5 Career Change Tips + 1 Not-So-Cautionary Tale
Have y’all noticed that things have changed a lot in the past couple of years?!
Yeah, we thought so.
If part all of this change has gotten you thinking about making changes of your own, you are not alone! If you are considering joining the millions of people (seriously, millions) who have voluntarily left their jobs recently, this post is for you!
Here are our five best practical tips for making a shift in your career:
Use your resources and your network! Reach out to job recruiters and use sites like Indeed and Zip Recruiter to see what’s out there. Also, it is true what they say - the best jobs are often not even posted. Tell the people you know and trust that you are looking for a change so that they can keep an eye out for opportunities on your behalf!
Research the companies you want to work for on their websites, social media channels, and on places like Glassdoor, where you can get honest reviews and salary information. Take notes on anything you genuinely find interesting about the business, as well as anything you would need to learn before you could decide that they’d be a good fit for you. If you like what you’re seeing, tailor your resume to what the company is looking for - use the same keywords they have used on their job posting to connect your experience directly to what they need. But please, always be honest!
Prepare thoroughly for your interview, including rehearsing your answers to common questions. Review your resume and portfolio for important talking points, and review the research you have done on the company for questions you want to ask. Boil it all down to the key points you want to remember and then come up with a mnemonic device so you can keep them top of mind, even if you’re sweating it during the interview!
Advocate for yourself, your time, your benefits, and your salary - now is the time to do it! Know your strengths and your worth, and know what is being offered elsewhere (Hi again, Glassdoor!) Come to your interview prepared so that you can get what you truly need.
Our best reminder: Remember that you are interviewing this company, too. It matters just as much what you think of them as what they think of you. Oh, and an extra reminder: Trust your gut!
With all of this in mind, you can walk into your next job interview confident and well-equipped to make a change that’s right for you!
But what about when all of the tips and tricks in the world still fall short? What about when - no matter how logical something sounds or how good it looks on paper - you just know that something isn’t right and you really don’t know what to do?
It’s time for that story we promised.
Our Uncommon Creative, Sarah (or as many of you know her, Sal), has recently launched a business of her own, Koala Creative LLC! This news is definitely worth a happy dance - or ten! - but it also comes with really difficult decisions and a load of uncertainty. She’s here to tell us about how she got here and what is happening right now. It’s so early in the game, and if we trust anyone to share this barely blooming story with, it is you!
- What I knew going in -
It’s still pretty difficult to write about this, so thank you for wading through it with me. What I will share is that it had become obvious to me - in no uncertain terms, many times over - that I needed to take care of myself. I knew that that meant I needed to make significant changes to my daily life in order to have a chance of getting my well-being and mental health back on track. It no longer felt like a choice.
No matter how stable my working life could have seemed from the outside, I felt shaky on every level. I’ll pause here and say that if you are feeling like this, you are not alone. In fact, you can reach out to me personally if you’d ever like to talk about it. I mean it. I’d be happy to tell you that things can get better, and I encourage you to get the help you need with the resources you have.
- Getting clear -
From the beginning, what has helped me is to get really honest about my intentions. I needed to tell myself the whole truth, no matter how crazy or selfish it sounded. My intentions include things like slowing down, taking a step back from what is traditionally expected, assessing what actually works for me and what does not, being creative in any way that makes me feel alive, and shifting my focus from doing things all the time to being okay with just being. Ya know what I mean!?
I wrote my intentions down, and I revisit them often. I write new intentions as my ideas evolve, too. It has helped me to get clear and to stay clear on what really matters.
- How I prepared -
So we’re all adults here, and we have very real responsibilities and very real bills. That said, I needed to prepare for several things, so here’s what I’ve done:
Financially: We are fortunate to be at a point in our lives where we have six months of financial security. Meaning, if I make zero dollars, my husband’s job and our savings can sustain us, even in an expensive city like Seattle.
Emotionally: It helps me to think through any foreseeable variables ahead of any big decision. I planned to rest my first week in business - yes, rest! - because it also seemed very likely that I would get sick (which thankfully, did not happen!). As I mentioned, we live in the Seattle area, and the winter months are the rainiest, gloomiest days where you’re most likely to forget that the sun even exists. Knowing this, I was mentally prepared to feel some seasonal depression. Thankfully, that was mild and manageable. I share all of this because thinking through how I might feel ahead of time has given me room to show myself some grace, and I hope that you can find some grace for yourself, too.
Logistically: What’s the backup plan? Well, friends, the main factor in all of this is our finances. If at the end of these first six months, I need to get a part-time, full-time, or temporary job, I know that it does not mean that I have failed. It also does not mean that the business has to stop entirely. I can assess what we need, and I trust myself to make choices, no matter how difficult. Plus, I can find employment using any of the tips laid out above :)
- What it looks like now -
Koala Creative LLC officially started on January 1st of this year, 2022. So we are a whopping 38 business days into this thing, people! It’s a slow start to getting new business, which I can appreciate at this stage in the process. No one is waiting on me yet. So if I need to take five minutes to breathe when I feel anxious, I do that. If I need a break from my computer because I have a burst of energy, I have a dance party. Real quick - Guys, HAVE YOU HEARD THIS MASHUP?
I’m feeling more steady, more clear, and more like myself. Having made these difficult decisions to leave behind what doesn’t work for me, I’m incredibly grateful for how simple the things I really need have turned out to be. Truly, sometimes all I need is to go for a walk to clear my head, gain some awesome ideas, and remember that I’ll be okay. I hope that you, too, can feel empowered to trust what you need, think outside of the box of traditional expectations, and take even small steps toward a life that truly belongs to you. You are the one living it, after all.
. . .
To wrap up, we at Uncommon would like to encourage you to take care of YOU. You have a purpose (or maybe you have many!), and you need to be supported so that you can continue to support and serve others. It can be risky to make a change, and it can be just as risky to continue to do something that isn’t meant for you. No matter what, we are here to support you the entire way!
ALL our love and support,
The Uncommon Team