Your industry or job is going nowhere and you have decided to move on. A friend told you to make a career list before you hit the internet to post your resume. Of course, you included movie star, American Idol winner, and professional athlete in your list – who wouldn’t? Now you need to actually do something with the list that could result in getting your next great job.
Get a reality check
Watch any talent based reality show and you will see people who are clearly not talented but for whatever reason think that the rest of the world will identify them as exceptional. If your career list has too many fantasy jobs, you need to get real. Trying to change jobs without the understanding of what it will take to do it is going to result in failure. Professional athletes work for years to become experts in their fields, so expecting to win The Masters when you play golf once a month is crazy.
A job that sounds glamorous like movie star or talk show host may be achievable, but probably not overnight. Do you have professional pictures, acting classes, experience in interviewing on camera, or a relative who owns their own network and can pull some strings? If not, you may need to take baby steps like joining a drama club and taking a class or joining Toastmasters in your personal time. In the meantime, you will need a paying job, so hit the list again.
Break it down
Consider what buckets the jobs on your list fall into – technical jobs, service-oriented jobs, or education-based jobs for example. The next step is to take the buckets and write down the skills and training needed for the job type. Communication and instructing skills would be crucial to education-based jobs. Listening and problem-solving skills are necessary for success in technical jobs. You don’t have to list every skill, but the more comprehensive your list is the easier it will be to determine how fast you can get into that area.
I’ve got it!
There are hard skills and soft skills – next step is to figure out what ones you have and which ones you need to get. Moving into a healthcare position could require additional training or education or certifications. Once you know what the ‘must haves’ are for a position, you can identify where you’ve got it and where you may have gaps.
Double check your facts
Everyone thinks they know what it takes to do certain jobs, but do you really know? After you have your career list narrowed down, let the internet give you the inside scoop. Do not Google® ‘sales jobs’ and expect a list to come up with all the skills you need. Trust the employers who are hiring for the jobs. Pick a job search engine and take a critical look at a few postings. Pay close attention to the ‘required’, ‘preferred’, and ‘must’ skills and add any that weren’t on your list. Re-read your list and then you can make an accurate assessment of what jobs would be attainable now and which ones will take longer for you to be ready at this point.
- 10 Smart Things New Grads Should Do to Get a Job (money.usnews.com)
- Why is making a career change so stressful? (helpyourcareer.org)
- What Every Job-Searching Veteran Needs to Know (money.usnews.com)