Brownell Director of Talent Development Kerry Dyer shares tips on how to change your career.
Let’s face it: our job is a significant part of our lives. Whether you live to work or work to live, spending 40+ hours a week at your job means it takes up a big chunk of your waking hours. And in our quest for balance, happiness and gratification, we often ask ourselves “Is this the right job for me?”
If you can quickly answer that question with a resounding “YES!” good on you! But if you hesitate or exclaim “NO!” it may be time for a career change. As daunting as that may seem, the journey doesn’t have to be as long or difficult as you think. Learn how to change your career to something you love with these tips.
Identify Your Strengths
Before enrolling in graduate school or running off to an ashram in India, create a balance sheet of what you love and don’t love about your current career. You may find that a “pivot”, a slight turn in direction, is all that is necessary. An article from Harvard Business Review suggests that when you have a new career in mind, don’t spend inordinate amounts of time assessing your professional deficiencies and what it would take to make the switch. Rather than overanalyze, act and apply your personal strengths to a new path.
Outline Your Vision
You’ve decided your current gig isn’t working. You’ve identified your personal strengths. Now it’s time to outline your vision. In your next career, what do you want out of it? Do you want to work for yourself? Do you need a creative outlet? Write down your ultimate dream AND your idea of your next steps.
Be Confident in Your Foundation
Starting an entirely new career path and learning a different industry seems daunting, but you would be surprised how many careers start with the same basic foundation of skills. For example, travel advisors fall within the Professional Services industry. While the service (or product) and necessary skills may vary, the keys to prosperity for all professionals within this industry are similar. The ability to network, to create and sustain customer relationships, and to continuously show value for your intangible product is critical to success for attorneys, financial consultants, interior designers, or travel advisors. (The added bonus, and most exciting element of a career in travel, is working with people throughout the world to create exceptional travel experiences for your clients!)
Do Your Research
Put in the time to fully understand what a new job will entail. Some careers looks amazing on paper, but the day-to-day grind is less appealing. Scour websites for information, and, most importantly, talk to multiple people in the industry. The insider intel from people who live and breathe a job you’re considering is invaluable.
Switching a career or even taking on new challenges in your current job is scary because change is simply hard. But if you’re serious about changing your career to something that you love, you have to let go. Let go of the fear of the unknown. Let go of the self-imposed limitations holding you back from success. Let go of the doubt that keeps you from happiness.
Our advisors come from many industries – minister, marketer, Press Secretary, lawyer, human resources professional – and have found fulfillment in this new career. And while they have diverse backgrounds, the common theme for success is the ability to build trust with their clients and provide customized results. Through the Brownell Mentoring Program, these professionals learned how to become successful travel advisors and have launched prosperous travel businesses. These career switches were significant, but all were essentially pivots to a different path just right or left of road they were traveling.