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Looking For A Career Change In 2024? 5 Steps For A YOLO Strategy

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By Cheryl Robinson

New year, new beginnings and a time to self-assess your career. If we have learned anything over the past three years, it is that nothing is permanent, nor should we settle for anything that doesn’t make us happy.

Before the early 2000s, people were expected to stay at a job or company until retirement. That idealism has become an outlier, especially when rapper Drake popularized the catchphrase YOLO (you only live once). Although it’s rare to hear that phrase in the 2020s, its philosophy is still relevant to people’s work ethics and styles.

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Scouring the internet for job descriptions that remotely sound interesting is mind-numbing and tedious. Embarking on a career change in 2024 requires a meticulous blend of foresight, strategic planning and adaptability in an ever-evolving business landscape. Whether motivated by personal growth, market shifts, or a desire for new challenges, transitioning careers demands a comprehensive approach.

1. Self-Reflection And Goal Alignment
It’s easy to say you want to change industries and try something new. However, there are implications and hard questions that need addressing. First, take inventory of all your skill sets; go beyond the surface. If you have a hobby, what talents or passions are required to partake in it? Don’t exclude those from the resume.

Be honest with yourself about what you really want to do. Stick with the five-year timeline, then work backward in defining the milestones you want to achieve. Once you have that clear picture, set measurable goals that assist with your forward motion.

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2. Skill Enhancement And Education
Invest in education and skill development to bolster your credentials. Consider certifications, workshops, or courses that align with your new career path. Leverage online resources, industry seminars, or professional networks to stay updated on the latest advancements. Acquiring new skills demonstrates commitment and adaptability, enhancing your value to prospective employers.

Depending on the industry you want to enter, many paid and free programs provide resources, certifications and masterclasses. For example, Google has a plethora of applications, including Google Think, which includes information and articles on the latest trends.

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3. Rebranding
Your information packet, resume or portfolio must clearly represent who you want to be and what new industry you’re targeting. Many people have a difficult time letting go of the person they used to be at an old company or position and embracing a new role or venture. When starting off by describing who you are, lead with who you are now, what you are looking for and your skill set. Then, lead with your background, having it lay the foundation.

Tailor your professional brand—including LinkedIn profiles and personal websites—to reflect your commitment and expertise in the chosen domain. Social media accounts that are precise and consistent garner more attention and give professional first impressions to potential employers.

4. Mentorship And Guidance
Networking in regards to checking a box on the list is a waste of time. Instead, having the mindset of developing relationships will accelerate your efforts. An easy way to meet like-minded people is to join elite organizations within your desired industry.

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Many people join LinkedIn groups. Local chambers of commerce are a strong starting point for in-person and industry-related groups. Even though people now prefer in-person events, don’t overlook online communities—such as Opportunity, a networking community for job seekers and business professionals.

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5. YOLO Mindset
If you are despondent in your current role, work to improve your quality of life; it’s believing you deserve to live life to the fullest. Strategizing a career shift with a positive mindset clears any limiting ideas. This way of thinking helps you identify the slightest opportunity. Additionally, the YOLO mentality assists with taking calculated risks.

The year 2024 presents both challenges and opportunities for those contemplating a career change. By meticulously planning and executing a strategic transition, professionals can successfully navigate the shifting tides of the job market.

Embrace the journey as a catalyst for growth and seize the prospects awaiting in the evolving business landscape of 2024.

Follow Cheryl Robinson on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

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