A career change is more than a job change. The person who changes careers not only has to learn new skills but also has to reinvent himself or herself. If you want to accelerate into a career change then you can move the timetable in your favor. Create a blueprint for action. This blueprint will help you move faster.
Be impatient. Get dissatisfied with where you are at. Impatience will be a force that stirs you to action fast. At the same time, you are impatient, stay positive. Your focus should be on today, what can you do, and with the mindset that “I am facing the future positively.” Let your impatience be a burning fuel within you that moves you faster toward your destiny. You cannot afford to be resigned about your past. Do whatever it takes today to move toward your future.
Have The Facts. So you are moving into a new career? Become an expert about this field very quickly. Be sure that you can be a good match for the working environment. If you are an introvert, will you be forced to work with many people? How do you feel about that? Will you be required to work under a micromanager? Will you face deadlines? How will your nervous system work under this situation?
In addition to understanding yourself in a new career, learn quickly the language, measurements, and challenges for your new working environment. Read trade journals, join LinkedIn groups, and talk to people on the phone. Get the facts, and get comfortable with them.
A Leadership Development Plan
Expand Your Network. Before you make a career change, your network is probably loaded with people from your past career. Develop new friendships, new collegial relationships and an active phone list of people who work close to that new career. When the time comes, the people in this expanded network may recommend you for your new business or may even help you find the job you are looking for. Treat everyone in your system as a valued relationship – even if you are not sure how they will influence your career change.
Manage Your Energy. Energy is a precious resource for every career changer. Understand your energy cycle – when do you have your peak energy, when is your energy at its lowest. Understand how you restore your energy. It is important when you are interacting with people that you have all the energy you need (and then some.) Get enough sleep, work out, and eat healthy foods. Do not leave your energy to chance.
Be Focused. Direct your mind into active thought about your new career. Expand the amount of time that you are actively thinking about the newly work you will be doing. Sharpen the focus of your mind. Earl Nightingale said that the strangest secret is “we become what we think about all the time.” Create new intellectual capital that prepares you for solving problems in your new career. Consider developing PowerPoint presentations, speeches, essays. Your focused thought should have a tangible output. Direct your thought toward your new career.
Improve Yourself. Be involved in active learning and physical exercise program. Get yourself ready to be hired.
Your learning program should be specific, with multiple action steps to prepare you for your new career. You may need to take a course at a community college or earn a certificate at another higher education institution. Discover the top five books in your field, the books that all the experts are reading. Be active on LinkedIn discussion groups and talk about the concepts you are learning. Let the words and ideas that you are working with become part of your active vocabulary.
Stay physically fit. Fitness will also help you manage your personal energy program. Decide on a program that will work for you, and follow it. Your fitness routine will help you get hired. Look like a champion.
Be Disciplined. You are going to need to make a commitment of time energy and attention. It does not matter if you start out small – just get started.
Discipline Promotes Leadership Development
If you are currently working (in the career you want to leave), then your discipline is essential. You have the danger of being too comfortable in your old career. Set yourself a plan and decide the things you must do. Dedicate some of your week toward moving (quickly!) toward your new career. If you want a new career you must seize it – and work for it.
If you are not working right now, then discipline is important. You will probably not be complacent because you must find other work. Choose your future – then act to create it. The temptation will be to go back to the work that you already know. Build a program of the work that you must do. Include networking time in that schedule, and find ways to meet other people even if it is not your usual routine.
It is possible to create a new career intentionally. Many people are moving to a new career entirely by accident. Follow these principles of preparedness fitness and focus to help you seize every great opportunity within your circle of influence. You create your own greatness.
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