Retooling Your Skills for a New Career (part 2)

September 19, 2017  |  No Comments  |  by Terrylynn Smith  |  Blog

open mind

In our previous post, we began talking about the fear that so many people deal with when going through a change in their professional life and career. Whether you leave a job by choice or by coercion, the uncertainty is real. However, as we mentioned earlier—you are still the same person, with the same talents and skills you had before you left that position. If you so desire, the same talents and skills that served you well in that job can serve you just as well in a different setting—perhaps even better. You just need to open your mind a bit and reimagine your talents and passions in a new way.

This process will look different for every person, of course, but here are a few options you might look at as starting points for retooling your skills for a new career.

Start Your Own Business in the Same Profession

One of the most common and effective solutions for rebooting a career is not to change professions, but just to stop working as an employee and start working for yourself. If you are a lawyer leaving an established firm, for example, you might have the option of starting your own practice. If you are a sales professional for a large company, find a new product you’re passionate about and set up a company to start selling that product. If you love what you do and want to keep doing exactly that thing, perhaps it’s time to take the helm of your own business. Doing so not only makes you the boss (virtually guaranteeing your job security!), but it may also take the limits off how much money you can make.

Work in a Related Profession

Sometimes retooling your skills simply means working in the same field but from a different angle. For instance, if you’ve had a desk job in publishing but always wanted to write your own novel, you’ve probably already got the connections you need in order to make that happen. Or, going back to the lawyer example, maybe you’re burned out with corporate law and a few classes are all you need to make the leap to criminal justice, personal injury or some other type of practice. Hitting the reset button may be as simple as making a small adjustment in how you approach your own profession.

Dig Deeper—Explore Your Core Talents

So maybe you want to take an entirely new direction with your professional life. That’s not uncommon, nor is it unattainable. In fact, chances are you’re already equipped for a wide range of careers you hadn’t even considered based on your personality type and what I call your “core talents.” A bit of self-exploration is helpful here—don’t just focus on what you’re trained to do, but on the deeper traits that make you good at what you do. For example, if being a “people person” made you a good marketing rep, it might make you an even better motivational speaker or public relations executive. If you were a great project manager based on your problem-solving skills, those skills might work quite well in event planning or consulting. (For me, I’m an encourager and a cheerleader of sorts; these skills that once served me in human resources now serve me as a life coach and career coach.)

The better you understand your core talents—the things you’re good at because of the type of person you are—the more career possibilities will open up to you, and the more far-sighted you’ll become. That’s the whole idea behind the Giraffes Theory. If I can help you reimagine your career, I’d love the opportunity. Give me a call at 646-320-1126.

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