Career Change: How To Avoid “Starting From Scratch Again”

One of the most common reasons why people don’t even consider a career change is because they believe it would mean “starting from scratch again.” I totally get why this might be a concern for you too – Who wants to feel like they’ve spent the last 5,10 or 20 years climbing a ladder only to willingly slide all the way down again…Keep reading and I will share insights and 3 key strategies that have helped my career change clients avoid this scenario, so YOU don’t have to start from scratch again.

Believing that every career changer has to “start from scratch again” is just an assumption, NOT a fact! FACT.

Several of my clients have literally walked straight into alternative careers that were not even related (one example: Law to PR) because they didn’t automatically assume they had to “start from scratch again.” Instead they spent focused time getting clear on and research what they really wanted, how they could use networking as a key strategy AND really owning what they had to offer (+what to call that). Or they decided to start their own company – thereby cutting out lots of “gatekeeper issues” – a strategy which you will hear me talk about a lot on this website and which is increasingly becoming the fast track ticket to a career change.

A career change is rarely based on something you haven’t done before (in some capacity) – It builds on your natural skill set. So you can start today!

How To Avoid “Starting From Scratch Again” – 3 Key Strategies:

Know Your “Power Points”: Know yourself + What you want + What you have to offer AND make sure you translate that into a compelling language and story (+ supporting “marketing material”) that your new employer/client/job market understands and sees as highly relevant and covetable. Most career changers sabotage themselves right out of the gate by worrying about “what they don’t have” instead of focusing on their strengths and amplifying them!

Build Credibility and Visibility: Build up external credibility and visibility in your new area before jumping. Research, read and learn as much as you can. Start developing an expert/online trail and profile via your blog, social media profiles or online groups. Volunteer with charities or organizations where your new target market also hangs out and start attending more advanced courses and industry events. Nowadays people will google you, so you need to leave breadcrumbs telling the (new) story you want them to hear!

Network: Opportunities most often come attached to people! As to opposed to from just sitting behind your computer “researching.” Your best job and business opportunities are most likely to come from your network and their network (and if they don’t know what you are up to they can’t help, so make sure you ask!!).

Yes, but…

Yes, there might be exceptions for whom starting from scratch will be the case, but that doesn’t mean they’ll stay at the bottom for very long. Or that YOU have to become one of them. Clearly, if you want to join professions where knowledge and training is paramount (unqualified heart surgeon anyone?), you might have to go back to university and then re-train. However, once on board there is no reason why your natural skills, unique career history and smart networking strategies couldn’t be your ticket to a quick ride up the ladder (again, I know from clients of mine who went back to university and retrained that this can indeed be the case, including a gentleman in his forties who was handpicked over several 20-something hotshot grads and fast-tracked).

“Starting from scratch again” is NOT a given – especially when you build on your natural skill set – which is never confined to just one job title or one career path.

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