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Five steps to another profession

A person who lost his job suddenly had a chance to start all over again and open himself anew.


Ian Torissi-Mokua, founder of the American consulting company Congruence, Inc., once worked as an HR director at a major manufacturing company. When this company was absorbed by a strong competitor, it had to weigh its potential for transition to another industry and change of occupation. But in the end, instead of leaving HR, she opened her own consulting company that specializes in personnel consulting. 

For many of those who for one reason or another lost their jobs, this event did not become a career crash. Rather, the opposite: a person suddenly had a chance to start all over again and rediscover himself, and from those who could use such a gift of fate, one can often hear that "the loss of work was the best event in their lives." 

But in striving to “engage” with the old life and engage in work “for the soul”, it is important not to let emotions lead us far. Imagine that you love fishing and want to open a commercial fishing station. Before you sell your apartment and start a new business with the money you earned, it is very important to test your abilities in managing the fishing industry, to be convinced of your abilities and capabilities, to see if you really want this. Not every sales manager can become a sailboat builder. 

If you thoroughly approach the change of professional activity, you will have to take the following five steps. 

Step one 

Understand your desires and clearly answer the question: “What do I want?”. This step involves intense self-reflection. We must ask ourselves: “What are my talents, what can I do well, with interest and drive?” Most people are not used to analyzing themselves and find that it is not so easy to do it. Many of us are able to carefully plan a vacation, but not a career. You may need professional help in this matter, and here you can recommend several books that will help you discover hidden opportunities and unique talents. First of all it is "What color is your parachute" by Richard Bolles (Richard Bolles) and Timber Butler and James Waldroop's "Discovering Your Career in Business" by Tim Butler and James Waldroop. 

Step two 

Weigh your desires and dreams, give them a sober assessment. This is perhaps the main thing in the process of changing the type of activity. Probably, your grandmother told you: “Choose any profession, if only it would be to your liking”. No doubt Grandma loves you, but you should take her advice more thoughtfully. Let's go back to the fishery example. Before buying a fishing camp, you should analyze the skills that you may need in order to run this farm. Will you be able to patch the leaking roof of the cabin? Do you know how to fix off-board navigation engines? What about bookkeeping? How will you advertise your services? "Unwind" this company? Can you plan a reasonable pricing policy taking into account the prices of competitors? Caution and prudence will not be superfluous when deciding on a change of profession, so you need to give the most sober assessment of their desires. You can draw an analogy with the test drive of the car before you buy, during which you should carefully study it and listen to those who already have experience of driving this car. 

Step Three 

Tell us about your desire to change your profession to others. Career ambitions are not embodied in a vacuum. It is very useful not only to verbalize your desires, but also to voice them in public and listen to what others say. When we “pull out” our desires and bring them to a conscious level, they become more real and conscious. 

For those who have already left work, friends and family are the best circle to discuss. On the one hand, you can be supported in your intentions, but they can also restrain your impulse and prevent a rash step. If you are still working at the same place, but you feel that it is time to change your occupation, we can recommend that you talk to your employer. This conversation will be useful for you and for him. Nowadays, when many companies are undergoing staff reductions and mergers with other corporations, many employees feel vulnerable. Therefore, companies no longer rely on the unshakable loyalty of their employees, who know that they have to be responsible for their own future. If you and your employer together weigh your desires, dreams and goals, you have a chance to find a future right in the company where you already work. 

Step Four 

"Just Do It" - act! If you have weighed all the pros and cons, soberly assessed your capabilities and made sure that you are able to make a career transition, then decide. Since it is impossible to master a new kind of activity and at the same time keep a “foothold” on the old one, you should understand that in any case you take certain risks. You must fully devote yourself to work in which you can show your wonderful talents and embody your personal life mission. On the other hand, in terms of sports language, it is difficult to take a new position if an ankle is dislocated. Therefore, do not make a move unless you are sure that it will be final. Perhaps a year or two you will have to devote yourself to study or become an “apprentice” before you can plunge headlong into a new job. Not out that you will not be able to build sailboats, but you will be able to sell or write about them well, or you will successfully take up HR-activity in a ship company. You can always apply old skills in a new area. 

Step Five 

Update your preferences. At this stage, you may come to the need to revise your original intentions if they did not produce the expected results. 

An engineer in a manufacturing company loved his job, but one day he wanted to make more money for the family. Deciding that the position of the manager would help him achieve what he wanted, he expressed the intention of the authorities to take a more responsible position. Since his reputation was impeccable, he was met and was given a leadership position. Soon he became vice-president of the company. However, after a while he found that in the new role he was not too comfortable. He often had to travel to China and live there for a long time away from his family. In addition, he was charged with resolving issues related to hiring employees. He had to attend top management meetings, represent the company at charity events and other public events. But the worst thing is that he was not able to do anything on the engineering side. Then he realized his mistake and made a non-standard decision to return to the old position. With a more careful analysis of his qualities and preferences, he could find a different, less painful way of developing his career. 
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