003 What does it take to change into a new career or The art of changing direction and succeed

new-career003_what-does-it-take-to change-into-a-new-career

talking points:

how do you go from one profession to another? having a vague idea is not enough!

  1. learned, school learned profession may give you a process and teach you everything
  2. learning, self-directed needs YOU to build a curriculum, or you’ll fail
  3. law of process, research, guidance, mentors

how do you know what skills to build?

    1. interviewing people
    2. watching movies
    3. reading books

how can you build skills if that is not part of your job?

  1. volunteering
  2. providing services, small services online/offline through craigslist, fiverr

What other than skills do you need?

  1. process capacity
  2. mental representation aka vision
  3. growth attitude… beginner attitude.


How do you choose the next step if what you are doing in the present isn’t it… but you have no experience in the next profession, the next adventure?

You may have no skills that you know of that would get you a job in the next profession…

But you may have some skills… or why would you want to go that way? After all, the rule of thumb is: go with your strengths… and if you have strengths, you know you have them, because you’ve been using them.

Here is how I did it. The time was 1988 and I was an architect. And that opportunity closed for me…

I did a skill inventory, and found that all my skills at that point were putting ink on paper… writing, drawing, designing… and communicating. With people.

Graphics, design, text, communicating… I decided that the best match was publisher, although I had no idea what I would want to say… Magazine publishing.

I was unemployed, so I spent my time training myself… designing ads, writing ads, and I even apprenticed with a small printer so I had some idea what printing entails.

Then I sent out two resumes to small local pennysavers… that I saw all the time in the supermarket.

One answered, and said that the only job available is advertising sales. That I would get someone to train me…

I said OK… The woman who came to train me (I didn’t have any transportation) gave me a script and went out with me to a few stores to sell advertising.

Next day she went and covered all the stores I could have been able to walk in and sold everyone she could… Dog eat dog is the advertising world.

So I called the other publisher. I told him I sold five ads on my first day… He met me and hired me, even gave me a beat up car to use, so that I can get around and do the job.

I was grateful. I worked 80 hours or more a week. I actively participated on Friday’s meetings when every salesperson brought in what they sold. After two weeks I took over that part of the job, laying out the magazine for Saturday printing.

I even delivered all the magazines to the stores in my sales area.

I busted my ass.

I built enough relationships with customers, typesetters, printers that after 14 months, when the owner felt threatened and kicked me out, I could start, overnight, my own magazine.

After that fateful meeting, when I got kicked out, I called the typesetter, called the printer, and asked for credit for one issue.

I got it. I stayed up all night, and next day at 4 pm my own magazine was in the street.

It was the beginning of a wonderful eleven year run.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.