Are you feeling stuck in your marketing career? Are you looking for a way to take your skills to the next level? If so, you’re not alone. Over the past few years, many women find themselves at a crossroads when it comes to their careers. They may feel like they’ve plateaued and are no longer growing professionally. Or, they may simply be bored with their current job and want something more challenging.
If you’re thinking about making a career change, this guide is for you! In it, we’ll discuss how to identify that it’s time for a change, what to expect when making the switch, and how to make the transition without formal experience. We’ll also dispel some of the myths that often prevent women from changing careers. So whether you’re feeling frustrated and uninspired at work or you don’t know what your next career step should be, this guide will help. Ready to start changing careers? Let’s do this!
Feeling stuck in your career and the steps to make the change
It can be discouraging and frustrating to feel stuck in your career, especially if you’ve been working in this field for many years. If you’re looking for a way to take your skills to the next level or simply want a change of pace, it may be time to consider making a career change.
According to a 2019 survey, 73% of women are looking to change careers. From wanting higher pay to wanting more excitement in their work, women are looking for new opportunities at a higher rate than ever. In the survey, women identified three main reasons for wanting to leave their job: 32% said they needed more pay, 16% said they wanted to find a career with a mission statement they believe in, and 13% cited burnout. Do any of those reasons resonate with you?
Whatever your reasons might be, take heart. Changing careers is not impossible – in fact, it can be an incredibly rewarding and exhilarating experience if you know what to expect along the way. Let’s cover some of the steps you need to take to successfully transition into a new career.
Step 1: Identify that it’s time for a change
Let’s start by identifying your “Why”: This refers to why you want to leave your current career in the first place. It’s important to take the time to really think about this and make sure you’re making the right decision. Some common reasons for wanting to change careers include:
– Feeling stuck in a job that no longer challenges or fulfills you
– Wanting higher pay or better benefits
– Looking for more opportunities for growth, including promotions and career advancement
– Looking for a career that aligns more closely with your personal values and beliefs
– Feeling burned out or disillusioned with your current job
It’s important to be honest with yourself about why you want to change careers – doing so will help you stay motivated throughout the process. Once you’ve identified your “Why,” it’s time to start thinking about what else might be motivating you. For example, perhaps you’re not just unhappy at work but also bored in general. Are there other parts of your life that need some attention? Sometimes making changes in one area of our lives can help us make positive changes in others too. Determining if it’s your job that makes you unhappy or if it’s the career path your own is critical for deciding the right next steps.
(See our 5 signs that it’s time to change careers guide)
Step 2: Research different career options
Once you’ve identified that it’s time for a career change, it’s time to start looking into different options. This step can be overwhelming – after all, you probably have no idea where to start! But don’t worry. There are many tools and resources out there that can help make the process easier. (Remembering your “why” can also provide a helpful map to navigate through many different options).
One good place to start is by talking to people in your network who work in fields that might interest you. These could include friends, family members, mentors, or even colleagues if you’re feeling brave. Talking with someone already working in your chosen field can provide valuable insight and give you a better sense of what a typical day at work might look like.
Another great resource is online job boards such as Indeed or LinkedIn. Here, you can browse listings for various careers and filter your search results based on criteria like location, salary, or job description. Additionally, you can sign up to receive email updates whenever new jobs that match your interests are posted. Try not to “doom-scroll” through. Limit yourself to 30-minutes a day on these sites, and use the rest of that time to remain proactive in your search through networking and submitting applications.
Finally, don’t forget about informational interviews! These are one-on-one meetings with someone who works in a field you’re interested in to gain more information and insight into their work experience. When scheduling an informational interview, try to find a time when the person isn’t too busy (such as early mornings or late afternoons) so you have their full attention. Asking thoughtful questions will help make the most of your meeting time. Some good ones include:
– What does a typical day at work look like for you?
– What was your career path like, and what inspired you to pursue this particular career?
– What do you see as the biggest challenges or opportunities facing people in your field today?
– How can someone new to the industry break into your field without experience or connections?
– Are there any professional organizations, certifications, or seminars that would be helpful for someone starting out in your field?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone to ask them questions. Be upfront with what you’re hoping they can help you with and the amount of time you’re asking for. Just like the community here at MarketHER, most people will be more than happy to help. In fact, studies show that we get more satisfaction from giving help than receiving it – through these conversations, you’re also giving others a positive chance to reflect on their own lives and careers.
Step 3: Gather relevant experience and skills
To successfully transition into a new career, it’s important that you have some relevant experience and skills under your belt. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to have years of work experience; even if you don’t currently hold a job related to your desired career, there are plenty of ways you can build the necessary skills and gain the experience you need.
For example, if you’re interested in a career in sales, consider taking a relevant online course or signing up for newsletters from top sales coaches. These platforms offer training and mentorship opportunities that will allow you to develop useful skills while building your professional network at the same time.
The marketing industry has the benefit of the option to pivot into another field within marketing. Lateral moves within an industry are a great way for professionals to keep their skills sharp and stay motivated. An example of this is switching from design to web development or account management.
(Want to pivot to a different field in marketing? Learn how here!)
At this point in your career change journey, you may feel uncertain about the next steps or unsure if you actually have what it takes to make the transition. But remember that everyone has their own unique set of strengths and weaknesses – so don’t get discouraged if you feel like you’re lacking in some areas. There’s no such thing as “perfect” when it comes to transitioning careers.
Instead, focus on your strengths and look for ways to leverage them as much as possible in your new career. This might mean taking additional training courses, networking with others in your field, or partnering up with a mentor who can offer support and guidance along the way. Remind yourself that you are brave for taking the path less traveled.
Expect the unexpected when changing careers.
One major misconception about making a career change is that you can simply “retrain” yourself with new skills and immediately find success in your new industry. Transitioning into a new field takes time and effort, and there will likely be some unexpected bumps along the way.
For example, if you’re making the switch from marketing to tech, you may experience a period of uncertainty during which you’re not sure what your next steps should be. You may also struggle with feelings of self-doubt or worry that you’ll never be able to pick up the necessary skills for your new career.
Instead of focusing on these potential setbacks, try to stay optimistic and focused on your goals. Take small steps each day toward building the skills you need to succeed in this new field, and reach out for support when needed. With time and effort, your confidence will grow as you progress in your new career path.
Dispel common myths about changing careers
Common myths about changing careers can hinder you from thinking about making the change. The reality is that most of the naysayers about changing careers believe in myths instead of experience. Here are some of the most common myths:
- You need years of experience to change careers: Many people mistakenly believe that you need to have years of experience in your desired field to transition successfully. However, this is simply not true – there are many ways that you can gain the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in a new career, even if you don’t currently have previous experience.
- You need a college degree for every career: Higher education is usually required for certain careers. It’s important to remember that there are other routes you can take as well. For example, if you’re interested in being a web developer but don’t hold a college degree, consider taking online courses, in-person coding “boot-camps” or seeking informal training opportunities from experienced professionals in your field.
- Changing careers will be challenging, but that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong choice. Another common myth about changing careers is that it’s impossible to avoid setbacks and that you’ll fall behind. Every career path comes with its own set of challenges – even the path you’re on now. Instead of focusing on potential setbacks, stay focused on your goals and work hard to achieve them.
- Changing careers is too risky: Some people may be hesitant to make a career change because they fear that it’s too risky or that they won’t achieve the same level of success in their new career. With the right mindset and planning, you can make a change into a more fulfilling career, including careers that pay more too!
- You have to know someone in your new field in order to make the transition: This is another common misconception about changing careers. While it’s sometimes helpful to have connections in your new field, this isn’t always necessary – you can easily build a network and gain the support you need to succeed by reaching out to others online or through networking events.
Making a career transition without experience
If you’re considering a career change but are worried about the lack of experience in your desired field, don’t give up just yet. There are many strategies you can use to transition into a new job or career without having worked in that field before.
First, start by researching the skills and qualifications most sought after for roles in your chosen industry. Then, identify any areas where your current skills may align with those requirements, even if they aren’t directly related to your desired field. For example, if you’re exploring a transition from marketing to tech and want to work on product design, focus on developing project management and communication skills that would be useful for this type of role. You could also supplement these existing strengths with online courses, workshops, and volunteer opportunities to build the experience and expertise you’ll need for success in your new career.
Additionally, consider looking for work as an intern or freelancer within your desired industry, even if it’s only on a part-time basis. This can help you gain valuable experience while also building your professional network and learning more about what a day-to-day job in this field might look like. If you’re looking for more tips on making the transition, check out our deep dive on how to do it here.
The benefits of changing careers
The benefits of making a career switch can be enormous, from gaining more fulfilling work to pushing past personal limitations and achieving professional success. If you’re considering a career change, don’t let your lack of experience or uncertainty about the transition hold you back. With tools like online courses, networking groups, and mentorships available to support you along the way, there are many pathways to success in a new field. So whether you’re making the leap into a new field or launching a new business venture, trust in yourself and the steps you’re taking each day to reach your goals. With time and effort, you’ll not only be able to make the transition into your chosen career with confidence, but you’ll also pave the way for others considering similar changes. You’ve got this!