The Career Transition Conundrum

In general, many of the clients that I work with are seeking a pretty dramatic career change. Whether they are wanting to move from Event Planning to Client Development, or even freelancing to a full-time gig; there is a level of big change.

When I begin working with a client, one of the first questions that I ask is if they are ready to make some sacrifices in order to get to where they want to be. At the moment, the easy answer is yes. They are frustrated and very unfulfilled with the work they are doing, and just want an out. However, there are some realities that must be faced in order to make a big career change.

Money, Honey

In many cases, if you are making an industry or career change, this could definitely mean taking a pay cut. In preparation for this change, you should ask yourself if that is feasible for your lifestyle? Are you OK with reducing your Barry’s Bootcamp membership? Maybe not getting your weekly manicure? If the answer is no, then you will need to think about what else you can do to potentially supplement your income, or save the money necessary in the meantime. What is your value proposition? Is money high on your list?


Title Changes

With the salary adjustment, you may also find yourself taking a title change. Perhaps you are a Manager leading a team in your current role, but you are looking to do something completely different, and don’t necessarily have the credibility or experience that this role requires. You might be thinking you have worked so hard to get to where you are at, and to take a step back would be disheartening. Just remember, sometimes you have to take a few steps back to go forward. Seeing the big picture is important here.

More Preparation

There is also a lot of time and energy spent on making a big career change. You will need to put a bigger effort forward, than if you were just doing a like for like job switch. Maybe you need to put a cover letter together to explain why you are changing careers. You will need to make tweaks to your resume, or perhaps redesign it all together. You may also need to do more research and networking on this new career or industry to understand more about how to gain exposure.  It can feel daunting and challenging, but also necessary to get the results you want.

A Little Patience

Making a big career change is no easy feat. It is a big deal. Things are not going to happen overnight. You have to prepare yourself that this might be a process that can take 6-9 months, or even more in some cases. There is a lot that goes into understanding the career and/or industry you want to transition to. If you are so miserable at your current job that you are not prepared to wait that long, then you might want to consider what other options you have. Are you able to leave your job and focus full time on a job search? What about taking a few temporary assignments while you look for the right role? Have a timeline that realistically works for you and stick with it.

Ultimately, you have to consider the full picture when changing careers. If this were an easy journey, everyone would do it. It takes major courage to decide to really change the course of your life and do something completely different. But you owe it to yourself to be happier and more excited about your career. At the end of the day, it may take a few “in between” roles to get you to where you want to be, but it is doable; you just need to have the right mindset.