Contributed by: Gloria Martinez
A new year often brings with it hopes for renewal, growth, and opportunity. In many cases, women look to a new year as the time to make some changes in their careers. For some women, career growth means a complete career change; for others, it means advancing within their current company. Whatever the goal, our tips will help you get started.
1. Engineer Serendipity to Create Your Own Luck
Forbes contributor Megan Bruneau shares insight on changes women can make for career success from Wendy Sachs, author of Fearless and Free: How Smart Women Pivot – And Relaunch Their Careers. Sachs has been an Emmy-award winning TV news producer, a Capitol Hill press secretary, a public relations executive, a media and content strategist, a CNN contributor, and an editor-in-chief. One of Sachs’ suggestions for women is to create your own luck by “engineering serendipity.”
Sachs says that being in the right place at the right time happens when you network, attend conferences, and make intentional choices about which events to attend and which goals to set for each event. Schedule networking opportunities once a month so you can prioritize your personal life, too.
2. Pursue Your Yes!
Women of any age can change their careers, so do not allow negative thoughts or fears hinder you from career growth. If you are a little hesitant to change your career, take a class or get involved with your potential new career in a small way first. If it feels right and you know it is something that you want to do, follow your yes! And keep going. Following your passion and enjoying your career is what is important to you, so do not allow society to dictate your choice to pursue a new avenue. Value yourself, your skills, and your dreams so that you can maintain your motivation to shake up your career.
3. Create a Plan Using Your Transferable Skills
Women are notorious for not believing they have the right skills for a new job. They may be confident in their current position but don’t translate their skills into a different position. For women especially, career growth requires a shift in thinking. Take some time to identify your skills and what you can bring to the table. If you are considering switching industries, determine which transferable skills you have and strengthen them if needed. Take a class or get some training to make you even more appealing to a new employer. Read these tips for career development inspiration.
Many employers look for potential and attitude first because they know the right person will learn and grow into their new role. Do not allow a lack of experience or a mismatched resume hold you back. If you do your research, present the evidence that you are a good fit, and portray yourself confidently, you can secure a position outside of your current industry. Your leadership skills, organizational skills, technology skills, and the like can lead you places that you may not realize.
4. Know That You are in Good Company
Don’t worry about what your friends or family will say about your career change. Research shows that women job hop more frequently than men, and the overall rate of job hopping has been increasing in recent years. Traditionally, women job hop more than men for a variety of reasons. Regardless of whether you are looking for more flexibility, more creativity, or a chance to pursue a job that fulfills your passion, job hopping seems to be good for women’s careers. Some experts believe that job-hopping women achieve more because they continue to learn. In the end, they create more stable jobs for themselves because they can manage their own careers.
Take advantage of networking opportunities to create your own luck, pursue your yes!, create a plan using your transferable skills, and understand that you are not the only woman job hopping. Career growth is within your reach!
About the Author: Gloria Martinez believes that while women have made many advancements toward “shattering the glass ceiling,” there is still much to be done. It is her aim to help increase the number of women-led businesses by educating others about the topic.