It’s four-o-clock in the morning and you’re wondering how to find your next career. You’re laying in bed wide awake (again). The whole world is spinning and you’re thinking maybe you should have made different decisions with your life.
What you’re feeling is uncertainty. And I’ve been there. In the past decade, I have worked for five start ups. And most of those companies either tanked or tanked me. That’s the whole reason I started blogging.
Sometimes it makes sense to plan your next career move.
How To Find Your Next Career
If you want to find your next career, you have to get real with yourself.
STEP ONE: Make A List Of Everything You Do
When you’re not at work, how do you spend your time? What do you find yourself doing without thinking about it? How could you combine your interests to create value?
I am personally attracted to sales, internet marketing, writing and public speaking. Even when I am not working, these activities are fun for me. So my short list would look like this:
- Face-to-Face Sales.
- Internet Marketing.
- Public speaking.
I would do these things even if people didn’t pay me.
STEP TWO: Find A Market For Your Skills
If you could create the perfect career, what would it look like? You really have to take time to think this through. Because unless you’re honest about your goals, skills and interests – it will be challenging to find your next career.
Once you take time to sketch out ideas, you need to find some role models. Who is already doing what you want to do? And who do you spend the most time with?
You become the people you spend the most time with.
In other words if there is something you don’t like about your current situation, look around. Odds are good your friends currently reflect you. If you aspire to be more than you currently are, make friends with people who are doing more.
Even if you are totally clueless, you need to commit to taking one small action (any action) towards becoming more awesome. Once you take the first step, you can figure out the rest…
For me that meant calling people cold.
I started with my old boss (I hate the word boss, but anyway…)
He’s one of those dot-com guys who sold his first company for a few million dollars. We worked together on a start-up a few years back. Our start up was almost a success. Then our investors pulled out. Then he fired me. (He told me that I was laid off, not fired. But saying I got fired always sounds a lot more awesome.)
So we met up for drinks where he offered some solid success advice that I have been rolling around in my mind ever since…
Even A Turkey Can Fly In A Hurricane
I found out saying “Even A Turkey Can Fly In A Hurricane” is cliche. But I never heard it before. It means you can spend years grinding away at a business, but if you’re in the wrong market, you will probably burn out. (Been there!)
So the solution is clear.
Find a hot market and reinvest your skills there. Because even if you suck at first, don’t worry. As a turkey in a hurricane, you will probably fare better than if you keep doing something that totally blows.
Meet NEW People Weekly
We all have the habit of sticking with our comfort zone. But that’s not going to help you find new opportunity. So you need to expand your network. The best way to do this is ask people to meet up weekly.
Get involved in stuff like Toastmasters. Meet ups. Trade shows. Networking functions. The reason? Sooner or later you’re going to meet someone new – And that single meeting will lead to your next career path.
Think about it. You are never going to be this young and have this amount of energy ever again. So you may as well take action. And while you’re at it, start a blog.