Many of us are dealing with unfamiliar circumstances these days. We are navigating our personal and professional lives around a global pandemic. It can be exhausting. The uncertainty of your current job, constant communication breakdowns with virtual platforms, and all the other roadblocks along the way.
I wanted to sit down and write to those who might stumble upon the GROWMARK Careers page in search of their next professional journey. Specifically, to those who are re-entering the professional sector or changing their career paths entirely.
I joined GROWMARK in July of 2019. I hadn’t held a position in recruiting, human resources, or at a mid-large sized company with a corporate structure. What I had was 8 years of experience as a GM of a local small business and a passion for helping people. Changing jobs completely was terrifying! Though my career path is untraditional, I am constantly connecting with people who are trying to conquer the same problems I had to overcome. The big question is always “how?” This post does not have a defined solution to guarantee a smooth reentry into the workforce. Instead, I have put together the three steps that worked for me. They aren’t guarantees, but they might be able to help you in returning to the workforce or changing your career path.
Define your “Why”
Before returning to college to complete my bachelor’s degree in 2016, I had to define my “Why.” When we understand our why, we start to better define our purpose and how we can fulfill our purpose. I don’t recommend using it to specifically define your next job, but to outline parts of a career that will satisfy your mind and soul.
I love people. I want to connect and positively impact anyone I meet in some way. When I decided to leave the small business I had managed for 8 years, I took a complete leap of faith because I knew I needed more growth and diversity than that career could offer me. I didn’t start off looking for any specific positions, I simply knew that I found fulfillment when I was able to interact with people from all walks of life. I knew that a part of my purpose is serving and helping others. If you want to know more about finding your “Why” or developing a purpose statement – a quick Google or YouTube search will bring up fantastic resources to help you define yours. Remember, the point of this exercise isn’t to find specifics. It’s about narrowing your passions and finding parts of a career that align with your purpose.
Most hiring managers look for the same things when hiring new employees. For the most part, they would rather hire for attitude and train for skill over the reverse. Big secret time… hiring managers are people just like us! They know that passion and drive far outweighs a wealth of knowledge with no motivation. If you want the job, don’t hide or minimize it in your interviews or communication. Read the job description over and over to formulate examples that you can tie from your personal or professional life to showcase your talent. Regardless of whether you’re changing career paths entirely or haven’t been in the workforce for some time, your experiences matter! Look at your experiences and find connectors that answer areas of the job functions you’re hoping to have if you get hired in your desired role. If you’re asked about specific technology or parts of the job where you don’t have experience, be honest and authentically explain the passion and solutions-focused mindset you’ll use in learning something new.
BUILD YOUR NETWORK!
Let me say it again for the people in the back - build your network! Start making connections through sources like LinkedIn and the friends surrounding you. If you think you can offer something, you will offer something. I spend time on LinkedIn at least twice a week. I converse, read, learn, and network with people around me so I continually have a safety net of folks who see my passion and work regularly. This not only opens doors, but it keeps you focused on a growth mindset. Networking isn’t meeting new people for the sake of a good conversation (that is one product of it), but creating a winning strategy for your career path. You light your road to success a little brighter with each person you intentionally connect with. Again, understanding your purpose allows you to strategically find those who can help amplify your aspirations.
Defining your “why” points you in the right direction. Authenticity allows people to believe you can do what you say. Building a network aligns you with plenty of opportunities and chances to lock in a fulfilling career. These three steps helped me find a career that I truly enjoy each day. Even on the rough ones, I find myself being thankful to have a career that checks a lot of the boxes that leaves me feeling fulfilled.
One last thing
The last (and bonus) tip I have to offer is remembering that sometimes the hunt can take time. Sometimes we get a lot of “no” before we hear a “yes”. In everything I do, I always remind myself of my favorite quote (author unknown): “Don’t let your setback cause you to sit back, prepare for your comeback.”
By: Mike Miner, Recruiter