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Career Change Success: The First 7 Steps on my Tips for Work and Life Blog with the video, podcast, full transcript, and more!: http://milewalk.com/mwblog/career-change-success-first-7-steps
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For all you out there watching (listening or reading this), I want to offer some words of encouragement. I know you can do this! I've done it three times. If I could do it three times, you can do it.
The great news is you have the ability. It’s also never in the history of the world been easier to make a career change with all the resources we have now to help educate you and get you going in the right direction.
Have a plan…
The problem is most people don't have a plan, which I'm going to give you today—the first seven steps of that plan.
But first, a little perspective and motivation…
I want to just give you a moment of perspective and I want you to tuck this away in the back of your mind as you watch this video or any of my videos for that matter.
If I wasn't brave enough thirteen or so years ago to make a career change and then again two years ago to make another change, you'd never be benefiting from this video or any video I've ever created, or any training course, or anything I've ever done to help facilitate your career and your life.
I want you think about as you're hesitating to make that change. Think of all those people in this world who would benefit from you doing so.
So whether you are an old pro (like I am) wanting to make a drastic career change, or whether you're a college student looking for that first job, or anybody who wants a job where they don't feel like they have the requisite experience, this video is for you. I'm going to give you the first seven steps I would take.
1. Make sure you want it and make a list.
It sounds silly, but there's a huge difference between a passing fancy and a burning desire. Most people fail not because of their ability, but because they don't have a good plan in place.
They haven't thought it through about whether or not that career or that change is going to align to what makes them happy.
So, the first step that I would take is I would list out all of my requirements I need in place to be happy. Make a list. It sounds simple, but very few people do it.
BONUS: I have a three-part video series you can watch. It's called The First 5 Steps to Career Success: Get Your Career Focused, Organized, and On Track. Watch this to make sure you make the right list.
2. What are you willing to sacrifice?
You have the ability to achieve your goals. You have the ability to make this career change or get that job. The reason a lot of people fail is not only because they don't have a plan, but also because they're unwilling to give up certain things in their life. You have to put in extra effort to compensate for the areas you’re deficient. You need to “catch up.”
Think…nights, weekends, compensation, and so forth. You might have to take a little pay cut if you want to make a change. What are you willing to give up and not give up? Get clear on that and be committed to sacrificing those things that will prevent you from being successful in making this change.
3. Learn the capabilities and qualities.
You need to discover the capabilities important for success in that particular career or job. What do I mean by capabilities?
Here’s an example. When a sales person is sells a product or service, knowing exactly how to sell that particular product is a trade skill learned through experience selling that specific product.
That skill is usually something easily taught or learned. But, great sales people transcend product and services. They have foundational abilities like good leadership skills, good organizational skills, and good communication skills.
They're good listeners. They know how to connect the dots for their customers or prospects to show them how their products and services will benefit them. They're good at psychology.
These are foundational abilities that can be developed that make a great sales person a great sales person.
If you want to be a chef, then you need to figure out what capabilities make awesome chefs.
There are many ways to do that, but there are two easy ways. You could literally Google “what qualities make a great chef.” A whole bunch of blog posts will come up and a whole bunch of books will come up. Read. Learn. See if those are qualities you think you already have or can develop.
The other thing is you can do a little research with individuals who are currently doing that role or have done that role. There are lots of ways to get this insight, but you want to make sure identify the capabilities.
We're going to use these in a later step in the process. This is a huge deal.
4. Do your reconnaissance with people currently doing that career or job.
Talk to people currently doing that job—and I want to stress the word currently.
Why do I make such a big deal about this? It's okay to talk to somebody who was a chef or a sales person. But, human nature is we tend to forget what it was like, what some of the struggles were, what it was like not to know what we know. Also, their techniques or their interactions with the world might be a little outdated.
You want to talk to people who are currently going through it. It's fresh in their minds. They know what they're dealing with. It's front, it's center, and they can share it with you.
You can start making a longer list of things you're going to have to evaluate and consider to know whether you're going to want to make this change.
It might sound exciting when you're thinking about making that change, but if you don't have some realistic real-time data you're not going to be successful.
5. Build your Franken-Mentor.
It's never been easier to get help and get educated on a career you want. I call this one “building a Franken-Mentor.”
When I became a trainer a few years ago, I didn't know how to work a camera. I didn't really have a great (social) platform. I didn't know what it was like to build a membership site or a training course or a number of other things I had to learn. I have seven different people it takes to help me shoot this video! LOL.
I had to learn from many different people, who were experts at what they do. I took an entire army to deliver this video to you!
Google them. Find their books. Find their blogs. Follow those people.
Figure out and align those capabilities with individuals who speak on this or write on that or talk on that and start to learn.
Over time, you'll find some experts are a little bit more effective than others. Continue to follow them. That’s how you’ll really start educating yourself.
Go build that Franken-Mentor!
6. Anticipate and plan for the struggles.
It’s amazingly stupid to me people want you to envision success. (Yes. I just said that.)
You hear a lot of people talk about, "Well, just imagine yourself successful." That's BUNK. (Yes. All capitals bunk.)
You can't just imagine yourself into success!
The better way to imagine yourself towards success is to envision the struggles you will encounter and anticipate them. Then, envision yourself working through them!
Talking to the people currently in the job, researching the change you want to make, and then putting a plan together as to how you're going to overcome those challenges is what get’s you through them and on to success.
How will you react when you encounter that obstacle? I’ll tell you how you’ll react. You’re gonna kill it because you were prepared for that encounter. When you hit it, you had already envisioned the struggle, anticipated it could surface, and were ready for it emotionally and with your plan!
If you just envision yourself on the beach having cocktails, it isn't going to work.
You probably have a dozen or so problems you have to overcome. All of us do. There's a bunch you’ll prepare for through your research. There’s some that will be unanticipated.
But, everybody has three problems. You have a:
7. Execute your plan to overcome the struggles and advance toward success!
Now it’s time to execute!
The learning issue we discussed a bit. Build your Franken-Mentor, get the books, follow the blogs, do the research, do your reconnaissance, talk to the people, start getting educated, start becoming more and more familiar. This issue is pretty straightforward. It just takes a little elbow grease.
Most people are concerned about the “marketing issue.” People always want to know, "What do I put on my resume? What if I don’t have the right experience?”
If you did step number three (Capabilities and Qualities) and identified those foundational traits you will be in great shape.
The best employers know the capabilities they need to evaluate in a potential employee and they are hiring for the long term. They will notice that match in your resume.
Here’s what to do. Take whatever experience you have…
If you're a college student, it’s your internships, part-time jobs, school projects, classes, and whatever else you have at your disposal.
If you're professional, it’s whatever work experience you have.
Use your list of capabilities, go through your work history, and start identifying the projects, the efforts, and work you did that built skills, which align to those capabilities.
Put that information into your career profile, your highlights, and bullets in the professional experience on your resume. See How to Build the Ultimate Professional Resume for more on this.
You also want to add this information in your cover letter and LinkedIn profile. Of course, prepare for some of the popular job interview questions in the same matter. That is, develop your responses using “stories” of developing those capabilities and how they match to the new job or career.
You must focus on the capabilities. That’s the biggest key to success to get over the marketing and job interviewing hurdles.
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