Model Citizens Magazine

The Year of Career Pivots by Model Citizens

Did you recently lose your job? Or maybe working from home has given you the physical and mental distance from your job and you’re not sure you want to go back? If you’re thinking it’s time to do something new, you’re not alone. Millions of employees are considering an industry career change after COVID-19 settles down. But knowing you need to make a change and actually making that change are two totally different things. Most need to be brave and have courage when looking at new changes to their careers. Almost everyone who lost their job knows the old saying “When one door closes another door opens”. Now if ever is the time to explore self-employment opportunities as finding a new job with an actual paycheck that supports your financial needs may be much harder to find than most think.

Millions of Americans who were laid off have not had any luck at all finding a new job and they have no choice but to start a business or freelance as a contract worker. Other’s however, are embracing the opportunity to change their destiny by starting their own businesses and entering the growing ranks of the self-employed.

Quarantine time forced many of us to stay indoors and gives us time for introspection,” publisher of Model Citizens Magazine says. “Ask yourself, ‘Am I doing a job or am I on a career path? And what do I want to do next?” Changing course can be very exciting, but it can also feel overwhelming.

Here are some important factors to consider:

“The most successful second acts involve finding a life of meaning and purpose,” says Dowling “To make a career change, you need to understand your skills”. You may have many strengths, but you need self-awareness to bring them forth and give your gifts to your community. What are you passionate about, and what value do you bring?

To create a more complete picture, ask colleagues, family, and friends what they consider your skills to be. Too often we don’t recognize our own talents or experiences. You’ll likely surprise yourself at the collection of skills you built over the years.
Once you’ve developed a list, find a common thread or skills that are complementary. Some of the best paths forward happen when you have a skill stack that combines your talents in a way that sets you apart.

Once you go through the discovery process, look at your lists and experiences differently to determine how they’re relevant today. You may need to acquire new skills. No matter what skills you bring, if the market isn’t hiring them, then they’re of no use, Scan the market to look at what new trends and opportunities are out there and how you can fill a need of your current contacts.

For example, an event marketing manager may no longer be able to do their job given all of the cancelations of events. They could pivot their career and look for new market opportunities. Almost every company now needs social media marketing expertise. Or take a bigger pivot. Somebody in the customer service industry most likely has good empathy and communication skills. They can take their verbal skills and pivot to something related, such as a remote personal assistant to many new entrepreneurs.

To implement your new plan and career, you have to answer the question: Why me? This includes branding yourself, as an industry guru. If you don’t tell your story in a way that allows others to see your value proposition quickly and professionally, people will just assume you have no choice, not that you are uniquely qualified to provide support and services superior to what they are getting now.

Be able to tell others your value, why you do what you do, and how you do it differently and better than others. Every career pivot involves multiple roadblocks and challenges, but successful entrepreneurs are both flexible and creative in overcoming these objections and roadblocks. Having an economic cushion can help you slowly ramp up your new venture. A new path often delivers a smaller paycheck at first, but much greater happiness, start small and mitigate your own and your new customers’ risk.

Over time take on more and more clients balancing the tasks and workload with a steady delivery of your services. Constantly look at your processes and procedures and come up with a workflow that is renewable so it becomes a real methodology for success. Making it in today’s new economy as a self-employed entrepreneur may be nerve-racking but so is getting laid off at any time without notice. Most employees now realize that there is no such thing as job security anymore in this world of catastrophic pandemics and natural disasters. Making it in new business as an entrepreneur means that you will always have a job that on one can take away from you even in a pandemic and there are always needs that have to be fulfilled.

Don’t sell yourself short and do not allow fear to drive you back to your old job or one that will not provide you with a fair income and security. The fastest-growing part of our economy is self-employed entrepreneurs for a reason, most work harder and smarter when they are responsible for delivery and the income that comes with that.

Chapters of Love Chasing Sunrise first audiobook chapter 1- produced and narrated by the author and publisher of Model Citizens Magazine, John Joseph Dowling Jr.

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