3 Ways To Meaningfully Transition Your Career

A year ago, I resigned from my Strategy/Bus Dev role in Oil & Gas.

I just had a baby, and my goal was to redesign my life with more intention.

I didn’t want to have to physically go into an office every single day or have to dash out and commute through Lagos traffic. I just wanted to watch my baby grow and have my body heal from the amazing miracle of pregnancy and childbirth.

I also wanted to do work that mattered, where I could clearly see measurable growth and impact. At the time, my work was no longer appreciated and it felt like I was doing task related activities not result driven activities, so I resigned (with nothing in sight).

In 3 weeks, I got an offer for a non-technical role in a tech startup, which I absolutely love.

Here are my 3 killer tips for transitioning careers successfully:

1. Know your Why, i.e. your “ideal” end goal

To switch to a career path you like/enjoy/want, it’s a no-brainer that you would need to be able to identify where you want to go. The question, Why do you want a change is a key question you’ve got to be able to answer. I believe very much in owning one’s journey, so a career transition should not be about what is “popular”, it should be what matters to you.

2. Identify your current skills and gaps (if any)

Take some time to conduct a skill self-assessment, think technical skills and soft skills. List out what you currently do well, and list out what you’ll need to learn, and figure out how to fill this gap to get you closer to your end goal.

It might take a month, 3 months, or 6 months. Don’t get overwhelmed about it, just try to follow through. Remember, do not be afraid of growing slowly, be afraid of standing still.

Whatever yours is, it might mean getting certified in a course or getting trained before you can make the switch. Embrace it and take action.

3. Take a chance on yourself

I got my current role by talking to a friend. It was a very basic chat. Yo! I’m looking for xyz and the rest is history. So overall, I’d say believe in yourself, put the word out. Closed mouths don’t get fed.

Don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you from enjoying new happiness instead of familiar misery.

Wish you all the best with transitioning!

I love this! Thank you for sharing! For 2) how did you go about? Did you ask your loved ones? Some ex-colleague who knew you and your capabilities? How did you get your current role :)?
My pleasure, iynna. For 2) It took about a year to complete this assessment. I started off with asking my ex-colleagues, those I worked with directly and the HR. I wrote down every skill they mentioned and figured out the recurring ones. Then I did my own reflection to draw my strengths and top skills. I’ll see if I can draw up a framework and share some time. For my current role, I chatted a founder friend in Nov 2021 that I was looking for a new role/opportunity. In Dec, he reached out for an opening in his startup but didn’t work out (role wasn’t a fit for me). Then, in Jan 2022, he reached out again, this one was a perfect blend of my skillset and experience. Started the role in Feb, and it’s been one jolly ride. The role was never advertised and it’s why I suggest strongly that people should leverage their personal and professional network when looking for jobs.
Thanks so much for sharing your thorough process with us! I love that you really leverage people who have seen you at work, very important! I And congratulations on the role, 10000% agree you on leaning on network (the phrase "your network is your net worth" couldn't be any truer!)How are you enjoying it and what does the role entail?
This is great! Thanks for sharing! Are you still working in Strategy/Bus Dev for the start up or did you switch completely to a different type of role? And back when you were job hunting did you tell all your friends (close and not close) what type of work you were looking for and do an online job search?
Great tips :) The first one is *everything* - your compass, your north star, your motivator and source of direction. A few thoughts to add:- don't be shy to ask for support (being it from your family in terms of energy & emotional support, your mentors/coaches to look for the next steps, or your network to support you in finding the new opportunities) - and look for like-minded tribe to inspire you (especially if people around you are not so open or used to career transitions) - learn to tell your story - for your network your sudden career change (and it can even feel like identity change :D) might feel confusing - help them understand the whole story of that transition, and they will be better able and willing to support you :) - awaken your excitement about it :) - while there might be some concerns or even fear, in the end this is a beginning of a BIG new chapter - enjoy that unique moment and remember to celebrate small victories :)