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I'm switching careers. Rebranding

September 28, 20234 min read

Sometimes people and things come into your life for a reason or for a season, but eventually come to pass.

Whether it’s a former friend, my Phillies 1993 NL Pennant Winners tee shirt, or that cassette tape collection of ‘80’s Greatest Hits, it’s helpful to know when it’s time to move on. So I hear.

Often, a career can work the same way. And it’s happening that way, now more than ever.

For a slew of reasons (many which are generationally new), it’s an increasing rarity that you’ll find someone stay in the same field – much less the same organization – until retirement.

For professional athletes, those beginning and end points are more predictable. By the time they reach 30, most pro athletes are retired. And for the majority of them, replacing that time with golf, bingo, and Golden Girls reruns for the next 50+ years is probably not a viable (or desirable) option.

Even if you didn’t play sports for a living, you’re not immune. More people are pivoting more often than ever before. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average person switches careers between 5-7 times during their working life.

I happen to be that average person, as well. It’s me. Hi. I’m the problem, it’s – well, you get the swift– er, drift. But it really shouldn’t be a problem. As many of us search for more meaning in our lives, transitioning into a new, purpose-driven career can – and should – be a deeply fulfilling experience. However, making such a shift can also be daunting, as it involves stepping out of our comfort zone and into uncharted territory.

With that said, in this week’s Top Four, we'll explore some important considerations to keep in mind when pivoting into that next defining role:

Top 4 Things to Consider When Changing Careers:

  • Identify your “Why”: Take some time to reflect on what matters most to you. What are your core values? What are you passionate about? Then figure out what roles that will align with. But a word of caution: This process may require a large does of humility. In many cases, purpose-driven careers may not pay as much (at least not initially) and probably won’t come with the same sexy, high-profile status. So be it. This is a new chapter in your life and, if it feels right to do it, the other perks will come over time with the right efforts made. Until then, consider how you can adjust your lifestyle and expectations accordingly.

  • Identify your “What”: You’ve already been successful in a prior role, so it’s simply a matter of figuring what talents helped you get to that point and which ones are transferable.

    Were you a good communicator? Were you considered a leader? Did you have a strong work ethic? Grace under pressure? All of these traits are industry agnostic. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out how the next opportunity will align with both those skills and your passions.

  • Identify your “Where”: Once you have a good understanding of your values and passions, start researching different industries and organizations that align with them. Look for companies that prioritize issues that you care about, be it social responsibility, environmental sustainability, or another cause you hold dear. From there, you can either reach out to them, or, if you’d rather scratch your entrepreneurial itch, figure out how to emulate their business model by understanding their target audience and what pain they are alleviating.

  • Identify your “Who”: Networking can be a valuable tool when making a career change. Reach out to people who are already working in your desired field and ask for their advice and insights. Ask to shadow them for a day, or speak to a satisfied client. A strong support system can be invaluable as you navigate a new career. Connect with like-minded individuals, join professional organizations, and seek out mentorship or coaching to help you stay motivated and on track.Better yet, get in front of the people you most want to serve. Figure out what’s keeping them up at night and where you can step in. Build a community that brings them all together. Remember: Every experience, even the ones that don't work out, can teach you something valuable. It's also an opportunity to align your work with your values and make a positive impact on the world.

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Jeff Glauser

Jeff Glauser has over 20 years of professional writing and personal/organizational leadership experience, along with a proven pedigree in sales management and instructive training. Upon graduating Jacksonville University with a BA in Journalism in 1999, he spent two years traveling the continent as an Educational Leadership Consultant for Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. From there, he earned his MFA in scriptwriting at the University of Miami’s School of TV and Motion Pictures.

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