncle Bob to hire you as an intern at his cement pouring company. However much you can commit - do it.
#5 Keep at It
- Keep networking
- Keep making connections
- Keep working
- Keep interviewing
- Keep knowing that you’ve got this
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