If you’re feeling stuck, know that there are many options to make a career change. Here are five real-life examples of people from their 20’s to their 50’s making big transitions:
Do what you know just for another industry
Susanne Rhow took her established career in luxury goods marketing to high-end real estate sales. She did not just do what most other agents do. Instead, she used her savvy with customer segmentation to carve out a niche for herself. Where else can you use your functional expertise? If you like what you do but just don’t like where you are, switch companies or industries.
Build the new career on the side
Tiannia Barnes is a single mom and already in a high-paying industry and function (IT program management). But she has entrepreneurial aspirations for shoes. So she does both IT and shoe design building her business while keeping her day job. What can you do as a side experiment before making a big leap? If a single mom finds the time, clearly there is time!
Make a clean break
Otto Cedeno took the exact opposite route from Tiannia Barnes, quitting outright from his Director role in online production to open a taco restaurant. Cedeno moved back in with his parents and took consulting work to make ends meet. What sacrifices are you willing to make? What resources can you tap? You don’t have to move back in with family, but it helps to know if that’s even an option and to ask yourself how deep you’re willing and able to cut back.
Buy a business
Mark Prygocki had the means to buy his career change, purchasing a donut franchise. Franchising is one way to participate in an entrepreneurial venture but with the resources of a larger company. (Another risk mitigation possibility is if you work at a larger company and can convince your employer to fund your start-up idea.) Can you buy or joint venture with an existing business? If the idea of building from scratch is overwhelming, your side activity might be as simple as setting aside a savings fund with the goal of purchasing a business. Even if you decide to launch from scratch or make your next move as an employee, you’ll have reserves to fund that career change.
Change your life, not your career
Having a big dream doesn’t mean it needs to be fulfilled as your profession. You can write a novel and have a full career outside of writing. Trevor Shane has written three books while working as a lawyer in the hedge fund industry. He credits his very different day job with giving him more freedom to be creative – he doesn’t have to worry about making money from writing so he can just write. His writing routine keeps him up well past midnight three nights a week but it’s a lifestyle change, not a career change. How can you accommodate more fulfillment in your life without having to change careers?
Have we missed a career change strategy that has worked for you? Let us know about it!