Contributed by Gloria Martinez
A new year often brings with it hopes for renewal, growth, and opportunity. In many cases, women look to a new year as the time to make some changes in their careers. For some, it means a complete career change; for others, it means advancing within their current company. If you have come into 2017 hoping to make it the best year for your career but still aren’t sure how to do so, our tips will help you get started.
1. Engineer Serendipity to Create Your Own Luck
Forbes contributor Megan Bruneau shares insight on changes women can make for career success from Wendy Sachs, author of Fearless and Free: How Smart Women Pivot – And Relaunch Their Careers. Sachs has been an Emmy-award winning TV news producer, a Capitol Hill press secretary, a public relations executive, a media and content strategist, a CNN contributor, and an editor-in-chief. One of Sachs’ suggestions for women is to create your own luck by “engineering serendipity.”
Sachs says that being in the right place at the right time happens when you network, attend conferences, and make intentional choices about which events to attend and which goals to set for each event. Schedule networking opportunities once a month so you can prioritize your personal life, too.
2. Pursue Your Yes!
Women of any age can change their careers, so do not allow negative thoughts or fears hinder you. If you are a little hesitant to change your career, take a class or get involved with your potential new career in a small way first. If it feels right and you know it is something that you want to do, follow your yes! and keep going. Following your passion and enjoying your career is what is important to you, so do not allow society to dictate your choice to pursue a new avenue. Value yourself, your skills, and your dreams so that you can maintain your motivation to shake up your career this year.
3. Create a Plan Using Your Transferable Skills
Women are notorious for not believing they have skills that would be of value to any position other than the one they currently hold. If you want to make 2017 the best year for your career, shift from your passion and enthusiasm for pursuing a new career to practical thinking that will guide you through identifying your skills, what you bring to the table, and who could employ you. If you are considering switching industries, determine which transferable skills you have and strengthen them if needed. Take a class or get some training to make you even more appealing to a new employer.
That being said, many employers look for potential and attitude first because they know certain people are a fit for their organization and can undergo training to fit a new role as needed. Do not allow a lack of experience or a mismatched resume to hold you back. If you do your research, present the evidence that you are a good fit, and portray yourself confidently, you can secure a position outside of your current industry. Your leadership skills, organizational skills, technology skills, and the like can lead you places that you may not realize.
4. Know That You are in Good Company
If you are worried about what your friends or family will say about your career change, don’t be. Research shows that women job hop more frequently than men, and the overall rate of job hopping has been increasing in recent years. Traditionally, women job hop more than men for a variety of reasons. Regardless of whether you are looking for more flexibility, more creativity, or a chance to pursue a job that fulfills your passion, job hopping seems to be good for women’s careers. Some experts believe that job-hopping women achieve more because they continue to learn and, in the end, create more stable jobs for themselves because they can manage their own careers rather than depending on the same company for decades.
You can make 2017 the best year for your career if you take advantage of networking opportunities to create your own luck, pursue your yes!, create a plan using your transferable skills, and understand that you are not the only woman job hopping.
Gloria Martinez believes that while women have made many advancements toward “shattering the glass ceiling,” there is still much to be done. It is her aim to help increase the number of women-led businesses by educating others about the topic.