Need a Career Makeover? 3 Things You Need to Do

Career MakeoverAt one point or another, some of us feel like we’ve learned all we can from our current position. Sometimes, it’s just time to move on. If you’re like the 84% of Americans ready to shift careers this year, you’re not alone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Although it’s a risky time to change career paths or makeover your professional lifestyle, there’s no use staying at a job if you are unhappy or not challenged. However, before you change everything you’re used to, you need to have a solid plan. So, if you’re looking for a career makeover, here are three things you need to do.

Figure out your game plan before you quit. Do you want to stay in the same industry, shift your focus slightly, or do a complete 180-degree? The answers to these questions are important because they will determine which path you will take. More importantly, you need to have some sort of direction before you quit your current job, especially if you want to change industries.

For example, if you are currently in finance but want to get into event planning, the way people work is completely different and you need to be aware of every subtle difference. Note that staying in the same industry will probably be easier since you most likely know the ins and outs. However, if you are up for a challenge and ready to absorb new industry knowledge, switching fields may be the right path for you.

Rebrand yourself. Personal branding is an important part of job searching, no matter how experienced you are. If your career makeover involves even a little change, you need to rebrand yourself so your audience knows what you’re good at.

For example, the financier who quit their job to be an event planner could start a blog about international wedding settings. By putting content out there and actually giving people a reason to learn more about you, you reinforce not only your personal brand, but create a new one.

Further, if your current social networking platforms reflect your position or industry at present, it’s time to change things up. Join relevant groups on LinkedIn and edit your profile, promote your blog posts and those of others on Twitter, and change your information on Facebook. The point here is to change your brand to reflect your career makeover. Remember, if you are serious about a career change, your online content needs to reflect it because employers will be searching for you.

Connect with like-minded individuals. Sometimes, it’s all about who you know. Though this shouldn’t be your sole drive to network, knowing the right individuals will help you learn more about an industry (this is particularly important if it’s foreign to you). Modern technology has allowed us to be able to connect with people all over the world, which should be of great interest to you if you want to relocate.

The best example of this is Twitter. Though it just turned five years old, Twitter is one of the most popular social networking tools on the Web, allowing you to network with anyone from musicians to CEO’s. Use this opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals. Tweet their articles, comment on their latest posts, or even suggest ideas to them. Either way, give them a reason to contact you. You’ll hopefully end up learning a lot about your new career, giving you confidence to tackle any challenges that come your way.

What are some other tips for a career makeover?


Guest Expert:

James Alexander is Vizibility’s founder and CEO. He’s the guy with two first names. If you ‘Googled’ his name in 2009, you would never have found him. Now, he ranks within the first few results of a Google search. Find James in Google at vizibility.com/james.

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Comments

  1. James–great post! You’ve definitely touched on the three most important aspects of the job search: knowing what you want, representing yourself in a positive way and networking. If you’re already at a job, I think it’s absolutely important to figure out what kind of change you’re actually looking for, before you make any moves. And many people underestimate the power of networking–it really is all about who you know! Social media is a new, great way to reach out and connect with people.

  2. Arnie Fertig says:

    James -

    A fine post. I would stress that in this job market it is extremely difficult – but not impossible – for radical career change. Most employers look for great “fit” – which is often understood to have a background in the same function, within the same industry/organization type. However, if one has the guts and determination to make this kind of career makeover, the steps you indicate are absolutely necessary!

    Arnie Fertig, Head Coach
    Jobhuntercoach.com
    http://www.jobhuntercoach.com @jobhuntercoach

  3. Two things came to mind when I read your post. First, in the MBA program, we were taught to always have what was referred to as a “Go To Hell” Plan–a contingency plan in the event that you needed to terminate your relationship with your employer. This involved having savings, nurturing a network, and being aware of other career opportunities that might be out there. This way, you never stuck with a bad job just because you had no other options. You remained mobile and in control or your own career.
    The second thing I thought of was the need to know yourself. Most people jerked around in their career, take jobs wherever they can, because they don’t know what they want or don’t want. They let the wind blow them wherever it will. On that same point, they never hook up with like-minded individuals who could magnify their career opportunities because they don;t know who they are.
    Thanks for this post. As you can guess, it got me thinking. Here’s a great article we did on our blog on this same topic: http://www.yellowbrickroad.com/follow/4-steps-to-develop-your-personal-brand/

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