In a study a few months ago, CareerBuilder.com and research firm, Harris Interactive, found that 21% of full-time employees wanted to change their jobs last year. A typical U.S. employee stays in their job for 4.6 years.
Staying at the same company for the rest of your life is no longer likely. Changes can occur for many reasons. You could be the victim of a layoff or your employer could go out of business. Perhaps the time has come for you to choose to leave your job, because you are no longer satisfied. Maybe you're bored and ready for a new career in an area you are truly passionate about. As we change careers, we face an opportunity to reinvent ourselves.
Dorie Clark is a strategy consultant, speaker, and contributor to Forbes and the Harvard Business Review. Clark is also the author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future and the new, Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It. I spoke with her in episode fifty of my podcast, New Business Networking Radio, where she shared helpful advice if you are preparing for career reinvention.
How to Reinvent Yourself
The most important thing is to get clear on your own narrative and to express it to your network. Clark stressed, if you don't explain why you're embarking on a transition, people could assume the worst, like you are going through a mid-life crisis or you are not loyal.
Highlight the strengths you have gained from your employer or career to this point. Share how your knowledge will add value in your new career direction. By doing this, your network will become your ambassadors and will help lead you to your new employer, customers and clients.
In my interview with Clark, she provided helpful insight in sharing your new transition when attending networking events. She pointed out that some people may object or "block" your new career path. For example, you may plan to move from sales to human resources. Someone may rebuke your decision and ask how you can possibly shift your career from two completely different areas. It's up to you to explain how you learned so much about people from sales and that you can bring that unique expertise to benefit human resources. You need to prepare to provide the answers to clearly explain your move.
A wonderful way to help you share your story is in content creation. This could come in the form of email newsletters, blog posts and articles. Clark stressed the importance of inbound marketing for your personal brand. That's why I launched Futureforth, to help you with this.
Read and become knowledgeable in your new career area. Write about what you learn publicly and be sure it is valuable to your readers. Share it openly and over time people will seek you out. If you're considering a career pivot, now is the time to start a blog (here's my tutorial to help you).
This article originally appeared in The Tennessean newspaper.