How many people do you know working a job simply because it’s a means to an end? I’m sure you can think of about 3 or more individuals. The fact of the matter is that LIFE happens. You may be reading this and thinking about a job you’ve had that was a means to an end. Everyone has bills and responsibilities and quite frankly sometimes individuals fall into roles due to life circumstances. The problem comes about when it’s time to transition into a role that matches your actual knowledge and skill sets when you haven’t necessarily been in a role where you were challenged to reach your full potential and step outside of your comfort zone.
I’ve been that person, and over the years I’ve learned that sometimes, you have to create your own experiences to set yourself up for the next role you deserve. Below are 3 strategies that will help individuals looking to transition into a better role within their career.
Teach yourself a new skill and apply it in your work.
This comes down to initiative and drive. Often times, the skills or experiences needed for that “next” role can be achieved through your current role it just takes initiative actually learn the skill or to gain the experience. For example, Let’s say your ideal role requires you to have knowledge and experience using pivot tables in excel but you’ve never used pivot tables. You can YouTube tutorials that will walk you through using pivot tables, and then find a way to apply what you have learned to your everyday work! Your responsibilities may not have required use of pivot tables but that does not mean you cannot possibly incorporate it into your work and now you can put it on job applications as a skill.
Start different projects or volunteer for different projects that expands your work experience.
Many companies have opportunities to work on special projects or be involved in task forces, which is an opportunity to acquire experience that is outside of your job description. For example, if you need budgeting experience and you are not responsible for a budget, pick up a project or create an idea for a project that you can lead. Identify the costs that would be associated with the project, then come up with the plan for executing the project with little or no funds despite possible costs. You will have reduced possible costs for the proposed project by (insert amount)% and executed a project that you led.
Attend a professional development/networking event within the desired career field.
We’ve all heard the saying, “it’s about who you know”. This holds very true today. Many jobs are acquired simply from networking. Take the initiative and attend a networking event or professional conference related to your desired career field. This will allow you to engage with professionals in the field and display who you are and what you bring to a company. Every interaction is like an “unofficial interview” when you’re on the search for your next role. Don’t be aggressive or pushy, but show your personality and let potential employees see and hear about your value.