Deciding to switch careers can be downright scary. There’s really no way to sugarcoat it. But, it doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t do it.
One of the big steps in choosing your new career is putting your new career options to the test. Sure, you could dive in with all of your assumptions and hope that you’re making the right choice. Wouldn’t it be better to test the waters before you decide to be all in? This way if you’re not completely happy, there’s time to make a change.
It’s all about putting your MVCs, or Minimal Viable Commitments, to the test. One way to do this is to get exposure to the new career you’re considering. This can be through talking to people who do the job you think you want or even scoring a shadowing experience. Whatever the case, it’s important to test your options.
You want to be mindful when you do this. This will help you get the most out of any experience you choose. Here’s how…
Track Your Assumptions
Chances are you have some assumptions about this new dream job you’re planning on taking. This is your time to put those assumptions to the test. When you do this, you want to track your results.
So that you can go back and read them over as you decide whether this really is your dream job or if the dose of reality you just got has left you still dreaming.
Keep Calm and Don’t Worry
I know, it’s easier said than done. But, as you test out your options you don’t want to start making judgments and worry that this is not the job for you. Push all of your worries and doubts aside so that you can get the full experience. If you let all of those worries takeover, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You could be missing out on something great which may be the piece you need to complete your career puzzle.
Be An Active Participant
If you are lucky enough to score a shadowing experience, be an active participant. Just because you’re a “shadow” doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions and get involved. The person you’re shadowing should want you to ask questions and dive deep. If they don’t, maybe they need a career change!
When you’re job shadowing, don’t be on your phone or checking your social media accounts. Be present and engaged. If the person you’re shadowing sees that you’re distracted, they’ll feel like you’re not only wasting your time but also their time. If this happens you can kiss any chance of getting a job at this company, goodbye.
Rate Your Experience
While your review isn’t going to go on Google or Yelp!, you still want to rate your experience. This is for your personal benefit.
Did your experience live up to your expectations? Did it surpass them? Did it fail? Be honest and keep track with a review. You can list the pros and cons. Don’t depend on your memory to do it for you. It’s better to have everything documented. This will allow you to go back and relive your experiences through what you wrote down.
When it comes time to make your big decision, you can have an accurate record of what you liked and what you didn’t. Hopefully, the pros will outweigh the cons. If they don’t, don’t worry. You still have time to change your mind and try out some other options.
That’s the whole point of this process. You don’t have to hit it out of the park on the first try. If you do, great, but you can keep trying until you feel confident to make the leap. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. So, lace up your sneakers, grab your water, and keep your eye on the prize.
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