Yes, there is life after a lay-off! And the good news is that you’ve been given a clean slate to reinvent yourself to transition into a career that fulfills and energizes you.
I’ve reinvented my career five times including being a disc jockey in radio, public relations director in professional sports, community relations director in television, regional marketing manager in finance, and now I’m a global program manager in high tech. And each time that I reinvented myself – I received a pay increase!
Reinventing your career successfully simply means repackaging your skills, qualifications and accomplishments so that you can transition into a new job role, company, or industry. Below is my personal 5-step blueprint for reinventing your career more quickly, easily and maybe even with a higher salary!
- Define your passion – In which industry would you like to work? Advertising? Finance? Health Care? When I wanted to stop being a disc jockey, I knew that I wanted to go into television. And after a successful career in television, I then set my sights on getting into Corporate America. I wasn’t sure what kind of job role I wanted (or could get!), but the first step was determining the industry where I wanted to work. If you’re not sure where you want to go then read trade magazines, industry publications and on-line job postings. Visit a bookstore and browse through books and magazines to see what grabs your attention. Allow yourself time to figure out what lights your fire and inspires you!
- Identify your transferable skills – These are skills that transition from industry to industry, or from job role to job role. Examples include: managing projects, teams, clients or budgets, as well as negotiating contracts, or proposing and implementing ideas that generate money, save money, or help the company be more competitive.
Other transferable skills include personal characteristics such as demonstrating leadership or risk taking, training or mentoring team members, being goal driven, results oriented, a problem solver, or having the ability to influence senior managers. These are ALL great skills to have, and they transfer from industry to industry. All industries and companies value employees with these types of skills and characteristics.
- Match your transferable skills to job roles – Read job descriptions posted on CareerJournal.com, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com, as well as the classified ads in industry magazines, trade journals, and local newspapers. If you want to work for a specific company then check out their website’s on-line job postings. Learn the skills and qualifications required for various job roles.
Match your transferable skills to those jobs you want to go after. If there’s a gap between the job requirements and the skills you have, then look for ways to gain that experience such as taking on an extended assignment in your current job, freelancing, consulting, or even volunteering.
Also, attend industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events and association meetings. Talk to people who work in the industry to learn about their career path, responsibilities, and advice for how to break into the business.
- Blow up your resume. The first thing I always did before I transitioned into a new career was blow up my resume. Trying to piece together a resume that highlighted the skills I used to get my last job with the skills I need to land my next job is like trying to weld together Lexus parts on a BMW. It doesn’t work. You need a brand new resume.
- Attitude is king! That comes from knowing what we’re capable of doing. When you transition into a new job role or a new company, you need to show the hiring manager that you have confidence in yourself and know that you’ll be successful in the job. When it comes to reinventing your career, it’s not just your talent but your attitude that counts!
Showcase only those jobs, responsibilities and successes that are relevant to the job you want. The hiring manager doesn’t care about every job you’ve ever had. They just want to know, Can you do their job? Get resume help now.
Remember, great jobs don’t just land in your lap. You have to know what you want – take action – and go after it! Your job is out there. You just need to go get it!