Goal Setting : 5 steps to a new profession

“Dream Job” is one of the most sought after modern myths. Hundreds of courses and training promise to reveal the secrets of new professions in just a few lessons. And it seems that in the new profession there will be neither a complex leader, nor overwork, nor boring tasks. Reality, as always, is more complicated. How to prepare for it?

Let’s be honest: not everyone succeeds in a career transition. Someone is disappointed in the new profession (well, where we are not), someone starts to miss the previous tasks and the team, someone is not ready for the fact that in the new role income has become significantly less.

Let’s figure out how to make a career turn so as not to regret the time spent and missed opportunities.

Let’s look at two examples of career change attempts that ended in disappointment.

The first story. Semyon dreamed of working in a specialty (ecology) and immediately after graduating from the university he ended up in one of the departments. The work was different: sometimes interesting, then boring, then communicating with people, then with documents. And then an unpleasant situation happened: it was necessary to sign a document that Semyon did not want to sign, the leadership pressured … And Semyon quit.

A friend invited him to work in sales, advised the company. Adaptation began in a new place. As an assistant to the commercial director, Semyon phoned customers, did emails, prepared documents, fell asleep and woke up with a phone in his hand, messages in work chats fell in until late at night. Four months later, Semyon decided to leave. Firstly, I looked at the past work with different eyes and, in comparison with the current one, I saw in the previous pluses that I had not noticed before. Secondly, I clearly understood for myself: it’s emotionally difficult for him to sell, he knows how to control the processes, but it’s hard to find an approach to customers. Now Semyon has returned to the civil service. And very pleased.

The second story. Arina always had a dream – to write! At school, she managed to write essays, at the university – essays. Then a daughter was born – and shift work became the most comfortable option. So Arina became the administrator in the hotel. It did not draw to the proud title of dream job. Once Arina gave herself a course in writing and dived headlong into training. The host of the course gave Arina exceptionally high marks, and during the quarter she went through three levels of training. Increasingly, thoughts came about changing jobs. The world of content excited, beckoned with dreams of creative work and high fees. Arina thought to quit the hotel, but her husband convinced me to take a vacation first and try to work in a new capacity, without leaving the same place.

It turned out that writing articles requires discipline, and creativity is limited by the difficult process of coordinating texts with customers. Work at the hotel, although intense, had clear boundaries for the beginning and end of the working day, and the work of a copywriter did not imply such boundaries. It took a lot of time to delve into the topic, work out the customer’s technical specifications, and then agree on the text and make all the changes. Once Arina had to edit the text seven times in a row, and she realized: it was one thing to write for the soul, and quite another to make money with this craft. The fee for two weeks of very intensive work also turned out to be modest – 10,000 rubles. After such a “vacation” Arina returned to work at the hotel with joy and relief.

Safe Transition Rules

Here are a few recommendations for those who dream of a career change.

  1. Understand the reason. Ask yourself a question: are you tired of this profession as a whole or just work in a particular company? If the matter is in your current place, it is worth exploring the vacancies . Perhaps you will feel happier if new tasks are wider than the current functionality or, conversely, you will have the opportunity to concentrate on your favorite subject area without spraying on related tasks. Maybe you do not have enough business trips or, conversely, you want a more measured schedule. Or maybe you need to think about changing the business role or type of career in the current profession. Finally, it often happens that behind the desire to change a profession is an attempt to escape from a psychological crisis .
  2. Analyze your current job. Pay attention to tasks that give you energy, inspire, and what, on the contrary, causes a feeling of powerlessness or irritation. These are clues about which activity suits you and which doesn’t.
  3. Do not make a decision at the time of crisis. If possible, work out internal fears and doubts in sessions with a psychologist or career counselor. Otherwise, you risk a spontaneous decision to change jobs to aggravate your already difficult condition with work problems.
  4. Take care of the airbag. Financial advisors recommend that you stock up at least six of your monthly salaries. The fact is that a change in direction changes your position in the labor market. From an expert with experience, you again turn into a beginner. Even if your path is successful, at first your income will decrease markedly.
  5. Find a wizard and consult. A frank conversation with someone who is already succeeding in the profession you are dreaming of will allow you to get around the “rake” and notice the “blind spots” that you still don’t suspect. You’ll better understand how much time it will take you to achieve your first professional success, what kind of competition awaits you in this area with those who have been working in it for a long time, where to start, what directions, on the contrary, are not worth attention. And what are the main disadvantages in this work – what if you are not at all ready for them?
  6. Arrange a test drive. In the example of Arina, the trial period allowed her to look at the desired profession without illusions. A small internship (they are available not only to young students), the implementation of one-time projects, part-time jobs, a test day of work – try some way to try on a new role, to understand how comfortable it is for you in reality, and not in dreams.
  7. Do not burn bridges. This applies not only to premature parting with the current employer, but also to your position among friends, colleagues, acquaintances. Be patient a bit before loudly announcing “I’m leaving sales (banking, marketing, law, medicine, tourism, and so on)” or “hiring is slavery.” Stay in your new profession for at least a year to find out if this is your calling. Perhaps you take a different look at your past occupations, start looking again for a job similar to the previous one, and here you can’t do without the recommendations of your inner circle.

Two success stories

The first story. Diana, still a 4th year student, got a job in an excellent company as a part-time office manager. At first, she liked everything, but two years later, her favorite work began to resemble “Groundhog Day”. Diana found out that soon in her company a vacancy of a PR manager will open. She did a test task and asked for opportunities to try her hand at this job as an intern.

It was very difficult to combine the basic functionality with the new – phoning with journalists, preparing events, discussing press releases with the internship manager. In addition, Diana, on her own initiative, took a distance learning course. The working day lasted from 10 to 12 hours. But three months later, Diana was congratulated on the successful completion of the internship and transferred to the position of PR manager.

The second story. Tatyana was the best credit manager of the bank, received good bonuses. She liked to go through trainings, and then put new knowledge into practice. It would be logical to pursue a career in sales, but she chose a different direction – training.

It all started with the fact that Tatyana, as the most experienced, was sent to beginners for an internship. She noticed that she was pleased if, after working with her at the point, a new employee passed the test the first time and quickly started selling himself. Tatyana took part in the internal competition, won it and moved to the training department. For several years she trained the front office, and then “grew up” to managerial training.

Five steps for those who decide

What unites success stories and how to make it work for you?

  1. Look for new opportunities where you work now. Here it’s easier for you to take a step towards a new field if you have already earned a certain respect and your colleagues know your strengths – those soft skills that are important for a new profession. Internships, hackathons, participation in projects – any of these activities can be your pass to a new career. Consult your HR manager. Even if the company does not have an internal career counseling program (in Russia this is still a rare practice), you can get good advice. If you, as an employee in good standing, will give you a chance to try your hand in a new direction so as not to lose you.
  2. Enlist the support of loved ones. You will really need it. Again, it’s not worthwhile to start a change in several areas of your life at once. Discuss your plans with your family. Conquering new heights at first will deprive you of the opportunity to devote to your loved ones as much time as before, and family income can significantly decrease. This should not be an unpleasant surprise for them, it is better to say these consequences in advance.
  3. Invest in your training. Choose a course, training or master class that will give you a complete immersion in the topic and systematize the knowledge that you have already received on your own. Just do not rush to the first advertisement you get, but ask professionals from the sphere in which you aspire, what educational programs they consider serious.
  4. Find a mentor. You need someone who is already at the top of the cherished professional Olympus and is ready to share his experience. Unlike the usual one-time consultation or a friendly hint, mentoring involves a long supervision. This is one of the most effective ways to quickly plunge into the nuances of a new profession.
  5. Make a “plan B”. What will you do if you fail in the new profession? What can become your “insurance” or alternate aerodrome? If you leave the company, offer to conduct part of the tasks on freelance. Mastering something new is always stress, not everything will turn out perfectly right away. If you do not abruptly abandon the profession where you are stable in your result, your self-esteem will not suffer. Not to mention the fact that the former profession will provide you with income for the time while you are gradually plunging into a new sphere.

And finally – make a small list of inspiring books that can help build a path into a new profession.

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