Part.Ⅰ - Choose your Switch
Chap.1- Are You a Switcher? The “Magic” Equation for Seizing Career Success
This chapter helped you confirm whether or not you’re a Switcher. Now that you know you are one for sure, and you’re ready to conquer your non-negotiables and defeat the Switch Killers, it’s time to dive full force into this journey! In Chapter Two, I’ll share how the brain can be your biggest nemesis along the way. I’ll also share some important psychology principles you can engage to convince skeptical hiring managers to take a chance on you.
CHAPTER ONE SWITCH POINTS
•Traditional job search methods, such as applying for positions online, don’t work for Switchers. You need to get creative in your approach.
•The bigger your switch is (industry, functional, or double switch) and the more non-negotiables you have, the more difficult the job search process will be.
•There are no guarantees that persistence, sacrifice, and hard work will pay off, but without these qualities, you won’t achieve your job switch.
•Deciding to pursue a goal is only the beginning. A successful career change only happens when you take consistent, relevant action.
•Ignoring your network, disregarding the market, and failing to prepare for red flags are Switch Killers that will derail your efforts.”
Chap.2 - The Psychology of Job Search
“The cost of replacing an employee can range from two to seven times his or her salary.
•Hiring and training costs for a new employee can vary from 25 percent to 200 percent of annual compensation.
•Highly paid and greater complexity jobs tend to have even higher turnover costs as a percentage of salary.
•In high complexity roles, top performers are more than two times as productive as average performers.”
When I struggle with what to do next, here’s a (slightly gloomy) analogy that always gives me courage and confidence to move forward. Imagine this: If you learned a beloved family member had a fatal disease, but that a cure existed somewhere in the world, how would you go about finding it? Although you had no idea where to even begin searching, who to talk to, or even what to ask, I have no doubt you’d find a way. Never underestimate determination and the will to overcome fear and ambiguity.
On a final note, since loss is a more powerful motivator than gain, if you find your enthusiasm waning, try reframing your job switch as a loss. What will you lose if you don’t make this change? Years of happiness? A better lifestyle? Seeing your children grow up? You’ll face real obstacles in making a switch, so don’t let the decoys be what stop you. Find a way.
CHAPTER TWO SWITCH POINTS
•Your brain wants to keep you safe, but that instinct can get in the way of the courage you need to successfully make a career switch. Don’t let it!
•Loss aversion is a powerful seductress. People feel loss more strongly than gain, so you may be tempted to let things like loss of identity, status, or salary become barriers to your success. Keep top of mind everything you stand to gain by making a switch.
•Hirers are also influenced by loss aversion and will tend to go with the “safe” candidate if you don’t assuage their fears about hiring you.”
Part. Ⅱ - Clarify Your Plan A
Chap. 3 - If You Don’t Invest, Why Should They？Figure Out Your Plan A
Although it may take time to create a solid Plan A, the process is critical to your success as a Switcher. The more you struggle to get specific about your interests, wrestle with your targets, and think through your transferable skills, the better able you’ll be to confidently articulate these messages to your new audience. A willingness to do the work of formulating a crisp Plan A is what sets successful job seekers apart from the pack.
CHAPTER THREE SWITCH POINTS
•Go all in on Plan A! Don’t undermine yourself by splitting your energy between two goals.
•Boil your skills and the skills needed for your target role down into their most basic components so that you can understand the overlap.
•Take time to map out the intersection of your Interests, your (related) Expertise, and the Market for a solid Plan A. The struggle to reach clarity is vital and will set you up for success in the networking and interview processes.
•Clearly define your target. Don’t fear going too narrow: Most people keep their target too broad, which makes it harder for your network to help you, or for a hiring manager to take a chance on you.
•Completing the Bull’s-Eye Brainstorming Worksheet is a helpful way to keep your target clear, precise, and at the front of your mind.
•Values play a key role in career satisfaction. Take these into account when making decisions related to your switch.
Chap. 4 - Change Isn’t Linear, Mapping Your Path to a Career Switch
Like summiting a mountain, there are many routes to your goal. Some are faster, but more difficult. Others take more time, but may increase your odds. While you’re the only one who can determine what path is right for you based on your resources, circumstances, and goals, the fact that there are different paths to choose increases your odds for success.
CHAPTER FOUR SWITCH POINTS
•Some double Switchers may require a stepping stone career. Depending on the strength of your network, consider if a stepping stone role is a useful strategy.
•Going back to school might feel like a worthwhile step toward your new career, but remember that a tough job search will still be waiting at the end. Find out if the return on investment is worth it.
•The rise of the gig economy is creating new opportunities. Don’t rule this out as a creative way to make your career switch a reality.
•Stepping out of the workforce is not unusual. The difficulty of making a switch as you’re reintegrating will depend on the length of time you’ve been away, your profession and skill set, and the strength of your network.
•We are always serving our primary goal. If you’re not getting what you want, chances are you are making comfort or short-term gratification your primary goal, and whatever you think is your true goal is your secondary goal.
Part Ⅲ. - Craft Your Brand Value Proposition
Chap. 5 - (Re)Brand or Be Branded, Craft Your Professional Identity
Don’t strive for perfect when crafting your brand because it will only lead you to wasted time and dead ends. Clarity comes through action, and change isn’t linear. Those who find success have walked in many circles to get there, modifying as they go. Keep at it, and the ideas will come to you.
CHAPTER FIVE SWITCH POINTS
•You’re always communicating your brand, consciously or not. You need to be intentional and cognizant of the messages you’re relaying, so your audience starts to recognize a brand that aligns with your new career path.
•A key part of your brand is your USP (Unique Selling Point), which differentiates you from others with similar skills in a way that is of value for your audience.
•Your BVP (Brand Value Proposition) describes how you solve your audience’s pain points. It’s also your guidepost for how you choose to express your brand.
•Every candidate has potential red flags. The trick is not to dwell on these. Instead, focus on your strengths and the value you bring.
Chap.6 - Your Career Story, Where Reason Meets Intuition
You already know you can be successful in this career change. Now you need to convince the hiring manager. Much of that comes down to psychology: recognizing the subtleties of fear, bias, loss, and emotion in the decision making process. It depends on communicating your value to show how you’ll achieve results for the company. Practice your messages and recognize the power that your words can have—either in your favor or against. Your Career Story isn’t just an afterthought; it’s the information that will seal the deal.
CHAPTER SIX SWITCH POINTS
•Hirers care about three things: abilities, fit, and motivation. While each has its place, Switchers can have the most advantage over traditional candidates on the latter two.
•Your Career Story is what will convince the hiring manager to pull the trigger and make the offer. It should be attention-getting, compelling, logical, and genuine.
•How you communicate, including the words you choose and the timing of the information, will make a difference to convince the hirer to take a risk. Practice your messages to ensure you connect with the interviewer.
•Keep perspective. The job search is an inherently tough process, but that’s what makes landing your switch so awesome!
Chap. 7 - What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, The Proactive Job Search
Familiar job search tools, such as resumes, were designed with traditional candidates in mind. But if you follow the advice in this chapter, you will be head and shoulders above the competition. Why? Because many traditional candidates don’t put as much work into these documents and tools as you will. You’d be surprised how many applicants wing it, especially traditional candidates who believe they can get by on a history of similar jobs. It’s obvious when a job seeker is simply papering the internet with applications to see what sticks. A Switcher doesn’t have that luxury, and your effort alone will win you points.
In the end, it likely won’t be the cover letter that gets you hired or your social media that enables you to be found by a recruiter. But don’t cut any corners. Details“matter, and sometimes what you don’t say or write speaks volumes.
CHAPTER SEVEN SWITCH POINTS
•The most interesting and sought-after jobs are scooped up quickly through referrals and rarely make it to the big job boards. Networking is your best entrée into a company if you want to find the good roles and reduce your competition.
•A hirer will spend about six seconds reviewing your resume before making an initial decision. Ensure you end up in the “yes” pile by creating a results-based, well-formatted resume that makes it easy for the reader to quickly discern your relevant strengths.
•Include a cover letter. This will set you apart from the pack and is another opportunity to reiterate your relevant strengths, career story, and value.
•Social media isn’t optional. Make sure your brand comes through clearly in your online presence, and remove irrelevant or inappropriate content.
•Few things in life are truly “have to’s.” When you choose to do something, it is a lot more empowering.
Part. IV - Create Ambassadors
Chap. 8 - No Excuses, Your Network Really Is Your Net Worth
When it comes to networking, most people have more excuses than strategies. Energy that could be spent growing connections is often wasted belaboring the reasons why it doesn’t make sense to reach out, or why it would be better to wait, or why those contacts probably couldn’t help anyway. It’s true that not everyone will return your call. Not every conversation will move you closer to your goal. Sometimes it might take months or years before you see the fruits of your labor. But the more you work at it, the more likely you’ll reap the benefits. Like most things, you get out what you put in.
If you’re still waffling about networking, my question is, “So what happens in your job search if you don’t reach“out?” The answer is invariably “nothing.” You won’t form more relationships, you won’t get interesting information about the company you’re targeting, you won’t get introductions or referrals, and you won’t be one step closer to landing that job switch. When you look at it that way, the trade-off seems well worth the risk.
Networking becomes infinitely more comfortable over time. Your network is your net worth, and the people who find success aren’t simply in the right place at the right time. Rather, they’ve invested in meeting the right people so they continuously access opportunities that others miss. Luck is what happens when preparation meets networking!
CHAPTER EIGHT SWITCH POINTS
•You’ve likely been networking all your life. Recall the people you know and the relationship skills you’ve gained. Networking is networking, whether you’re looking for a job or an authentic Italian restaurant.
•You need to network to make a career switch. Stop making excuses, and put energy and time into building mutually beneficial relationships.
•Second- (and third-) level connections are where the action is! Most people in your immediate circle have the same information you do, so the goal is to get to their network, because that is“where your next opportunity lies.
•Introversion is not a flaw, and it certainly doesn’t make you bad at networking. Find strategies that are comfortable, engage your strengths, and build relationships.
•Use your 24 hours each day wisely and don’t waste large chunks of time on 15-minute tasks.
Chap. 9 - The New Way to Network, Create Ambassadors
You have more power than you think, even as a nontraditional candidate. These job search strategies won’t always be comfortable, but they are within your control. Further, most traditional candidates likely won’t work as hard as you are. This makes you stand out. If you’re willing to put in the time, take the risks, and push through the setbacks, a successful career switch is completely within your reach.
CHAPTER NINE SWITCH POINTS
•Reaching second-level contacts should be a key part of your networking strategy. This is where the action happens, so don’t overlook these opportunities.
•The goal of the initial networking meeting is to get to the second meeting. Networking is a long-term strategy of building relationships.
•If you’re not creating ambassadors, you’re not networking effectively. Put in the effort to prepare and do the work for your contacts so they leave impressed and ready to market you to their network.
“•GLIDE questions are the new way to network and will set you apart from other job seekers vying for your contact’s attention.
•Everyone experiences a touch of Impostor Syndrome at one time or another. When it strikes, recall your achievements and know that you’re likely on the verge of a professional growth spurt, which is positive.
Part. Ⅴ - Keep the Ball in Your Court
Chap.10 - How to Never Have a Bad Interview
What Are They Really Asking?
Throughout this book, your goal has been to get the interview. It’s the final stretch in the race between you and a handful of competitors. The most important takeaway from this chapter is that you can’t count on a hirer to ask the “right” questions or give you openings to discuss what’s most relevant and impressive. Determine specifically what information you want to leave on the table in the interview. The onus is on you.
CHAPTER TEN SWITCH POINTS
•The three things that matter to an interviewer areabilities, fit, and motivation, the last of which is what will ultimately convince a hirer to pull the trigger and make an offer.
•Be prepared to start your interview with a compelling answer to the frequently asked question, “Tell me about yourself."
“•Get into the mind of the interviewer and strive to understand the WATRA behind each question so you can relay the most relevant information and examples.
•Rehearse potentially awkward situations to get more comfortable and avoid TMI.
•Use SOART stories to answer behavioral-based interview questions in a structured and concise manner. Shifting the punch line can help you highlight different competencies.
•Close strong with insightful questions, including the key question, which will wipe concerns off the table and secure you as a viable candidate.
•Fear is a learned response—tackle it head-on so it doesn’t become an obstacle in your Switch.
Chap. 11- It’s Not Fair, (It Really Isn’t!)
Your job search will present many obstacles to overcome—unfair practices, rude recruiting, rejection. None of these is unusual, so don’t stall your search by taking them personally. Anticipating and strategizing for obstacles is critical to overcoming them. Maintain a positive outlook, evaluate your tactics, and course correct where needed, but keep moving forward, with the ball firmly in your court.
CHAPTER ELEVEN SWITCH POINTS
•The job search is unfair. That’s true, but don’t complain about it; instead, use it to your advantage as a Switcher.
•Hirers are not always responsive. It can be frustrating, but it’s not personal. Be gracious and persistent to get the information you need to keep moving your job search forward.
•Keep putting 100 percent into your job search until you’ve signed on the dotted line. Unexpected obstacles can arise so don’t make the mistake of slowing down the search.
•Keep the ball in your court. Some things are beyond your control in a career switch, so take a lead role on those things you can control.
•Embrace the “middle seat.” Your attitude can have a big impact in the job search, so choose a positive one.
Chap. 12 - Always Sleep on It, Get Ready to Negotiate!
IN SUMMARY Although some people enjoy haggling over prices when bargaining, when it comes to salary discussions, the conversation is personal, emotional, and abstract—and therefore inherently uncomfortable. In the case of a Switcher, it can be tempting to jump at a decent offer to be finished with the process. However, those 10 minutes of awkward conversation may put a significant amount of money in your pocket, not only over the next year but for many years to come.
CHAPTER TWELVE SWITCH POINTS
•Hiring managers expect you to negotiate. Done respectfully, it can both increase your earnings and enhance your relationship.
•Even if presented with a good offer, sleep on it. Chances are there is something extra—a sign-on bonus, additional vacation time, flextime—that will benefit you.
•There are many perks that put money into your pocket at the end of the month in addition to base salary. Understand which are meaningful to you.
•As a Switcher, you may need to take a hit on compensation; however, don’t let that one factor override all the positive gains that come with the career change. Money is only one piece of the larger career-switch puzzle.
•Choosing between two solid offers can be difficult. Consider multiple factors such as your direct boss, longer-term opportunities, and company culture when deciding.
•Failure is a learning opportunity that is par for the career-switch course! Get up, dust off, and keep on moving forward.
Chap. 13 - Never Look for a Job Again
As a successful Switcher, you’ve navigated a tough road and have overcome many real challenges and imaginary “(but no less powerful) fears to attain your goal. And if you’re not quite there yet, you’re learning how to make your goal a reality through the strategies and advice in this book. So, congratulations are in order!
I have seen people walk away from their career dreams. Some can’t overcome fear of loss, be it loss of status, money, or professional identity. Others carved a solid path, but got defeated and gave up too soon. Some spent so much energy searching for “fairness,” they had nothing left for learning to maneuver within reality. Victorious Switchers, like all flourishing professionals, are rarely an overnight success. These obstacles are significant, but are they more significant than realizing your career goals? Only you can decide. And if you choose to forge ahead, I’m confident that with persistence, planning, and patience, you’ll become a successful Switcher. Happy hunting!
CHAPTER THIRTEEN SWITCH POINTS
•You’ve overcome and learned a lot during your Switch journey—keep it up. Continue to stretch yourself professionally by finding opportunities to be the least qualified person in the room.
•Branding and networking are ongoing activities for successful professionals. Career management isn’t an occasional event. Find ways to micro-network “and make brand deposits to strengthen your reputation in the market.
•Take time to slow down and evaluate how your actions are influencing your career goals. There may be things you can start or stop doing that will have a major impact on your success.
•Don’t forget how you got where you are. Keep your eyes open for chances to help others attain career success. None of us are successful without the support of others.
Dr. Dawn Graham
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