A recent article on a national news site described the transition made by a former NFL player to becoming a 'gas man' for a NASCAR Sprint Cup pit crew. The story struck me as interesting from a personal perspective but as I reflected on the article, I saw a powerful message for individuals looking to make a significant career change. Related: How To Tell Accomplishment Stories Effectively Many 'career changers' struggle with the question of how to translate their experience from a different job or industry. Common questions are:
Here’s something interesting: the way you respond to specific situations tends to be the way you respond across the board. This is nothing mysterious; it simply reveals some of our character traits underlying our behavior. The goal here is to be aware of your behavior patterns during your career transition. Related: 5 Tips To Navigating Career Transitions Successfully For example: If some of your friends you frequently hang out with make plans to get together without you, what is your first reaction? Do you feel rejected, do you get angry, or do you simply wonder what they’re up to and assume they were just about to ask you? Your reaction to this kind of situation is likely the same you’ll have when you don’t hear back after applying somewhere. (And, as an aside: There are SO many reasons you may not hear back after sending in your resume – especially in response to a job posting – that have NOTHING to do with you. ) Another example – a personal one this time: I tend to want to be prepared and have my ducks in a row. Not very convenient when you’re running a business. So, I’m trying my best to unlearn this trait. It’s also not handy if you’re in career transition, as it may prevent you from taking action until you are “ready” – which, if you’re like me, you’ll never be! Perfection is unattainable. Progress, on the other hand, is a fantastic goal.
Years ago, I began a new job search after 10 years in positions that required many different skills. I scoured numerous job postings, applied for many positions, and received countless rejection notifications. Related: 3 Very Real Reasons You Should Make A Career Shift In an exploratory interview with a colleague, I expressed my frustration about not being able to find a job. He asked me what else I’d done in my work and academic careers, as well as my volunteer activities. I casually mentioned a project that I had worked on years ago, and – voila! My job search took another direction. I began looking for jobs in different career areas, and the doors began to open. Soon, I was working in a different field – one for which I had relevant skills but that I had not imagined would be viable for me. That job led to a successful 10-year career in a new field!