Four steps to making a career change whether you’re moving into a higher role or starting out within
Whether you’re currently bored, feeling undervalued or stuck in your career if you’ve realized your true calling is in the tech industry, know that the time has come for you to make a change. And it has never been more ideal for you to make this life-changing move.
As the tech industry grows, more and more opportunities are opening up for talented women who know their worth and know how to seize opportunities. But let’s face it, changing careers is never easy no matter how great the possibilities are.
It can be a very daunting phase of your life and sometimes going through it alone can derail the successful outcome you desire. I have seen many talented women who deserve better-paying jobs and higher roles, but they can’t seem to get out of that rut (because of some major mishaps) as they go through the process of finding a new position. I don’t want you making the same mistake so let me share with you a simple process that has been super valuable to me over the years. I use it with my clients all the time, and each of them reports a complete transformation after going through it.
Step one: Work on your mindset.
Your mindset is always going to be the determining factor when it comes to the quality of life and the level of success you enjoy. Let no one convince you otherwise. Even if you choose to believe that others outside of you are hindering your progress at work, the truth is, you are the one choosing to give away your power to that situation and those people.
It’s time we as women step back from all the finger pointing and step into self-mastery.
That begins with shifting the old patterns, old habits and beliefs that are probably going to stand in the way of this new higher role. To go from one level of life to the next, we always need to shed some outdated beliefs about who we are, what we are capable of doing and how others perceive us. We also need to improve and upgrade our self-image to match the new success we wish to make manifest. Therefore, get real with yourself. What thoughts surround this new endeavor? Are you always thinking about how hard things are and how difficult it is to land your new role? Or are you mostly focused on how you can and why it will happen for you?
Step two: Narrow down your focus.
Trying to “be everywhere” so you don’t miss out on untapped opportunities is a huge time suck, not to mention, it’ll completely drain your energy. If you want to ensure your efforts and the time you put in pays off then concentrate your focus to maximum three opportunities. In the long run, you will realize it is the fastest way to yield results.
Of course, that implies that you have clarity and definiteness of purpose as you seek out the opportunities. Don’t just go for what is available. Know precisely what you want to contribute and receive as it pertains to your job and align yourself intentionally with finding opportunities that are a perfect match.
Step three: Map out the connecting link between the old role and the new one.
It’s essential to take the time and map out skills that you can quickly transfer from your old role to the new one. At first, when one is switching or advancing careers, it usually seems as though nothing is related, but I can assure you if you peel back the layers you will find similarities. For example, perhaps there is a skill or a course you took a while back which can now be useful in the new job role. Unless you take time to identify the value you already possess, it’ll be hard to feel worthy of an entirely new position.
So here’s a reminder for you. There is value in skills you already possess!
Don’t short change yourself. Once you’ve mapped out all the skills and feel there is a missing skill, look through your resume and check how you were able to gain the skills needed on the previous job and how you were able to become better in that role. This will help you understand, that even though you do not possess the skill right now, you do have what it takes to get it.
Finally there is always another way to gain more skills. Check what is left on your skill map now and find out, how you could gain this skill if not on the job. Are there courses you could take or do you have any former colleagues or friends who could be willing to help in exchange for support in your expertise area?
Step four: Strive for depth not width with your job opportunities.
Did you know that 80% of jobs are usually filled through networking and referrals? That means lots of jobs never even get advertised because everything happens under the radar.
Most of the time, your best opportunities won’t come from random online CV submissions. They’ll come from relationships you’ve forged, friends you know and the referrals your network is willing to give.
Hela Maria shared some very insightful tips not too long ago during a workshop we held in October 2018. One of the tips she gave was that we need to stop wasting time and energy sending CVs and cover letters. These never work in today’s marketplace and certainly not in tech. Instead, you need to focus on your energy on real conversations and building deep relationships with key people that matter to you.
Coffee and chat or community-based networking events are a much better investment of your time because it allows you to leverage human connection. While engaging in such a situation, however, always remember to focus more on adding value to the other person not promoting yourself.
These are simple steps you can take immediately to start creating some forward momentum toward your dream job. And if you would like a little help or if you feel like it’s time to be part of a community where women support, empower and celebrate each other, consider joining our women in the tech community. We’d love to cheer you on as you grow and prosper in your career.