If the iconic scene from the TV show Friends is anything to go by, not having a fool-proof plan for your pivot will most likely lead to failure. Much like the stairway from Friends, modern career pathways are not straightforward. Today, Americans average about 4.4 years in a job, a dramatic departure from yesteryear’s 25 to 30.
As job satisfaction decreases and burnout increases, coupled with an uncertain macro-economic environment, it becomes even more important that you consider every possible option and their outcome while planning your career pivot. A career transition is a lifestyle redesign that often entails rethinking how you want to feel at the end of the day, how you want to spend your time, and how this relates to your longer term goals.
This part basically helps you figure out the "Why". Career pivot is a monumental juncture in your life, so make sure your decision aligns with your long-term goals and missions. Your primary motivation should not just be money or a bad experience at your previous job. Make sure you are running towards something instead of running away from something.
Your transferable skills are not only important for determining your next career, but they are also an important tool for converting those interviews and making an impression.
Once you have figured out the "Why", it's time to figure out the "What". Bear in mind, you will be working in your next job or industry for a considerable period. So it is important to choose your next career wisely.
You will be investing considerable time and money in up skilling yourself, so there are hardly any chances of do-overs. Also, industries are changing at a rapid pace, it is important to ensure that your next career suddenly doesn't become obsolete. It is best to choose jobs or industry which are either at their peak or just in their infancy. Both have their own advantages. It is easier to get into a role which has a lot of demand, but being early to an industry will give you more opportunities for climbing the career ladder.
The biggest problem career pivoters face is that they are not able to tell their story. As a career pivoter, your career story has additional layers. Since you are also competing with other traditional candidates, your past experiences, fresh perspectives and hunger will set you apart from them.
Blindly applying to hundreds of opportunities will not help your chances of landing your dream job. You should only target jobs where you have a high likelihood of landing an interview. Once you have read enough job descriptions, you will have a good idea of the requirements. So start mapping your skills from your previous experiences to the requirements of your target roles.
Craft tailored resumes for each roles. Use tools like Rezi, LoopCV and Teal to manage your job search. Check out 3 Tools to Automate Your Job Search.
One of the most overlooked part of career pivot is networking with mentors, peers and industry experts. It may seem unnecessary, but these conversations will provide you with the much needed context regarding your future industry and the nuances of your future role. More often than not these connections will lead you to an inside opportunity that won't be available to rest of the world.
Congratulation! You have successfully laid the groundwork for your career pivot. But you still have a long way to go. Now begins the ego-crushing and energy draining cycle of job applications and rejections.