So, you’ve decided to leave your job and reach for your dream career.
Here are some tips to use before you begin your search:
Overcome fears and doubts. As soon as you decide to make a career change, especially when you’d like to make a lateral move to another industry, your internal blocks of fear and doubt might intervene. Even your best friends or parents may try to derail you from your plans. Create a vision of how and where you would like to see yourself in five years in order to overcome some of your hurdles. Be aware that you have one single life that is very short, and time is moving fast. Don’t miss any opportunity just because you are scared of leaving your comfort zone. Resolve to live the life you really deserve.
Know what you stand for. Know your values, which are your inner compass telling you exactly whether you fit into a company. Although values are unique to each of us, I’ve learned that people living authentically and following their inner voices share some common values such as cooperation, integrity, honesty, and a deep respect for others.
Know your personal value. Come up with an inventory of your true assets. Do not just consider your strengths and experience. Think about what your unique selling proposition is and what makes you stand out from the crowd. Ask yourself what additional value you can add. In a competitive environment, personal branding becomes ever more important. It boosts self-confidence, which in turn helps to negotiate a good salary.
Highlight your achievements. Differentiate yourself with a CV that is short, crisp, and clear. Managers have no time to read lengthy documents. Do not list all your degrees, projects you have worked on, or articles you have published. Highlight your achievements and what sets you apart from the crowd. Furthermore, extracurricular activities are always an extra asset.
Show real interest. I see so many candidates who have not the slightest idea about the position they are applying for. They do not seek out even the most basic information on the company, nor do they ask any crucial questions so as to show their sincere interest.
Define the core essence of your dream job, stay open, and let go. Years ago I had a tremendous yearning to work in developing countries. I was driven by the mistaken belief that I could only fulfill my dream if I worked with an NGO. I handed in over than 30 applications, but only received rejections. Then I left for vacation, let go of my obsession, and the miracle happened. I received a job offer from an engineering company looking for someone to build their business in developing markets. Bingo! I was limiting myself to believing that NGOs were the only option for opening the doors to my next dream job. Therefore, define the “What” —the core essence — but never the “How.” Leave all options open.
Don’t be afraid of job-hopping. Some people would tell you to never change your job more than five to seven times in your lifetime and stay at least two years in a position. I completely disagree. Life is too short to be doing work you don’t love. I personally have changed jobs more than 10 times; I’ve even made lateral moves into other industries, and I have been extremely successful. So, there is always an exception to the rule. Life is a journey and you constantly grow and develop yourself. Just follow your passion, take some risks, and do what feels right. Only then will you generate the best results imaginable both for you and your company. Try things out, fail, stand up, and learn from your mistakes. This adds immeasurable value to both your career and life.
Always follow a steep learning curve. Whenever I changed jobs I valued new challenges much more than an increase in my paycheck. Furthermore, the excitement of plunging into a new adventure often ignited such a huge fire that my enthusiasm spurred me to attain great results, which in the end often resulted in a nice bonus that offset the initial loss in salary.
Learn from mentors and children. Social media offer great platforms for making some important connections. However, never underestimate the power of receiving support from real-life mentors or influential people you should meet face to face. Are you too shy or afraid to make a cold call? Learn from the methods children use. They get almost everything they want because they are not afraid to ask for it, over and over again. They are 100% authentic and are not afraid of losing recognition or getting ridiculed. If Mom says “NO,” they ask again or ask Dad. The only answer they will accept is a “Yes.” If you are going to reach your goal, you have to ask. Never run away from a “NO.” Keep going and asking. The more people know what you are asking for, the higher the chance that somebody will provide you with the right solution or job.
Take immediate action. Don’t wait until you are perfect. You are already unique, precious, and perfect! Taking action means that you believe in yourself and in what you want to do. You believe in your skills, in your passion, in your dreams. Do not indulge in procrastination. Too many people give up too early and miss the greatest opportunities in their lives.
Andreas Dudàs. Swiss, visionary entrepreneur, mentor, motivational speaker, and expert on authentic leadership. More than 20 years experience in top executive positions in over 25 countries. Founder of the BE SHiRO Group in Switzerland and India, dedicated to empower individuals and organizations to achieve greatness through authenticity. Author of “Do you dare to be yourself? Developing power in life and leadership through authenticity." Learn more about Andreas at www.andreasdudas.com/book.