The average person will shift careers approximately 5-7 times throughout their working life, and with an increasing number of professional opportunities available, it’s only natural to explore all options. However, despite the excitement that accompanies a new career, individuals are often met with feelings of anxiety and self-doubt.
As an experienced Athletic Director and soccer coach, Bob has a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry and has helped hundreds of people conquer their fears and step into their strengths. He claims that although the transition can be challenging, there are several key steps to help manage your stress and expectations.
When you embark on a new career, you will require new primary skills or knowledge to qualify for anything other than an entry-level position. If you’ve solidified your position in your industry, it can be frustrating to prove your worth again. However, keeping an open mind and flexibility towards new experiences will be beneficial for your growth and acceleration in a new industry. Bob Reasso suggests taking seminars, courses, reading books, or just watching YouTube videos on whatever skills you want to acquire while you are in your current career. When you make learning a priority, it will help you feel more confident as you start to make the transition into your new career.
Employers always worry about risk and hiring someone outside of the industry can feel extremely risky. Management is going to worry about whether or not your skills crossover from your former job into to your career. You are likely to be dealt a healthy dose of skepticism at every turn, but Bob Reasso encourages you to not let this stand in your way or beat you down. The same enthusiasm, commitment, and drive you brought to your previous positions can again be used to strengthen your application for a new one. Bob Reasso explains that when you go through a career shift, this is something you have to anticipate.
When you’re starting a new career, your primary competitors are new graduates. You can likely expect to be paid an entry-level salary, as an employer is unlikely to compensate you for your 15 years’ experience in another field. However, Bob Reasso suggests addressing these concerns in all of your applications for new positions, by drawing a direct correlation between your previous experience and skillset and the job you are applying for. It might also be useful to have fresh new ideas to bring to the table on how you can add value to their company. While you might be on the same playing field as recent graduates, you have developed an ability to sell yourself and your value in a way that they may not.
Bob Reasso explains that it is a lot easier to work an entry-level position once you have identified your goals at the outset. Is your end goal to work as a web developer? Graphic designer? Lawyer? If you have lofty goals, it will be a lot easier to plan your trajectory accordingly. When you are buying coffee for the office or doing menial administrative duties, it can be easier to manage when you recognize that it is just a step in a much larger plan towards your goals.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It can be intimidating to approach a new position surrounded by recent graduates, but if you do not ask questions, and are open to making mistakes, you may never get there. Embrace every new experience when you move through your career shift, as it takes time to build a foundation that will ensure long-term growth.