Are you changing careers? Remember this when you are discouraged

Dory Clark has a certain indomitableness and optimism that resonates with me whenever I get a chance to talk to her. She wants me to go Tax Something

In her book, she writes about her own journey to becoming an entrepreneur. “I don’t know where to start. I had a lot of skills: I was a reporter and a political campaigner; I could write and speak well … but the rest of the entrepreneurs were a black box. So I decided to learn. ”

Read: 3 questions to answer before changing career

For a full year, he committed to studying while working full-time as executive director of a cycling advocacy nonprofit organization. On Saturday, she took a course on writing a business plan, designing better PowerPoint slides, and basic accounting at a local adult education center. He became a regular at his local library, checking business best sellers from Michael Garber’s “The E-Myth”, Keith Ferrazzi’s “Never Eat Alone” to Jim Collins’ “Good to Great”.

“I knew I had to be immersed in learning before I could start my own business, because if I didn’t, who would take me seriously? It wasn’t a lack of self-esteem – it was a fact, “he wrote.” I didn’t have an MBA or a PhD. Business; I never even worked in a corporation.

“Part of playing a long game is understanding that you can’t always jump into the ring right away. Slowing down can be a waste of time, ”Clark wrote. “But every moment you spend understanding the nature of the game and how it works makes you stronger once you enter.”

Read: Hoping to use your IRA to start your own business? Think again

He emphasizes the importance of a network of supporters from which you can learn to change careers. “It could be a meeting or a professional association or an industry conference,” he wrote. “There are plenty of ways to do this. But if you’re hoping to establish yourself in a particular field, try to know that the world is the key.

“You’ll be in the dark about pricing or other sensitive issues (because strangers don’t disclose it – only friends and close colleagues do),” Clark said. For you need someone, but you are not on anyone’s radar). Taking the time to connect with others and immerse yourself in a new community can be a powerful way to set yourself up for success.

In my personal research for my books and columns, I have been impressed by the fact that middle-aged entrepreneurs and career pioneers often create a consistent work while getting out of their early linear career paths. When I came back a few years later to meet the pioneers of my career, I read my book “What’s Next?” Gave profiles to, for example, more than a third went to another venture. They sold their business or added a new business, which started with enthusiasm again.

That’s why this twist in Clark’s book seemed true to me: “The most successful people enjoy their success, then acknowledge: it’s time to move on and learn something new,” he writes. “Playing long games means understanding where you are and making sure you don’t stop and stagnate. That way you will win. Don’t stop learning. Soon, it will be time to start the cycle again. ”

Dory Clark’s advice for older career switchers

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Clark’s new book, and I think you will, but I wanted a little more, so I asked Clark to share his advice with me (and you), especially over 50 employees and middle-aged entrepreneurs. By Here you go:

Calibrate your comparison. The faster the progress, the easier it is to get frustrated. Especially if you compare yourself to colleagues who have spent years in your profession that you are now entering, you may feel that you are incredibly far behind.

It is important to calibrate your comparisons. They may have more experience or connection to your new field, but you haven’t wasted years spent on other things – you’re cultivating their knowledge and experience. You have the advantage, too, and it’s important to remember.

Expand your runway. One of the best ways to reduce stress when you change careers or start an entrepreneurial venture is to ‘expand your runway’ and explore it part-time until you have a clear idea of ​​’product / market fit’ – e.g., what customers actually pay for Do. The more time you give yourself, the easier it is to replace your current income level and without compromising on quality of life, or without taking unnecessary risks.

Look for raindrops. It can take a while for an entrepreneurial venture or a new career to land. Before it becomes clear that you have succeeded, it can often seem like a dark tunnel – Are you making progress at all? How tall? It can be a frustrating and uncomfortable time – and when many people leave prematurely. Instead, I suggest “looking for raindrops”, which means making a conscious effort to identify small signs of progress, so that you can both celebrate them and verify that you’re on the right track. They may seem trivial (“Big deal, five people signed up for my newsletter today”). But when you’re just starting out, having five more people interested today than last week’s zero, is actually a big deal – and a small proof that your message is starting to resonate.

Kerry Hannon Work and Job, Entrepreneur, Personal Finance and etirement is a leading expert and strategist. Author of more than a dozen books, including Kerry Great Pajama Jobs: Your complete guide to working from home, Never be too old to get rich: Entrepreneurs are a guide to starting a mid-life business, 50+ works great for everyone, And Meaning confidence. Follow him on Twitter Kerihanon.

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