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Three Steps to Creating a Winning Perspective When Changing Careers

People say life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it…. Yeah tell that to the person who just got fired and has 5 mouths to feed. 

Have you ever felt bored or frustrated that your career isn’t everything you thought it would be and had that feeling that something better must be out there somewhere? Or maybe you’ve been let go from your job and are filled with a mixture of uncertainty and dread realizing you actually hated your job but have no idea what you really should be doing?

Feeling frustrated and stuck is natural when you lose your job, are bored to death with your career or the promotion you were promised didn’t come through. After you’ve had a meltdown, sat around in your PJ’s in disbelief or launched into full second-guessing mode; what happens next is what makes the difference between those who go on to have a wildly successful and fulfilling career and those who stay stuck, frustrated and unfulfilled.

It’s easy to blame others, feel crushed by all the barriers that seem to be in the way right now and focus on all the things that didn’t work out in your favor.  Maybe you’re right. Maybe you’re wrong. It doesn’t matter. What’s important is what you do next.

That one game changing thing is your PERSPECTIVE. You need to shift how you are managing your career. You either take back control over your career or you let others control it. I’m going to bet you want to take back control.

But how do you do that?  How do you overcome a global pandemic that has caused a massive recession to achieve your dreams?  Should you put your aspirations on hold until things return to ‘normal’?

Of course not – that’s why I’m writing these blog posts!  In my last article, I spoke about the importance of following a three step process that will change everything for you: PERSPECTIVE, TACTICS AND TIMING.  Today we’re going to talk about the first (and most important) thing you need to succeed no matter what… your perspective.

I know with complete certainty when you make three mindset shifts things will begin to change in a big way for you. But why should you?

If you want to achieve something and still haven’t figured out how to make it happen, it’s highly likely your current perspective is not serving you well. It needs a kick start to get back in the right direction. Typically it’s the biggest thing that is holding you back from achieving the fulfilled career you really want.

Maybe you’ve been handed a raw deal or maybe you don’t know where to start or maybe you’ve been stuck for a long time on what to do next. It doesn’t really matter why. The fact is you’re coming up short and it doesn’t have to be that way.

You deserve success on your terms.  You deserve to be happy, to reach your goals and to have what you want from your career. You deserve to invest in yourself and your future.

What if even a small shift in how you’re thinking opens you up a new world of possibilities that you can actually achieve?  I’m not talking pie-in-the-sky fairy tales; I’m talking big dreams coming to life in less than six months kind-of possibilities. I’ve seen this happen hundreds of times and when that moment hits… it’s magical!

Perspective Change #1: Radical thinking gets results

You are 100% responsible for managing your own career – no one else is going to do it for you. You must take control and change on your terms. When you take full responsibility; only then can you open yourself up to unlimited possibilities.

You may have already been trying to think outside the box.  That’s not enough. That box that you venture out of is still within your comfort zone. And because you don’t know what you don’t know, you need to be bold, creative and radical in how you think about your future.

By opening your mind to all potential outcomes you can reignite your dream, open up doors you wouldn’t have considered and build a vision for your future that excites and inspires you. People who don’t give themselves permission to think radically end up frustrated and in the same place they so desperately want to move away from.

Here are some tips on getting radical:

  • Focus on the possibilities and don’t worry about how to make it a reality (yet).
  • Do the exact opposite of what everyone else is doing. It will make people take notice.
  • Confidence comes from taking action, it doesn’t magically appear one day.
  • Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Remember, you get to choose how you react.

Perspective Change #2:  You can pivot careers AND level-up

I have heard from clients over and over again that they want to make a change but can’t afford the sacrifices they’ll need to make. Here is some radical thinking… there is no reason you need to take a step back or make a lateral move when you change industries or careers. The skills you have developed in your current career can take you to your next career for more money, a better title, more impact and more responsibility. The potential is always there.

Not sure what that may look like?  One of my clients didn’t either until she went out and found a radically different role using her unique combination of experiences, skills and perspectives. Her career shift took her from a successful product manager for a US pharmaceutical company serving the Asia markets to a government liaison for a renewable energy company start-up. Now that’s a radical change… AND it happened because she mastered the ultimate advantage of perspective, tactics and timing.  Now she’s making a bigger impact, achieving phenomenal success and having fun!

Perspective Change #3: You have more transferable skills than you realize

Maybe you are not sure what to do next. Congratulations, you’re in great company!  Many people know they want something different yet fall short when it comes to figuring out what that ‘something’ actually is. Don’t worry.  Let your skills and passions guide you!   Identifying what you have to offer will get you the career you want and deserve.

Let’s talk transferable skills – We all have loads of them.  The answer everybody wants to know is what skills do other companies need and want?  How can I translate doing one thing in a specific environment to doing something sort of like that in a totally new environment?  How do I translate my skills and experiences into a language that will get me noticed and more importantly… hired!? 

By using a process I call skill stacking.  The process allows you to take stock of your skills and repackage the relevant ones with a new shiny bow.  It’s crucial to getting the career you want and makes you significantly more resilient to changing market conditions.

Transferable Skills and Skill Stacking is the key to Pivoting.

During my 25 year corporate career I have worked in 4 different industries, have been promoted 16 times, fired twice, and worked in 11 very different functions. How did I do it?  Skill stacking played a huge part in helping me pivot whenever and wherever I wanted to go. It’s an important step in your journey. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Make that list of all of the skills you have at your disposal, including your hobbies. Nothing is off limits.
  2. Segment your skills into three categories:
    • Leadership skills.
    • Niche’ or Industry Specific skills.
    • Universal or Industry Agnostic skills.
  3. Prioritize your skills in order of things you love the most to least (regardless of experience).

Now when you think about the job you want and the skills they are looking for, remove all the industry specific context and acronyms. How closely do you fit what they’re looking for?  If you’re in the 70% or better range – go for it!  

Let’s take a look at my client who shifted from a big pharmaceutical company to a renewable energy start up. One of the major requirements was to understand US regulations in the renewable energy space. Obviously she didn’t have a clue about renewable energy regulations.  What she did have was years of experience navigating healthcare regulations in the US and Asian markets. With skill stacking, she was able to explain how laws and acronyms can be learned.  The real skill was being successful in navigating in highly regulated environments which was one of her strongest skills. Without this perspective shift, this never would have happened for her. 

The chart below is just a snapshot of my client’s transferable skills – the key ones that got her that job. By making a shift in her mindset, embracing these transferable skills and adopting strong marketing tactics, she found new career success.  She trusted in the process!

In today’s economic climate things are moving fast. In order to stand out from the competition you need to shift your perspective by thinking radically, taking action to level-up and leveraging your transferable skills to your fullest advantage.

Shifting your perspective will improve your outcomes.  I am not suggesting that you change everything, but making a shift in how you think is required if you are going to achieve something better for yourself.

When you find yourself getting stuck in your old way of thinking: 

  • Remind yourself of why you are reading an article on career transition…. You don’t like where you are now (employed or not) and you want to love what you do in the future.
  • Learn from people who have a different approach than yours.
  • Start binge watching Ted Talks and YouTube of influencers you find inspirational.
  • Do something you would not normally do just to practice being uncomfortable.

Your challenge for this week

Practice one technique we covered to shift your perspective.  What’s it going to be?  Radical thinking? Not selling yourself short? Or will it be getting clear on your transferable skills?  Whatever you choose, take action to shift your perspective and get ready for next time where you’ll learn more about the tactics and skills you’ll need on this journey.

Join in on the conversation and share your plan over on our LinkedIn Page