Bounce back higher from job loss by taking a career-transforming risk
How to contemplate risk and find the bravery to meet your professional challenges head-on.
January 12, 2021
Taking a step—or cliff dive—outside your comfort zone is scary, but it often proves exhilarating. And taking a professional risk? Well, that can literally change your life.
We’re all feeling fear, anxiety and a loss of normalcy—especially those facing job loss or loss of the job they knew. Know this: it’s ok. Uncertainty is never easy to navigate. We’ve compiled ways to contemplate risk and find the bravery to meet your professional challenges head-on.
1. Contemplate the waves
The first step to taking a career-changing risk always seems the scariest and feels the rawest, considering you’re fresh out of your old situation and diving into a new one. Define what it is you want and say out loud why you’re so scared to try it. Often, murky fears lose their power when you specifically identify what it is about them that frightens you.
2. Test the waters
Figure out your career-changing skill and learn it. As an example:
If “The Hacker News” is your go-to read, perhaps you’d enjoy information security. There is a growing demand for InfoSec skills that touch many IT roles, particularly systems administration, networking and application development. Knowledgeable InfoSec pros recommend you start building knowledge by simply reading a book about security topics.
Do some research on hot IT careers (i.e. data scientist) and start reading what these pros read and solicit practical advice for joining their field in user forums.
3. Find a friend
Everyone’s least favourite career-advancing task is also the most fruitful - networking. Now is the time to commit time and emotional energy into networking; your career will reap rewards.
Here are three ways to start networking:
Sign up for a virtual conference—and do it right. Industry conferences can be a fabulous way to reinvigorate your career passion. You can learn about industry trends and about types of career paths, but most importantly, you can chat with people who can help your career. Establish Twitter relationships with people you connect with. Join a user group. These are inexpensive to join, and many high-level IT professionals recommend them. You’ll learn how to do your job better, network with local peers and demonstrate dedication to your job that will impress potential employers. Get online. Spend a couple of hours a week on a user forum. Become an active and generous user who comments on others’ posts, compliments authors and shares information - you’ll start to establish a network of people who can help your career. Connect with your network. According to this Inc. article, the most valuable people in your network are your “dormant ties,” described as “people you used to know but don’t currently keep in touch with.” Reaching out to a previous strong connection via LinkedIn or through email can open you up to a world of new advice, insights and ideas. Plus, it’s nice to catch-up with old friends.
4. Try something new
If you want to branch out from your current work, schedule a talk with your recruiter. Be honest about your career aspirations so the recruiter can address any skills gaps and match you to your dream job. Another perk? They will keep you in mind for new positions.
5. Take the leap and imagine how you will feel after jumping
Changing industries can open a whole new set of career options and refresh your enthusiasm. Taking risks is scary however, remember that exhilarating feeling of diving into the unknown. It might be the motivation you need to push the boundaries of your comfort zone and find a career you’re passionate about. remember that exhilarating feeling of diving into the unknown. It might be the motivation you need to push the boundaries of your comfort zone and find a career you’re passionate about.