How to get UNSTUCK in your career

Twenty years ago I realized I was in the wrong career. After a few years in theatre and the arts (and a lifetime of loving that world) it was not the right livelihood for me. But it was my everything and I was so lost. But driving to work in tears and stomach aches were not healthy and the stress it put on my Homelife wasn’t worth it. So I knew I had to make a change. I call that getting UNSTUCK. And now I coach others on how to make their own change, and I talk to different people every week on my podcast who made the change. Below are the key steps!

Unshackle yourself from your current career

I get it. I was that theatre kid. Now in a lot of circles, I’m known as the HR nerd. Often our jobs become part of our identity. Or we put so much pressure on ourselves to be successful in our careers because of all the time, effort, money, education we have invested to this point. But it’s OK to make a change. You are a human, you learn and grow. Either you literally realize it’s not what you want to do (because who really knows what we want to be when we grow up when we choose our major when we are twenty years old). But we have to give ourselves permission to let go of the past. Stuck in your head? Try this Self-Talk worksheet to start clearing out some of that baggage!

Nail your new career target

Ok, so we have gained the confidence to say enough is enough and we are ready to explore what comes next! It’s time to do some reflection and identify what you like to do, what has brought you joy and fulfillment in the past, skills you like to use and how your personal values can be reflected in the work that you do! I know that can be daunting but just start with asking yourself some basic questions, then we can figure out how it all comes together! Try using this Career Changer worksheet to get your mind running! More of a brainstormer, try this Career Puzzle worksheet to just start jotting down ideas.

Slay your skills

Often people worry that they can’t make a job change because they don’t have any skills needed for their new career. Guess what, you have a LOT of transferable skills. Specifically all those soft skills that are very hard to teach! And don’t take them for granted. If you are a great negotiator, or can rally people together toward a shared goal or influence tough personalities or keep people & projects organized…those are key skills for a lot of jobs, and not skills that everyone has! I wrote more about this in a previous blog post. Just remember, your talents and skills are what make you special and valuable to your next company!

Talk to everyone

It’s time to start sharing your story and your goal to make a change. And the only way to do that is to talk to people!!! Talk to people who are in the job you want to move into. Talk to people who are in companies that you are targeting. Talk to people you used to work with but haven’t caught up with in awhile. Talk to your family and friends. You will learn a lot. You will meet amazing people. And you never know who is hiring or knows someone who is hiring. The point of these conversations is to network, share your story and ask for their advice, or insight. Do you think networking is a yucky thing? That’s ok, think of it more as exploration and learning. This was the actually the advice my first podcast guest shared…that you never know where a coffee might lead.

Unlock your new brand

What are you telling these amazing new people you are meeting? How are you building it into your resume? While you aren’t abandoning your years of experience in your prior career, you want to start talking the talk and walking the walk of your new field. Speak their language, hangout where they hang out (meetups, blogs, conferences), become a thought leader by sharing articles and commenting on other people’s posts about the field, and practice, practice, practice your story. Why you made the change, why you are excited about this new career, what unique skills and perspective you are bringing to the role…tell your story. Through your new love of networking, your new brand will help shine a spotlight on why people will help you on your journey.

Crush your interviews

Congrats! All your work has gotten you some interviews. Eek, that’s a whole new level of scary 🙂 But you got this. As someone who has led a LOT of interviews over the years, there are some common questions and expectations every recruiter is looking for, especially in those early interviews. Again, practice, practice, practice. Write out your answers or key bullet points and then practice saying them. You want to come across with the right balance of preparedness and knowledge without sounding like a robot or a scripted actor. So practice with someone you trust who can give you feedback both on your answers but also your delivery. And have your questions ready for the interviewer. Remember, you are interviewing the company just as much as you are interviewing them!

Kick-butt in your new career

Boom! You did it, you crushed your interviews, you negotiated like a ninja (a bonus step of UNSTUCK) and now you have an amazing new job in a career that will bring you joy, fulfillment and success. You deserve it. And while onboarding is mainly handled by your company and manager, you want to do everything you can to be ready to kick-butt and walk in on day one (or log in on day one) confident, energized and ready!

That’s it my friends, you just got UNSTUCK! I know it’s a lot, and you may be at different stages in the journey. But it’s ok, you can do this. Every guest on my podcast has done it. I have done it. The people I work with are doing it. You can to. And you don’t have to do it alone! Let’s chat to see how I can help you get UNSTUCK on a path to an amazing new career!