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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.

June 24, 2020 | By:TEKsystems

view fromb elow of a man in the city walking on a tight rope holding a blaance bar

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.

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 machine learning engineer) 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 favorite career-advancing task is also the most fruitful. 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. IT conferences in person are expensive, but right many are virtual and free. Take advantage!

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 Twitter or in a user forum. Become an active, generous user who comments on others’ posts, compliments authors and shares information, and 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 that crop up.

5. Take the leap

Changing industries can open a whole new set of career options and refresh your enthusiasm.

Some interesting industries to consider:

Healthcare. Ever heard the call of mission-based work? You might consider the healthcare industry, where IT pros work to advance one goal: making people healthier. From data pros to security engineers to desktop support, people who work in healthcare IT say it’s more a calling than a job. Especially during the current pandemic, the current demand for IT pros outstrips the supply, making this a good time to find opportunities.

Manufacturing. With all the complexities of supply chain management and data opportunities, manufacturing offers interesting opportunities for people who enjoy problem-solving and the chance to work with new technologies.

Marketing. For IT talent interested in digital and creative technologies or data science, marketing represents a new and fast-growing opportunity.

6. Imagine how you’ll feel after jumping

Taking risks is scary and uncomfortable, but 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.