Three Ways to Spark a Career Switch

One of the reasons Shine at Work was created because we saw in people what we have felt in our own lives throughout our careers. That moment when you ask “Am I in the right career? Can I make a career pivot? People don’t really do that, do they?”

Yes they do. Yes it’s possible. And we know because not only have we coached people to make the move….but we have done it ourselves.

Heck, we created a podcast just to share those stories! The early days of the Shine at Work podcast…aka Getting off the Hamster Wheel…showcased interviews with who made career changes and shared their advice on how to (and what not to do to) make it happen.

When we are meeting potential clients for the first time, we are often asked, but how do I even start? Well, here are three things you can do to spark a career shift:

1. What did you want to be when you grew up? Why? Hang with us, we promise this will tell you something about your career today. Often when we peel back the proverbial onion, we will find something that applies to our reality today. For example, Karen wanted to be an astronaut. Then she quickly learned science and math were not her strengths! But now looking back on it, astronauts are explorers, looking for new things, pushing the boundaries of understanding and taking risks to try something for the first time. Sounds a lot like start-up culture and an entrepreneurial spirit! Combine that with the next career she thought she wanted, being a therapist, and all the pieces of an HR career in tech start-ups and owning a coaching business start coming together.

2. What kind of advice or support have people come to you for in the past few years? Why? Are you the person your friends always ask to plan the party or the trip? Or maybe your family comes to you for financial advice? Or to bounce ideas off of when they can’t make a decision? What does that say about the brand you have out there and skills that people value in you? One client we worked with was trying to figure out what was next and realized that she was always the one volunteering to help people when they moved. She loved having the blank space and seeing how it could come to life and show the personality of her friend that just moved in. So as we worked together we realized that there was a potential to move into home organization or interior design, a world where she could do that every day for people.

3. What skills have you gained tangentially that was not in your job description? Often we think about what we do on a day to day basis when we are building our resume or think about finding a new job. But what skills have you gained just by being a team member or part of companies at different stages. Another client we are working with realized she had worked at so many smaller companies, she had really built a strong way of talking to founders/CEO’s about the business problems they are facing. Just because she had seen it time and time again and had the face time with these leaders as part of other roles she had. So as she thinks about what next, she is considering a move into business strategy, chief of staff or even executive coaching.

We won’t lie, it’s a lot of work to make a career switch. But it is possible (we have all done it!) and it all starts with unleashing yourself from your past experiences and being open to what could be. The questions above are a start and then the real fun begins.