September 30, 2021

Want To Switch Your Career Path and Make More Money? (Here’s A Guide)

Pierre Subeh
Founder & CEO of X Network

A comprehensive step-by-step guide on how you can explore your real purpose and find new security in your professional life — Be happier and make more money.

Illustration by Matthew Gaughran

It is no secret that since the beginning of 2020, millions of professionals from every industry have lost their jobs, and competition for open job positions has become extremely high. So why is now the perfect time to switch your career choice or profession and follow your dreams?

To answer that very complex question, we have to dig down to the fundamentals of crafting a successful career and find out if those methods are even still effective in today’s world — getting a high school diploma, then a Bachelor’s degree followed by a Master’s degree has been the “formula to success”, but when we take a closer look at the Forbes World’s Billionaires List, we quickly find out that around 62% of the 2020 listed Billionaires don’t even hold a Bachelor’s degree. With that being said, the important question is: Why do we continue to blindly follow the traditional formula set by society’s standards if the data proves otherwise? The truth is subjective and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula, but rather a historic record of what worked in the past, and as we continue to evolve, that becomes less and less relevant. Success is simply achieved through a dynamic joined effort of education, unstoppable drive, hard-work, consistency, intelligence, and the availability of necessary resources.

Based on a recent survey conducted by SurveyMonkey and led by Jeff Weiner, CEO of the corporate social media site LinkedIn, roughly one in five Americans (22%) say they have their dream job — Just to repeat, they weren’t asked how satisfied they were at their job, nor how likely they are to keep their careers, but rather if they have their dream job. The data proves to us that nearly four-fifth of corporate America is settling for corporate lives less than their dreams, is that good enough for an economy labeled as one of the most thriving ones in the world?

Enough with the rhetorical questions, I promise to be more theoretical moving forward. I’m not trying to convince you to change your career if you’re unhappy and unsatisfied, but rather to showcase the data that suggests doing so, here are some key points I have collected during my research on this topic:

  • Even stellar performers are not protected from a crashing economy (If you consider yourself a leader in your job and you work hard to perform strongly, I hate to break it to you, but your job security isn’t as strong as you believe it to be).
  • Industries are now more dynamic than they ever were, and the demand for new skills has never been higher (Getting a Bachelor’s degree followed by a Master’s is not enough to set you apart, keeping up with the new skills needed in our ever-changing demands as a modern society is a key to securing high positions and staying relevant).
  • Recession-proof jobs are a myth, even those of executive roles (Statistics prove that no job is truly recession-proof, so having flexibility in the way you handle pressure and adapt is important; overnight, millions of people had to switch to working remotely because of a global pandemic, the corporate world has now become a jungle, where only the fittest survive).
  • It’s time to do what makes you happy, it’s as simple as that (Studies from Harvard to Oxford prove one clear point; A person who is happy doing their job is more likely to excel, grow, and find easy transitions to better positions. Find what makes you happy and make it your job, it’s your safest bet to a successful and everlasting career).

You deserve to wake up every day excited to do what you love. Once you fulfill your true passion, inspiration will come naturally, ideas will flood your brain like never before, and your outlook on life will be with a more positive and hopeful lens. I speak from experience; for years, I’ve struggled with finding my place in society and the corporate world — When I sat down and asked myself, “I’m a creative director and I have always enjoyed and appreciated technology, why am I spending my time doing event planning?” I instantly dropped my gigs at the time and decided to start a tech marketing automation firm. Today, I wake up every single morning looking forward to bringing my ideas to reality and helping companies succeed in their field while mentoring people grow to their full potential.

I’m not the writer to present ideologies and theoretical possibilities without providing an exact guide, so here we go; below are the four ways you can start making a transition to your new career or simply improve your current one:

Illustration by Fausto Montanari & Nikolay Ivanov

Get curious about your real purpose and find what careers line up with your personality rather than your skills

Take the initiative to research and experience new things so that you can identify your real passion and therefore find your purpose; then line these up with possible careers and embrace new and rising opportunities. A few years back, many students who were looking to fulfill a higher education wanted to become influential content creators, but the closest thing to that was journalism. Understand that the world is changing rapidly and upcoming successful careers could not even have the corresponding degree yet or could have no degree at all, but instead, find the best bet on what degree or training could benefit your future. For example, those looking to become content creators should choose to learn photography, videography, and social media marketing.

Taking online courses/classes can expand your horizons and teach you new transferable skills

Whether you’re a student starting up or a successful executive, you must keep up with new skills needed and develop dynamic strengths to weather through the ever-changing work environment of any given industry— Taking online courses or classes may sound expensive, challenging, and time-consuming; although, they have the power to add credibility to your resume more than a 20-year old Bachelor’s degree could. Online courses/classes prove that you are interested in constant self-development which is what any important employer looks for. Begin your self-development journey with courses and certification from sources such as Harvard University Online and Learn@Forbes, both offer free course content and free trials (I’m not a partner of these two institutions and the links do not benefit me in any monetary form).

Illustration by Furkan Söyler

Grow your network and connect with individuals that will lift you up and show you new opportunities

How active are you on LinkedIn? How often do you attend networking events? Are you open to having a conversation with the person next to you in the coffee shop? If your answers to these questions weren’t an exciting “YES!”, then you have to be open to growing more in this area. Jobs come and go, your school will eventually be over, companies you work for could outgrow you or possibly shut down, but your network will always be there for you. The most stable asset in your career after your knowledge is your network, so get on Linkedin and be more active within your industry, attend as many events or conventions where you could potentially meet your future customer, colleague, or boss. Most importantly, understand that if you are not willing to open up and socialize with new people, you will be limiting your potential from growing in ways you cannot even imagine. My marketing automation firm grew exponentially from the organic referrals of my network. Although, since the recent events broke out affecting economies worldwide, we lost many of our top clients. Then a few months back, I received a call from an old friend that I met during a marketing convention in Austin, Texas a few years back — After a long thread of emails back-and-forth, we successfully signed a 36-months marketing agreement with her tech startup and have already achieved our 6-months milestone in less than 50-days of working together. That should say enough about the countless benefits you have access to when you construct a great network.

Illustration by Rob Wilson

Redo your resume, but this time around, use my marketing advice to better brand yourself

I was only 17-years old when I landed my first content marketing director position and that wasn’t because I went to some renowned university or had any extraordinary achievements, but simply because I used my very own marketing skills to brand myself into a story based on the principles of dedication and strategic communication. When you think about working for a major company such as Google, SpaceX, or The New York Times; note that their senior recruiters are not looking for boring A-grade students, they are also not interested in individuals who try to act smarter than they actually are. But instead, they are intrigued by personalities that shine and stand out in combination with a resume that proves a record of commitment which can support the fact that you are worth a shot and deserve their time. Redo your resume, but this time around, don’t treat yourself like a product, embrace your unique traits and tell your story rather than just focusing on your grades, achievements, and degrees.

My final thoughts on this topic revolve around the simple philanthropistic idea that we all deserve to be happy in our professional lives. I have interviewed over 100 executives in their late careers, and the takeaway from all of them was simple, their advice was: “do what you love, and give it your all, then all the puzzle pieces will naturally come together”. Do not fear to fail, in fact, plan to fail and have a backup plan, but choose to not give up on yourself and never settle for less than you deserve.

I poured my heart into this story because I’m very passionate about helping people reach their full potential and grow their professional skill set, I hope that I was able to contribute even if just a little to your knowledge.

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