New year, new me right? I woke up one summer, many moons ago, with the resolve to change career paths – again. That time as someone a little older, wiser, and with a load of bills to pay, I needed to make sure the next move was worth the effort. I listed what I wanted out of my dream career: challenges, honesty, transparency, leadership, growth opportunity, rewards and recognition. I also listed the things I wanted within the five years that followed, such as: stability, savings, multiple streams of income, and a retirement plan. The challenge came when I had to prove my change of direction. I had to show others that I was ready to move on from accounting roles into marketing roles – two very different career paths. How could I convince them? Did I have any skills or experience that would help me excel in marketing roles?
Fast forward a decade, I’ve gone from accounting roles, to marketing and operations roles, to learning and teaching others about wine. Re-inventing yourself isn’t a magic trick and it doesn’t mean you lack focus. Your passions evolve, your tastes change and your definitions of success and happiness can also. Regardless of the motivation, it takes intention to forge the career path you desire. Get as many right answers as you can to ensure your next move is the right one.
Sometimes peer advice and a strong recruiter isn’t enough. Without a clear strategy, you risk taking a role that doesn’t satisfy your end goals. Worse, your trajectory could damage your personal brand. When the stakes are high, getting help isn’t a bad idea. You wouldn’t buy a house without talking to an agent or mortgage specialist right? Perhaps you already know the benefits of having a tax accountant to handle your business returns verses using some online tool to file returns yourself.
So when is it the right time to get professional career help?
Perhaps you thought that this would have been your promotion year. How about not getting that project you were convinced you’d be staffed on? Now you’re at a crossroads and looking for a new gig or just feeling unsatisfied with the rhythm of work as it is. With that said, you don’t have to throw the baby out with the bath water. Sometimes it isn’t about leaving. Sometimes it’s about revitalizing your lens. A coach can help you get moving again toward promotion or more responsibilities in your current role by asking you hard questions and encouraging you to speak up to superiors at appropriate times during the year. Change is the only constant in life and the changes that come while working in certain organizations can leave employees feeling a little lost at times. Recalibrating with a little help from a coach can get you back on the radar and back in the swing of things.
Wanting a different path.
Focus maybe exactly where you need the help. A coach can walk you through the latest industry knowledge available on certain roles or help you design a role that aligns with your skill sets and personal end goals. A coach can push you past your comfort zones and unlock skills you may not have thought was marketable. They may even encourage you to refine your skills or take a course that would improve your marketability.
Not getting past initial interviews.
You know what role you want and you’ve applied to tons of them with limited feedback and/or no call-backs after initial contact. What’s not connecting? Experience? Disorganized resume? Poor storytelling of your interests? Heck, maybe the interviewer sucks, which means they’re the ones who can’t see your awesomeness. Regardless of the reason, there are folks out there who can help you prepare for the best and the worst during this process. Coaches can help with resume updates, interview prep, personal growth plans, referrals to recruiters sometimes, and much more, so you don’t have to suffer alone.
Listen, it isn’t easy to transition and certainly just as hard to carve a new path where you are. However, there are actionable steps and folks like me out there to help you get the positive results you deserve.
About the author: Tiffany Yarde is a vibrant human with opinions about humanity, economics, upward mobility, and good wine. Learn more about her.