Have you ever wondered how some people can completely change the trajectory of their careers and make it look easy? Are you looking to do the same?
You can change your future by simply picking a new direction, leaning into the skills you already have, and focusing on the power of networking.
A few years ago, I felt trapped in my job. I watched friends travel the world while I was tied to the office. I knew I had to make a change if I ever wanted to experience the world in my own way.
Here’s the three-step process I used to go from being stuck in an office as a financial advisor to traveling the world while working as a cloud security consultant.
1. Pick a Direction
The possibilities are endless. Choosing what you want to do can be tricky before you know all your options. If you know you want to be in technology and have a general direction, that’s all you need to start. Take inventory of your skills and which ones you enjoy using. Not all roles in technology require coding! With this information, use job boards to research what types of technology jobs align with your identified skills. In my case, I had a risk management background that aligned perfectly with Information Security and gave me something to work towards.
2. Take action
Using job descriptions for roles you think you might like, see what additional skills are required. With this information, start using YouTube or other learning platforms to fill in your skill gaps. Whether these skills end up helping you for this first step or later down the line, get started now. Many skillsets in technology roles overlap. Even if you learn one now that might not entirely align with your next role, it’ll come in handy somewhere. I promise. I started with security but fell in love with Cloud after spending time in the field. The overlap of those two skill sets has led to a perfect fit I wasn’t aware of 5 years ago.
Networking is so important and can get you far in any career. Join networking groups that align with the direction you choose. And even ones that align with other interests of yours. You never know who may be the person to help you get that next job. In my case, it was a coworker whom I had met through volunteer work. Her introductions changed my life.
Not only does networking give you an “in,” but it also fosters learning and growth. Build a network that you feel comfortable speaking openly with. You can do this by being active in the community! Don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance from those who have been in your shoes. And don’t forget to pay it forward once you reach your goal.
The best part about this process is it’s iterative. Continue networking to learn the industry and forge strong connections. The skills you already have can get you further than you think. Continue building them while pivoting to a career you love or maybe into that new promotion. Choose your direction, build your network, and change your life!