People, consider yourselves warned: rant mode is ON today!
All kidding aside: I am seriously in disbelief over what just happened.
I am a part of a Facebook group where a woman asked for advice on how to get a job in another industry than the one she had been trained in. The vast majority of the responses were along the lines of “just accept that you’re going to have to start at the bottom again, if you’re lucky enough that they’ll take you on”.
As you probably know by now, if you’ve been following me at all, I consider this to be complete and utter nonsense.
Think about it. In your last job, you have learned a ton of transferable skills (such as communication, influencing, collaboration, strategising, etc) that will propel you to success in your new chosen field. Your different background will actually help you do great in this new place. You see things from a different perspective, you bring different ideas, you have experience that adds to the depth of your understanding of this new gig. (Google “Janusian thinking”, and realise that you cannot enjoy its benefits when you’re an insider.)
Back to the Facebook post…
So I posted an answer to her query along the lines of “This is a massive opportunity for everyone involved, communicate your added value and go for it!”, and it got a lot of responses. Some applauded this positive view, most disagreed with me. It was irresponsible of me to make someone think it was possible to drastically change your career without a negative impact, apparently.
And within hours… my comment got taken down!
I laughed at first. To just shut the whole thing down because you don’t agree with it just seems… childish.
But then I got angry.
By taking down my post that called out the bullshit that keeps women in shitty jobs and unhappy careers that are not aligned with the vision they hold for their careers and lives… Seriously, we’re hurting ourselves.
Since when is it better to pat someone on the back and say “There, there, poor you, life’s very hard and you’ll never get out of your stuck-ness”, instead of showing them something CAN be done?
Call me old skool, but perpetuating victim-mode has never helped anyone from my experience.
Change is difficult, sure, and telling people change is possible may induce some fears about getting outside one’s comfort zone. But can we all agree that that’s where the magic is? Or at the very least that it’s much preferable over staying stuck in a career you don’t love?
Life’s too short to be doing work you don’t love, peeps!
Okay, rant over.
(And just in case it wasn’t clear yet: when I said changing industries, and / or jobs does NOT have to mean starting at the bottom again, I meant it. I have changed continent, industry and role, and went UP the career ladder and increased my salary by 35% all in ONE AND THE SAME MOVE.
And that is not just some freak success: I have taught many women in my Women In Negotiation program to do exactly the same thing.
You need to make the mindset shifts to understand your worth and the tools to communicate it, and then you can take on any new direction you want.