Today we’ll talk through what the Career Change Process really looks like from start to finish.
What does it actually take to go from where you are today to get to the career that you want to be in?
At a high-level, you first need to understand what jobs are most in demand today and who's hiring for them. Look at those companies and reflect on which ones best align with both the value that you can bring to the marketplace but it also which companies are a great fit for you as well. Ultimately, you're making this change so that you can be happier, healthier and live a life that you can be proud of.
At the intersection of these jobs and available positions at companies, you can identify the skills that you need in order to get the dream job that you desire. You can look at the course providers that we have outlined on the website that show you who to learn from, which provider has the best classes that meet your needs, your budget, and your time.
Once you've actually taken the courses and learned the curriculum, you need to build upon those experiences so that you can continue building a portfolio that will really speak impressively to the recruiters in the interview. Too many times candidates take online classes, they earn their degree (or certificate) that comes with the online course, and they think that's enough to get the job. Ultimately what makes you a great candidate, what gets you hired and helps you stand apart from everybody else, are the projects that you work on and the experience that you gain on your own beyond just the online classes; beyond just the curriculum that everybody can take just the same as you did. What projects are you working on how are you learning and growing? What have you done to problem solve? Ultimately they want you to be very independent when you get this job. They want you to be able to solve your own problems to see challenges before they arrive and all that really comes from experience. So a very important piece of this is the projects that you work on beyond the scope of the class.
Once you are primed and ready for the interview, work with WehnerEd. We can compose and fine-tune versions of your resume and CV. We could go through mock interviews and give you a lot of great feedback so that when a big day comes you can really knock it out of the park. Then, after receiving an offer we can talk to you how to negotiate. How do you make sure that the opportunity is rewarding you in the ways that you need to live the lifestyle that you deserve? Once you're actually in the job let's understand how you can continue to grow and learn so that you continue getting out of this job what you desired originally and got you moving in this direction in the first place.
Let's take a little bit deeper in each of these steps.
Step One is finding out which of these jobs have the most openings right now but also have a line of sight to continue for the years to come. I was recently traveling and saw many of the shops and cafes had now hiring signs in the window. These aren't the types of jobs that I'm referring to but rather the types of roles that will continue to challenge and reward you throughout your career. In episode 2 of this podcast, we discussed some of the fastest growing digital jobs and covered even more on our website beyond the scope of that episode. These are digital jobs at companies are seeking to help them stay relevant in today's digital world. You don't want to be getting into manufacturing jobs with the rise of robotics. You don't want to be getting into service-type jobs that are just being out-sourced. So what sorts of skills do you need and what sorts of jobs should you be looking at to really make yourself indispensable for decades to come?
Step two after that is understanding what careers are right for you within those jobs that are the most in demand? Part of the equation is understanding what companies you want to work for and which of those align with your beliefs and your interests. It's more than just taking personality tests like were used in the olden days. I mean, the reason that you're learning skills that can apply to any industry is so that you can choose a company to work for that you can really resonate with, one that aligns with your beliefs, and one that works on products and services that really matter to you. You’re learning a transferable set of skills that you can go work for whomever you'd like.
[After doing your research] You now have an understanding of who you'd like to work for and what type of job you'd like to contribute with. Take a look at our website. We have learning plans that outline both the skills you need to learn for those jobs but also who are the course providers that you should be earning those skills from. You have different options like boot camps you have MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses, you have classes that are taught by professionals on Udemy.com or many other countless providers that create content that you can learn from. All of them have differences that may or may not fit your lifestyle.
• They may not fit your budget.
• They may not fit how much time you have available to allot
• They operate on a specific schedule that doesn't fit your full-time job or other priorities in your life.
So by looking at the recommendations that we have on the website, or by meeting with a consultant 1-on-1, we can create a learning plan specifically for you that matches your needs and your interest to help you get jump started on to that career change as quickly and simply as possible.
We also have information about how you can stand out from the crowd.
• How do you make your resume stand out?
• How do you stand out in an interview?
• What sorts of language should you use when sending a LinkedIn message to recruiters?
Again, all those things are steps in the process of getting you where you are today to where you want to be. Our website is a great source of information as are our learning plans, but there are of course many others that you could look at it as well.
• Course Report, for example, is a great resource for coding bootcamps.
• Class Central is a great resource for MOOCs, which are free courses offered by universities to you over the internet to get access to a lot of the same recorded lectures that students pay tens of thousands of dollars for and the assignments that they complete for homework in for projects in those classes as well.
Both of those are great options for you to learn in the comfort of your own home and earn your way to being desirable for the jobs that you're after. Further, you can look at other websites that do question & answer formats like Quora and Reddit. On both of those sites you're able to ask questions or review questions others have asked if you are looking for more direction. Are the Udacity classes worthwhile? Why would I pay for a boot camp over other alternatives? Of course we answer all those questions in our 1-on-1 coaching sessions but if you want to try and test the water some of your own it first, do a quick Google search or visit those sites to see what other people are asking, and who are facing some of the same questions the same hurdles that you are if you're a little reluctant to come directly to us.
Okay so now you have all that you need to get started. It's time to take the leap!
Stop standing on the sidelines. The key to getting ahead is getting started. Enroll in the classes that are going to get you to the position that you want to be in. Set goals for yourself and make mini milestones within those classes so that you can reward yourself as you move along. I know it can be tough to get back into learning if you've been out for a while. Keep focused and remind yourself of your bigger goals and why you need to push through the struggle. Overcoming struggle is a true sign of growth. Make sure that you are keeping aligned with why you're getting into this so that you can stay motivated and can work on the evenings when you want to come home and put your feet up. If a career change is really an important goal for you, make it a priority and make the right choices to get you to where you want to be. In these classes are the basic skills, but those alone aren't going to be enough.
Practice and apply your learning in new ways outside of the course curriculum. Research how others are continuing to learn and grow to become masters of the skills as well. Pursue personal projects. What can you do that align with your hobbies? What can you do what can you do beyond what the projects are in the class to help you become even better? You're trying to become the best candidate for the job. If you really want to work at Google, if you really want to go work at Pinterest or at this company or that company, make sure that you are the candidate that gets hired instead of somebody else because you went the extra mile. Because you took initiative. Because you're doing things beyond just going through the online course. You can’t only do the minimum, [strictly what's required] quickly move on, and expect to get big results. You're going to have to do some more on your own in order to become the person that they'll want to hire. Teach others to solidify what you've learned. Most of all, build up all of this experience and make a portfolio that will impress your future employers and recruiters.
Now you've built all the experience and you've taken all the classes. You're ready to jump in and start applying for jobs. It's time to update your resume. You can start by searching for examples on Google I know I've done several searches on Google images for “great resume” “perfect resume” “ideal resume” “best resume” whatever it is that you want to search for so that you can see some of those examples of what are people posting about what are the types of things on your resume should read like. You can read our blog posts on WehnerEd.com where we give plenty of advice there, or you can set up a 1-on-1 coaching session where we can walk through your resume line by line and retool it to make it successful; to make it the kind of resume that really pops out to recruiters.
It comes down to how do you stand out to the recruiters personally? These days most of the interaction with recruiters happens digitally and so having your resume stand out on its own having your CV stand out on its own are big portions of it. Once you're actually talking with these recruiters, (you maybe meet at career fair or you're trying to send messages back and forth on LinkedIn) how do you stand out digitally when you're just a name behind a computer screen? Those are some of the things that we can talk through as well and maybe we will cover some of those in a future podcast episode as well. To successfully earn the interview, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter. What are they being measured on in their job? When you think about it, they are working for the corporate leadership and their job is to bring in the best talent to help the business be successful. “We need to grow our digital presence here so we need to hire these types of jobs to help get us to where we want to be.”
You need to be the candidate that makes that recruiter look good. When a manager looks at a new hire and says, “wow this person's really impressive who hired them!?” The recruiter wants to be the person that looks good. They want somebody that brings energy into the business. Someone that inspires others. Someone who brings new knowledge in. They're looking for somebody that helps keep the company new, relevant and fresh so that they can continue being very competitive in their marketplace. Think about the types of things that the recruiter is going to be evaluating you on so that you can put your best foot forward and be an ideal candidate.
Now it comes down to winning the interview. You've gotten through the big hurdles. You've learned the skills. You've mastered the skills for the specific job that you're going after and now you've stood out to recruiters as well so that you can see them face to face in the interview. You can meet the hiring manager. You can ask questions about the team that you'll be working with. How do you navigate the interview and how do you come out as the candidate they choose as opposed to all the other candidates that they also interviewed who didn't get the job? Do your research ahead of time to understand the company, to understand what types of questions you should be asking, to understand what they're looking for so that you can be the best representative and be the best candidate the interview.
Now that you've gotten the job offer, how do you effectively negotiate? What are the dos and don'ts that will make the negotiation process successful? How do you leverage the unique skills that you bring to the table that can turn into more benefits for you more than what they had planned to compensate you for this job? If you think about it, you can negotiate for more than just salary. You can negotiate for more paid time off and annual bonus. Maybe a faster review cycle maybe every 6 months instead of every year so that you can get more frequent raises. What are the things that are important to you that you could negotiate on, beyond just salary? While salary is important, it's generally something that companies are more rigid about when hiring a candidate. They say “really, it's out of my control. People several layers up from me set it, and this is what the job is able to pay you in salary.” Instead, negotiate other things to expand and help you get more out of this job. As I’ve mentioned before, what you're paid reflects the value you bring to the business, but always make sure the business is taking care of you and your needs.
Once you've been in the role for a while, how do you continue succeeding and growing in that job? How do you continue staying fulfilled? Are you learning new things? Are you growing the amount of influence that you have? Are you earning more respect from your peers? Are you expanding into new projects that continue to challenge you in new ways? What are the big picture goals that you're working toward personally and how is what you doing today really helping you to achieve those things?
These steps together make up the career change process to get from where you are today into a new role, and continuing to succeed and grow into the future for the decades to come. It’s an overall view of some of the things that are covered on WehnerEd. If you're trying to change careers,
• how do you go from point A today to point B?
• How do you identify where you want to be?
• How do you prepare yourself to get in that direction?
• What do you actually do for the studying and preparation portion of it?
• How do you successfully go through the interview process, negotiations, and ultimately find great success and fulfillment in that job?
Again, thanks for taking the time to listen to us today! I hope this overview of the career change process has been helpful. Depending on where you are in the process, of course, WehnerEd exists to help you through this process. We want you to realize your best self. We want you to feel more fulfilled and satisfied with the job that you do day-in and day-out. Ultimately, how you spend the majority of your waking hours in your life is in your career and what you are contributing day in and day out.
Reach out to us to let us know how we can and help you along that journey. Check out the resources that we have on the website and of course, we'll have more podcasts coming.
You can submit your questions through the contact-us page on WehnerEd.com and look forward to hearing from you!
The Career Hacking Podcast strives to make our content as interesting and approachable as it is helpful. If you found this episode beneficial, please share it with your peers and consider supporting us at patreon.com/WehnerEd. You can find additional resources, show notes, or receive personalized 1-on-1 career coaching through our website.
Thanks for tagging along, and we'll talk soon!