Are you thinking of changing your career? Do you desperately want to leave your current role but embarking on a new path scares you? If so, continue reading as we explore how you can start thinking of a career change and make the transition an easier and smoother one.
Changing your career path or starting a new career may seem exciting yet equally challenging. I hosted a LinkedIn LIVE and invited Arjun Prakash, the founder of PIVOT, to talk about how one can overcome some of the most common challenges people face when switching from one career to another.
Whether you are someone who's trying to switch careers in the same field or looking to explore new career options, I hope you will get some career clarity at the end of our insightful conversation!
Arjun Prakash is Founder at Pivot - a holistic platform to plan your career shift, get personalized guidance from industry experts, and find the best career resources. Click on the link to catch our full conversation on "How To Change Careers in 2022" .
In Conversation With Arjun Prakash, Founder of PIVOT
"Make A Career Change Happen By Beating Fear and Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone"
Why is the idea of a career change so daunting?
Most are daunted by the idea of a career change probably because we are loss averse.
” We hate losing twice as much as we like winning”. Finding a new career when we have spent a long time building one up feels like we are giving up a lot. This way of thinking, however, holds people back and doesn’t allow them to see the potential in executing a career switch.
What is the first step to changing careers? Where do you start?
When making a career transition, the first and foremost step is to gain clarity about what your priorities are in life and at work. If you are unclear about why you are pursuing a different role, not just in a career change, even when moving from one company to another, it would cause problems in the future. Knowing your priorities will help you get in charge of your career.
How to deal with the biggest challenge of starting as a fresher?
Similar to what I mentioned before about people being loss averse, we are also risk-averse. We hesitate to take risks without knowing what the dividends will be. Starting something new is always going to be a challenging proposition with this mindset.
Instead of seeing things in terms of success or failure, experiment with new ideas and see what results they produce. What would be the worst-case scenario?
You will fail fast and learn quickly!
Don't be fixated about starting something new as a BIG leap in your life. Think of it as a redirection in your life. And see where it goes. You’ll gain some new skills, connections that you can leverage for newer opportunities. And if it doesn’t work out, I am sure you’ll figure out something else.
How to find a job if you have the skills and credentials but no experience?
Most employers hesitate to hire you without any experience and you can’t gain experience unless employers hire you. But there are ways to gain initial experience that most people are unaware of.
One thing you can do is take a personal side project, develop a solid portfolio based on their ideas and execution which doesn’t necessarily have to involve a third party. Consider doing it for your potential employer.
Another way is to freelance. Add your portfolio onto different freelancing platforms like Upwork. Create your profile and start applying for opportunities. Chances are, you’ll get a little work and build your experience. Moreover, there’s nothing to lose, no amount to pay even if you don’t get a job. It’s a kind of low cost, high return effort.
These are tremendously helpful ways of gaining quick and early experience where you don’t need to depend necessarily on other people.
We need to come out of our comfort zone if we want to change careers, but how do we get that push we need?
A lot of times, the push can be an intrinsic factor. Something internal that you feel like is missing in your life. This inner calling can drive you to get outside of your comfort zone.
Is Imposter Syndrome something you need to deal with?
There’s a quote that says, “If you are too comfortable doing what you're doing currently, you are probably not doing it right. “
What that means is if you are not taking enough challenges, if you are not stepping outside your comfort zone, if you are not feeling like an imposter when trying something new as an outsider, maybe it’s time you take up new challenges. That’s where new experiences, growth and new skills lie.
You can’t really push back from these kinds of emotions but rather embrace them. I too have had the same experience as I moved from consultation to entrepreneurship. Personally, I try to focus more on the work, on the execution aspects and collaborating with people. And I believe we all should focus more on taking action and minimise how we're feeling all the time. This will help us move to the next level and hopefully will get you to the finish line.
How to make a transition in your career without having the relevant experience?
When making a transition, start from a point of strength instead of focusing on what you don’t have. Because then the world will only see what you don’t have. Think about how you can make the most of what you have. There’s always some use case from your prior experience that you can use in your new role. Find those areas of overlaps, transferable skills, as little as they might be, knowing what you are good at and start building from that foundation.
How to overcome the fear of uncertainty and losing time when it comes to switching careers?
The environment we live in pressurizes people to achieve everything on time. Everyone is concerned about driving efficiency. But it’s important to delve more into the purpose of doing things.
Why are we doing it and what do we aim to achieve from it?
Are we there yet?
If not, what can we do to get there?
Sometimes people get too swayed by what’s happening around them, and it’s easy to, but at the end of the day, you have to make that call for yourself.
Everybody has to decide for themselves how much time is a key deciding factor in their life. You can’t let outside factors decide that for you. It’s okay to take time for things that really matter to you. Taking time out to spend with your close ones, for things like meditation etc may keep you from keeping pace but it will save you from living with regrets down the years.
Any final words for those who want to change their career?
Making decisions regarding your career often feels stressful, overwhelming and daunting.
Especially when it comes to making a decision about quitting your well paying job to start a new one with unknown risks. But, as this conversation showed, it doesn't always have to be like this. Provided we take care of a few things when thinking about making that transition.
These include- Introspecting, asking why you want to switch, learning and seeking advice from people who have already walked the path you wish to take and identifying the opportunities available in your surrounding. Having done all this, you will be on your way to effortlessly transition into a new career. Without feeling overwhelmed!