Changing jobs is no longer taboo as it once was. In fact, according to Gallup, 35% of us have changed jobs in the past 3 years. For many, changing jobs is the best means of advancement. So, how do you ensure you’re ready for the change/advancement when the time comes? Stay aware of your career and keep making progress.
One of the best ways to ensure you’re advancing is to look at job postings for the next logical career move. What are the requirements listed? Is there anything listed that presents a gap in your experience? Now is the time to begin filling that gap. There are many ways to fill that gap. My favorites are:
1. Ask for additional assignments in your current role that will allow you to learn something new.Many organizations will allow you to stretch in your current role. And who knows, it may open a new door for you at your current employer.
2. Take a course.Online courses abound. Lynda.com, Coursera and many more exist. They are very accessible and available in your favorite medium.
3. Read a book.Yes, all knowledge is contained in books. Whether you read online, electronically or good old paper, you can learn almost anything by reading. You can even listen to an audio book in some cases.
4. Earn a certification. Many jobs require, or at least prefer, certain certifications. What’s missing on your resume? Find where that certification is offered (community college, online) and earn that new credential.
5. Volunteer somewhere and practice the new skill.Non-profit and community organizations gladly accept volunteer help. If you know something of this new skill and need a place to practice, this is a perfect opportunity. Or if it’s a skill like coaching, offer to coach people you know for free, or a minimal cost.
The point is, you shouldn’t wait until you’re in the job hunt for that next great role to start identifying the necessary skills. I’ve seen far too many people stressed, demoralized and at a loss because their dream job is out of reach due to a lack of necessary credentials. Start now, keep moving your career forward, so when that great next step avails itself, you’re ready and able to successfully compete for it.
As a career development coach, I’m open to working with anyone who’s interested in building their career, from the college grad just starting out, to the mid-career professional ready to launch their own business. Narrowing that demographic was never anything I set out to do. But you know how life is, sometimes you’re pulled along a path you never expected.
Recently, at every turn, I’m reminded or introduced to the issues of women in tech. I used to be one of those women. I began working at Microsoft in the mid-90s. A male colleague and I, both new to the company, were having lunch one day with a senior member of another accounting team that we both hoped to work in. This was at the start of my accounting career (yes, I have made a career transition!). As we sat there, both keenly interested in this other department, I was told point blank, “You’ll never achieve the same level of success here that your colleague here will because you are a woman”. Yes, it was that blatant. The fact that I wasn’t appalled still surprises me, but it did stick vividly in my memory. It’s shocking to know that 20 years later, little has changed.
I still see women having this same experience. Perhaps they are not told that outright, but jump online any day and you’ll find a new article about the issue of equity for women in tech. It’s shocking to me that this is still an issue. Luckily, there are many people fighting for this cause, from Dr. Telle Whitney of the Anita Borg Institute, to a group of female employees at DialogTech, to Sheryl Sandberg. Yes, it’s an issue.
And there is more good news. There are many organizations doing something about. I recently became involved with ReBoot Seattle, an accelerator helping women prepare to re-enter the workforce and confront the immense amount of objection they receive. Seattle Women in Technology is another such organization advancing the cause of women in tech. Yes, organizations and programs abound to help the cause.
More and more of my client base are women in tech who are seeking answers to their professional questions. From finding a new job because they’re being ‘pushed out’, to feeling unwelcome in the ‘boys’ club’ to wanting to chuck regular full time employment in favor of being an entrepreneur, these bright, capable, educated and dedicated women are seeking fulfillment in their work that pays them their worth and gives them the power and freedom to do their best work.
So, while I left tech several years ago, it remains an industry I love, believe in and am inspired by. Helping more women achieve success in a field they, too, are passionate about, has become my passion. The thrill of meeting with a client who has successfully negotiated her desired pay for a new job, or watched another launch a business she previously only dreamed of is the stuff my life dreams are made of. I hope it’s not another 20 years before we see equity for ALL in tech, and everywhere else.
In my years of coaching in Seattle, I've noticed a few phenomenon about the job search. I'm sharing them now because NOW is the time to get started if you want a new job by the end of the year. Wait? It's only April. What's the rush? Well, let me share my thoughts.
So, don't delay. Updating a resume and LinkedIn profile, networking, identifying target companies, all takes time. Use those summer months to get ready. Then come September when things get hopping again, you're ready!
REGISTER FOR ONE OF ANDREA'S COACHING PROGRAMS BELOW BEFORE MAY 31, MENTION THIS SPECIAL, AND RECEIVE 20% OFF THE FULL PROGRAM PRICE.
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Andrea's passion is to see you achieve your professional dreams. Whether you are a corporate leader seeking leadership development for your employees or an individual seeking guidance in building your career or preparing for retirement, she will coach you to success.