Home » Business » Careers and Jobs

Career Reinvention

May 31, 2008
There are times in everyone's career that you feel like running away and starting all over again, and I'm here to say that you can do it!

I've reinvented my career five times including being a disc jockey in radio, public relations director in professional sports, community relations director in television, regional marketing manager in finance, and now I'm a global technical project manager in high tech.

If you'd like to change careers but worried that your salary would decrease, take comfort in knowing that each time I changed careers I received a pay increase!

Reinventing your career means repackaging your skills, qualifications and accomplishments so that you can transition into a new job role, company or industry. Here are five steps to help you transition into a new career more quickly, easily and maybe even with a higher salary!

1. Where's your passion? The first step is to identify where you want to go. In which industry would you like to work? Advertising? Finance? Health Care? When I wanted to stop being a disc jockey, I knew that I wanted to go into television. And after a successful career in television, I then set my sights on getting into Corporate America. I wasn't sure what kind of job role I wanted (or could get!), but the first step was determining the industry where I wanted to work.

If you're not sure where you want to go (just that where you are now is definitely the wrong place!) then read trade magazines, industry publications and classified ads in your local newspaper. Visit a bookstore and browse through books and magazines to see what grabs your attention. The key is to figure out what lights your fire and inspires you.

2. 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.

3. Matching your transferable skills to job roles. Read job descriptions posted on-line at CareerJournal, CareerBuilder and Monster, as well as the classified ads in industry magazines, trade journals, and local newspapers. 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, freelancing, consulting, or even 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, responsibilities, and advice for how to break into the business.

4. 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.

5. 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 tape 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 offer 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!

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!
About the Author
Sherri Thomas is President of Career Coaching 360, an international speaker, and author of "Career Smart - 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand." Career Coaching 360 Career Coaching provides career planning, management coaching, and leadership development support to help professionals change careers quickly and easily.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 219
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories