When I was going through my rough patch (to be honest, I can’t think of a better word to describe this), I felt like I really didn’t have anyone to turn to. Don’t get me wrong, my friends, fiancé now husband and some of my family knew what I was going through, but they couldn’t relate. They could only sympathize and provide moral support, which I appreciated dearly, but the one thing that was missing was empathy.
I should mention that there were a couple of family members and a friend who could relate to my situation and I am truly grateful that they had taken the time to listen to me. It was somewhat of a double whammy because not only did I dread my previous job, I felt pretty lost as to what I wanted to do next.
I would like to share advice and the things I did more in detail that helped me go from a
dead-end monotonous job to a job in a thriving and innovative industry.*Update: I am currently running my own business providing consulting and team training services for small business owners. You may be in a similar situation and not really sure what to do, where to go and who to turn to. Some of this stuff may be nothing new, but sometimes you need to hear it or read it more than once in order for it to really sink in.
If all you care about is a just a steady job that pays the bills and supports your family, then stop reading. But if you care about having a job that is satisfying, rewarding- a job that challenges you, then this might be worth a read.
1. Go to meetups that relate to your interests
You’ll have a better chance of finding people who can relate to your situation, share your interests and can provide you with advice and resources. The meetups I attended had free admission, along with free food and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Of course, that wasn’t the reason I went to meetups. It was more to learn, get my face/name out there and network with people. It scared me to death, that was how much I needed a career change. I was willing to put myself out there, even though it scared me each and every time. It still does because once an introvert, always an introvert.
2. Take workshops and courses
Ideally in person, because this is yet another opportunity to network and promote yourself. What are you excited about? What triggers your curiosity? What do you want to learn more of? I may be biased when I say learn a digital skill, but it’s not just learning code -it can range from anywhere to learning how to use WordPress, PhotoShop, email marketing, Google Analytics, or social media.
3. Follow people who you think could provide you with advice on social media
4. Be RELENTLESS
Don’t give up, but be smart and strategic about quitting.
Don’t dwell on the setbacks.
Fight back and push even harder.
5. Create some sort of plan or list
A list of things to do, people to meet, places to go. Schedule it in your personal calendar so that’s real. Review it on a regular basis and update it when necessary.
6. Look beyond your existing circle of friends/connections and look who they’re connected to
LinkedIn is a good place for that. My network of people who worked in the tech and/or startup or industry was almost non-existent. When it came to people who have undergone major career changes or were contemplating them, there was literally no one to turn to. My friends and family work in jobs that relate to their degrees and have stayed at their jobs or in the industry for quite some time. They are people who have lower risk tolerances and prefer stability.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that- I used to be the same, but then everything changed.
7. Read books that not only inform you but INSPIRE you
Two books I recommend are Linchpin: Are You Indispensable and The Dip by Seth Godin. Listen to podcasts. I’m currently listening to The Coffee Commute – created by the founders of The Rising Tide Society. I would read books and listen to podcasts during my lunch and breaks at my old job to help me get through the day.
8. Know that you aren’t alone
I used to think that because none of my friends and family really could relate what I was going through. But if you read the blogs and listen to the podcasts, you’ll realize that you aren’t. There are so many other people out there who are going through it or who have been through it already, even more than once.
9. Ask questions
And then ask some more. And then even more.
10. Start a blog
You never know where it may take you or what kind of opportunities it could bring you.
And finally, know that
11. You will get through this
and it will pass, but only if you are willing to make the sacrifices and to be relentless, resilient and persistent. Don’t ever be idle- it’s the worst thing you can do. You owe it to yourself and to your loved ones to be happy and have a satisfying job.
I know it’s difficult. I get it. There’s so much to learn. I’m still learning. I still don’t know what I want to do or what my dream job is. I haven’t “figured it out” completely.