In today's episode we'll answer a question from Lauren, all the way in Australia. Who writes “Hello WehnerEd, I've been thinking of changing careers for a while but I can't determine when exactly is the right time to take the leap and ditch my current job. It’s terrifying to think about. But I guess it has to happen at some point. Thanks, Lauren.”
Well Lauren thanks for sending us a message. Unfortunately I don't have a magic answer that works in every situation. Hopefully I can share a few anecdotes that can give context for other folks of when they decide it was the right time for them to take the leap that you can apply to your situation.
I'll start with a bit about my story. Earlier in 2017 I was still working for a corporation. I was in a job that was fulfilling. I made health care products for people that either have or are suspected of having cancer. And those products were able to make diagnoses that could improve quality of life or even extend life for those patients. It was a very fulfilling role and I worked with folks that I enjoyed working with day in and day out. I was paid very well and ultimately it was a great position for any number of people. Ultimately, for me, it didn't check all the boxes that I was looking to satisfy and I knew that I needed to make a change.
I came to this realization around the end of last year and wasn't really sure when I should take the leap or what that next step should really look like. I was very much in the same shoes as you just a year ago.
To give you a bit of background, a quote that really guides how I try to live my life is by Jackie Robinson; the first black baseball player in the major leagues. On his tombstone it says “a life is only as important as the impact it has in other's lives.” While I felt like the role that I had in making health care equipment did have a substantial impact on other's lives, the work that I actually contributed was so far removed from that impact and it was hard for me to justify the number of hours and the amount of stress that I endured in order to contribute in that role. The effort required for me to be successful in that role wasn’t sustainable.
I wanted my work to continue to positively impact others. But needed to identify a new way to fulfill that desire. While looking for new jobs to apply my skills and doing a bit of soul-searching, I discovered that I also have a passion for education. It was at this intersection [of education and helping others] that the idea for starting WehnerEd was born. Although eager to dive right in and start the company right away, I knew that I wasn't yet prepared with the knowledge that I needed to make a small business successful on my own. I was coming from a company with hundreds of thousands of employees and it was a little daunting to dive into a business where I would be the only employee. I immediately started off trying to learn as much as I could in order to prepare myself for that right moment to take the leap. Fast forward several months later and I had specifics of the business more fleshed-out. Products and solutions tested with would-be customers, a refined viable business plan and a clear path to make the business profitable over the months to come.
All of this seemed to move along very slowly at the time, because I was still working full time in my corporate position and only forming WehnerEd in the evenings after hours. A few more months went by as I continued to learn and honed the necessary skills to be a startup business owner. WehnerEd was continuing to ramp up and I began to hire new team members to support the growing efforts. I reached the point where my preparation was paying off and I finally felt ready to take the leap and leave the corporate world for good.
Getting back to Lauren's question and how this relates to you. Although I realized over a year ago that I needed a career change, six months went by before I actually took action. While my example may not apply to you specifically, the underlying fundamentals certainly do. If you are also feeling that you can do better than the job you are in today. Take time to think through what you can improve with a new role. Research in-demand jobs to see if any of them interest you or speak with a WehnerEd consultant to find somewhere that well suits your needs. Just as I took a long time to train and prepare myself for what's next, you too should identify what talents you need to grow and master and then go out and make it happen. My alternative to my full time job took months to ramp up before it reached a level where I was comfortable to take the leap. As you prepare for what's next, whether that's learning a new skill online or just revamping a resume to optimize the story your experiences tell. You too should ramp up your readiness until you feel ready to take the leap as well.
This also applies of those that are currently unemployed and are seeking employment of any kind. The key to making it happen is to take the first action. Carve out a few minutes tonight or tomorrow to turn off the TV, hide your phone and identify what you would like your career to look like. Go ahead take a moment now to set an alarm for later tonight.
Good to go?
Now visit www.WehnerEd.com or other sites if you prefer to find jobs that enable you to achieve the items on your list. Quickly research the new skills, if any, you need to learn in order to develop and prepare yourself for this new job. Understanding the steps involved to get you from where you are today to where you want to be is critical, if you actually want to make this happen.
If you have the momentum tonight and can keep going!
Take a moment to understand which resources whether an online education provider, resume workshops or others you will need in order to prepare yourself for what's next. If you need to stop and pick this up at another moment, go ahead and set an alarm for tomorrow. Your future self will thank you.
Finally now that you understand which resources you will need to prepare yourself for what's next, draw out a rough timeline in which you'll make it happen. This preparation is key if you ever want to feel ready to take the leap.
And that's it! Now you're ready to start your journey toward a new career. If any of these steps are unclear or if you'd like us to elaborate please leave a comment on this podcast web page or check out the resources on our site. If instead you would like personalized support from our team to initiate your career change, please don't hesitate to reach out to us via our contact us page.
Thanks again for taking the time to listen to this episode. Feel free to leave your comments and feedback on the podcast page on our website. As always if you have questions that you would like to submit to the career hacking podcast, feel free to send us a tweet @Wehner_Ed or send us a note through our contact page on our website, WehnerEd.com.
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