“It’s never too late to try something new.”
While the popular adage is true, spending time and sending money can sometimes hamper a new path. With technology, it has never been easier to make a career change (within reason). Using tools such as LinkedIn, Udemy, and, yes, YouTube, you can learn a trade's skills and connect with the masters in it.
Use these steps to learn how to gather the skills, resources, and connections within months to make a meaningful career move (without incurring another wave of student debt!).
Evaluate your current job and skills
You may hate your job at the moment. You might just be confused with the day-to-day work and want something more. You may actually like your job's function, but you don't like your current business. Before you take action, be sure to identify the reason for your desired career move.
From there, with your passions, asses your best skills. You may have been writing press releases for your current company or doing ad-hoc social media work. You may have done some graphics work outside of your otherwise administrative roles as needed. To determine your desired career direction, evaluate your interests and relative experience.
Permit your connections
So you want to be a designer of graphics? Awesome! You know the connections you made to LinkedIn in college; a friend of a former colleague's friend?
Use these connections to the rifle. You may be surprised by what you find hiding in your own Facebook friends LinkedIn connections. Talking to friends, talk to them as well. Someone who is open to talking to you will know more often than not. Reach out to see if they would meet you.
Take a class
Unless you want to become an anesthesiologist or a trial attorney, you will probably be able to build your skill set without applying to graduate school
There are unlimited opportunities on the internet to learn things (we've rounded up a ton here). Resources such as Udemy, Coursera, and Alison offer hundreds of free classes — from project management to web design you can learn anything.
You should take advantage of these free classes even if you don't want to change your career (why are you reading this?). Heck, we should all be learning about Probabilistic Graphic Models, why not?
Send a few cold emails
This is my personal favorite thing to do, so if you need to approach it with wary pessimism.
Once you have a clear idea of the position you want and the type of business for which you would like to work, considering reaching out to the staff there. The perfect way to gain a new relationship can be a personalized, well-researched cold email.
You don't have to come in too hot, revealing you've gone deeply into an Instagram CEO for 80 weeks, but you can express a smart, thoughtful sentence or two. In addition, determine your interest in the company and ask if they will be hiring in the near future for your role. You may even suggest the need for your role and why if you see a gap in the team roster.
Consider sending your dream companies a few cold emails that could hold your dream job in the future. Using LinkedIn, you can even reach employees in your dream company! You're going to do a miraculous job opening up in your field at best. At worst, you won't get an answer.
Move within your business or industry
If you love the company you're with at the moment, this option might be considered. Talk to your HR manager about the moves you plan to make.
Have a good case ready before reaching HR or your manager. Have a good plan in place if you are looking to move from Sales to Graphic Design. Is there an opening for the graphic design department? Is there a specific project in which you can participate on a trial basis? Would you be prepared to train your substitute? Is there a hybrid role possibility?
If your current business does not respond to your ideas, consider making the move within your industry. It is essential to have a working knowledge of the business landscape within your industry. Be sure to explain your career transition when applying to this new position in a new company. Use your industry knowledge as a tool to distinguish you from the other candidate.
Changing a career is never too late. However, when doing so, it's important to weigh your expectations. Typically, you will "lose" some of your experience when you make a complete change in your career. This can mean a lower wage than you're used to receiving. So be sure to re-evaluate your salary expectations before making any huge moves.
Ultimately, in your career, we want you to feel satisfied. And if you know it's time for a transition, that's where we support you. These tips will help you start pursuing a new industry, position, or business — whatever your next move is.
Image Source: Photo by Saulo Mohana on Unsplash