Career change in a crazy economy? Yes, you can!
By: Nicole Yelich
Ladies, we all need our beauty sleep. But these are though times and I’m not sure if there is enough concealer out there to tackle the dark circles this recession is causing for women (and men, no doubt) across the country.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is the most visible example of the growing ranks of people who are fed up with this recession and the increasing struggles facing working Americans. Less visible are those of us who find ourselves awake in the middle of the night, worried about what all of this economic turmoil means for our savings accounts, let alone our career aspirations.
If you have a good job, you should be happy, shouldn’t you? Keep your nose to the grindstone and stay put. The thought of making a career change or embarking on a new venture seems like a perilously bad idea right now….or does it?
I always find – in my personal and professional lives – that the times of greatest turmoil are also the times of greatest opportunity, so take advantage of some of this upheaval to explore a new idea you’ve been kicking around for a while…you never know what doors will open up until you start knocking.
Get clear about your goals
Take some time to learn about yourself and what really makes you tick. Make some lists. Take some long walks. Brainstorm with your girlfriends over margaritas. Forget about what you should be doing and think about what you enjoy doing. If you get clear about what you want to try next, you can set you sights on it and manifest a new direction for yourself.
Take a class
Going back to class is a great way to get you thinking outside of the box. Check out the menu of continuing education and professional development classes your local universities offer. These are a great way to build your skill set and expand your portfolio. Underwater basket weaving? If that’s what floats your boat, go for it! Want to try creative writing? That will certainly get your juices flowing. The point is to learn a few new things and start thinking in a different way – you’ll find out new things about yourself in the process.
Revise yourself – on paper and online
Does your resume list everything you have accomplished in your industry, or does it lay the groundwork for everything you are capable of doing in a new one? Spice it up – change the font, the layout and the message. Perk up your online profiles in the same way – get a great headshot and parlay your list of past experiences into a roadmap of how your skills will fit into a new enterprise.
Pitch yourself as a Rockstar Volunteer
Find a product, organization or small business you are excited about and offer to donate some of your valuable time to help them with a current project. Everyone loves free help – especially if that help is creative, professional and motivated. And you might pick up some new skills and contacts that will help you make your next move.
Network, network, network
The holidays are fast approaching and you know what that means – lots and lots of holiday parties. Meet and mingle with new people who do the kind of work you want to move into. Form new friendships over a few glasses of eggnog, and then stay in touch so you are the first person they think of when the new year presents new opportunities. (Just stay away from the mistletoe!)
Take a few risks, try something new. (Keep your current job, for the moment.) Get out of your routine and be creative about how to take your career in a different direction. Who knows? You might yourself able to sleep a little easier and keep those dark circles at bay.
Nicole Yelich is a writer for Impact Dialing, a web-based power dialer and hosted predictive dialer that helps small business market to new customers and nonprofits launch successful telefundraising campaigns.