After 23 years in corporate America, I took a career-change course to figure out what's next. Here are 9 tips that actually helped.

After decades entrenched in corporate America, the need for a fresh professional beginning became apparent, leading me to explore new career paths. The stability of the U.S. job market post-2020 offered a conducive environment for such a shift. A pivotal element in my journey was the eight-week Career Change Launch Pad course by Careershifters, which cost $1,175 but proved invaluable. Here are some of the essential strategies I gleaned from my experience.

#### 1. Evaluate Your Current Situation

The course commenced with a quiz to identify our stage in the career pivot process—from "questioner" to "shifter." Though initially skeptical, I found this step crucial in gaining perspective on my readiness for change, placing myself as an "explorer."

#### 2. Network Extensively

Instead of just perusing job listings, expanding my professional network was far more beneficial. Engaging with everyone—family, friends, ex-colleagues, and even my yoga teacher—proved fruitful. This led to unexpected connections, including a toy designer at McDonald's and introductions to magazine editors through my chiropractor.

#### 3. Leverage Community Support

Joining a community of individuals also transitioning careers was dramatically helpful. Our group included diverse professionals from across the globe, enabling us to share insights, experiences, and networks which eased the often-overwhelming process.

#### 4. Be Patient with Your Career Shift

The shift didn’t happen overnight. It took time to introspect, explore various avenues, and experiment with potential roles which reaffirmed the importance of patience through the transition.

#### 5. Focus on Future Aspirations Rather Than Past Achievements

During my pivot, I concentrated on what I aspired to achieve rather than updating my résumé. This mindset shift was inspired by a coach who emphasized the value of being paid for being oneself, which resonated deeply with me.

#### 6. Engage in Direct Experiences

Instead of confining my job search to online platforms, I engaged in direct activities like informational interviews, volunteering, and exploring behind-the-scenes work in various sectors. Such hands-on experiences were crucial in understanding where my passions and skills could best be applied.

#### 7. Expand Your Perspective

I pushed myself to step out of my comfort zone, which I referred to as my "reality bubble." This expansion involved engaging in new conversations and exploring unfamiliar fields, which significantly broadened my career possibilities.

#### 8. Experiment Without Fear of Failure

I embraced a variety of low-risk vocational experiments, from marketing for a doggie daycare to designing novelty office supplies. These trials were instrumental in identifying what energized me, what skills I could develop, and potential revenue-generating opportunities.

#### 9. Rethink Working Norms

Finally, this journey made me realize that traditional employment—working a salaried job at a single company—was not the only path. I crafted a multifaceted career that aligned more closely with my identity and passions, combining freelancing, consulting, and marketing strategy.

The transition from a stable corporate job to varied and fulfilling engagements proved to be the right move, illustrating that a well-considered plan, coupled with sincere introspection and strategic networking, can lead to rewarding new career opportunities.  

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post