HOW to Transition into a Better Job

Take Charge of Your Career

I recently wrote a blog post called, “Be More Deliberate with the Career Path That You Are On!” I received a lot of interesting feedback from that post, so i decided it is probably more than appropriate that I provide some added insight and help with the “how.”


In the post I told you it is soo important to know which side of the business you work on. Are you on the side of the equation that helps generate revenue or are you working in departments that are seen as “expenses” for keeping the business running?


This alone, determines your long term ability to increase your earning capacity and potential.


People want to know “HOW Ryan, do I get myself over to the other side?!” 


HOW do I get my employer to REALLY value my contribution--enough so that they WANT to pay me more??”


Well my friends, you are in for a treat. Let’s answer these questions!


To Get to Where you Want to go, you Need a Map


When is the last time you got lost in one of those mega huge shopping malls?


You remember looking for the food court, or the restroom, and being like, what in the heck--navigating this place is NOT an intuitive experience!


So finally, you give in and ask a security guard where the nearest map is. They walk you over to it (because clearly you look befuddled) and point to that big star that says, “You are here.”


Sigh of relief!


Now that you know your approximate location, you are confident your toddler is no longer going to pee their pants.


Only thing is, how do you get to that bathroom--ASAP? Are you closest to the stairs, the elevator, or the escalator? Or ideally, is there a bathroom ON YOUR LEVEL that you can get to QUICKER?!


To get to where you want to go, you need to know exactly where you are to begin with, and you need to know the quickest path forward for your circumstances. 


One more quick analogy to really drive home what I’m about to say…


You are planning a trip across the country. 


Depending on your circumstances, it may be smarter or wiser for you to take one form of transportation over another. 


Maybe your bank account is running low, and a ticket on the Greyhound is going to make more sense for you than 1st class on an airplane. Or, conversely, maybe your wife is 8.5 months pregnant and taking a flight isn’t recommended, even if you can afford it.


So it goes with planning out YOUR pathway to your better career.


I don’t know every constraint, challenge, or need that affects why one pathway would be better than another, but I do know that everyone's journey requires them to answer these three questions:

  1. Where are you?
  2. Where are you trying to go?
  3. *What is the most appropriate course of action for your circumstances to get you there?

*Number 3 then gets broken down into manageable steps, spread over a period of time that is REALISTIC for your life situation. Jet planes vs. road trips vs. train rides all depend on your constraints/needs.


1.Where are you?


What is your current job title? What is your current salary? What skillsets, knowledge, or education do you currently have that qualify you to do this job?


2. Where are you trying to go?


What is the future job title you are wanting? What future salary range are you wanting to make? What date would you like to be in this position by (realistically, for your circumstances)? What skillsets, certifications, knowledge or education are required to get you here?


3. What is the most appropriate course of action for your circumstances to get you there?


The first question I want you to answer for me, which will determine every following choice you make from here on out is: “Am I capable of getting into this position/new job role with the company I presently work for?


If you work in customer service but you know your company is always looking for good sales people, can you naturally transition yourself into that position? 


Do you like the company you are with enough to stay with them at least six months to a year after making that transition? If it is easier on you to do this (vs. finding a new company/job), I’d definitely encourage you to stay with them and figure out the necessary steps to make it happen.


Depending on the hierarchy and type of management, you can feel out if/how to approach a conversation with them about this, but recognize that they might not be happy with you if you are “too good” at your present job function and they would have to replace you.


Judge whether going to a new company and working your way up is smarter for your situation...


Depending on what type of organization you are with and the culture of that organization, they may be the kind that wants to keep good employees and as a result offer programs and ways to help you gain further skills and certifications if you are willing to make a time commitment to them--if they help you get X certification, you will stay with them for X amount of years.


If the answer to my earlier question is a hard “No,” then from the way I see things, you really have two main options:


1) You stay there because of the current stability of the paycheck while you use your spare time (evening, weekends, etc.) to do what is necessary to get the skills and credentials needed to get yourself a position with another company.




2) You leave as soon as you can to go and work for a company that can and will provide you the opportunity to move into the position you are wanting, over time. 


Typically pathway number two means taking a temporary cut in pay and status, but they may be a company that is growing quickly and if you get in soon enough you will be able to work your way up the ladder sooner than you’d think.


Technically, there is an option #3, and that is doing work you are qualified for with a different company that provides more freedom and flexibility of schedule, in which case you would be able to stay with them for a time while you gain the necessary skills and credentials to transition out of there. 


Once again, only you know what would be best for your circumstances. I realize that few people are in a position financially to be able to go back to school full-time and take on a bunch of student debt, that is why I preach gaining skills through places like UdemyHubspot Academy, and W3Schools, even Youtube tutorials, depending on what job title and industry you are wanting to get into.


Step 1: What are you going to do TODAY?


After you have answered for yourself questions 1,2, and 3--and you know for sure whether or not your current company is going to provide the opportunity for either a) your career growth or b) your temporary stability, you then need to move on to creating your action plan. 


I DON’T want you to get so bogged down by the details that you don’t actually do anything (this happens to too many of us when setting goals or trying to make a change!!!), I just want you to pick the quickest and easiest thing you can do NEXT! 


What is the thing you can literally commit to RIGHT NOW?! 


NOT next Wednesday! I’m talking right F….flipping NOW!!!!


Is it signing up for the certificate through Udemy and blocking out two hours a week after the kids are in bed to work on it? 


Is it driving over to the local technical college and talking to the person who can tell you about the program and get you enrolled? 


Is it calling your old friend from high school who currently works for a company that is growing and needs people who want to grow with them?


I’m a big believer in Stoicism. Focusing on and making the effort towards the things that I do control, not waiting for the perfect circumstances to line up for me before I take an action. To not fear the potential of “failure” for things not looking or turning out as “perfect” or as great as I would like. 


Because you know what happens when you wait for the stars to align, for your kids to be out of the house, for your savings account to hit a certain number? 


You can end up waiting for days, weeks, months--that compound into years--until on a perfectly good (normal level of stress) morning you wake up to the realization that you could have made effort to get what you wanted years ago! Because you finally wake up to the fact that your circumstances are still not aligned enough for you to make a big change happen. 


Here is a little secret of the universe: big changes are composed of SMALL, little, consistent ones made over large courses of time. How do you think the grand canyon was made?


It took Leonardo Da Vinci seven years to paint the Mona Lisa--a painting with the networth of more than 850 million dollars--which he believes he never finished.


If you want to start a business, transition your career, lose weight (whatever it is!) what is the one thing you can do today (the ONE step, the ONE brush stroke on the canvas) that puts you on the path one step closer to it? 


Today (freakin TODAY!).


Small, actionable steps.


Current research tells us that the reason why the majority of new year's resolutions fail is because people don’t set manageable goals. If your goal is too massive, or you didn’t start small enough, you set yourself up to feel perpetually frustrated.


Ok...thanks for letting me pep talk ya!


Step 2: What are you going to do AFTER Step 1?


Okay, so you did Step 1. 


What is the next, most logical step to take? Can you take it right now? exactly how the pathway forward looks/works.


Maybe it sounds too simple to some of you, but legitimately, you have to create an adaptable plan. Starting a business, changing your career, anything of this nature (going into the unknown) requires flexibility and allowing the steps to evolve one at a time. 


I recommend you create an account with Indeed or Linkedin as an “employer” and you search out resumes of people that have your job title somewhere in their past work experience. Find out what they are doing now, and you may even feel to reach out to them and find out what steps they took to get there.


I will go into greater depth on this in an upcoming blog post!


Step 3: What is the next logical step after Step 2 that points you in the direction of  your end goal? 


Now do that!


You probably think I’m being crazy facetious, but honestly, THIS is the road map to getting yourself where you want to go!!! I’m just trying to drive that home without sounding like too much of a jerk.


Depending on your new chosen career/job title, once you have obtained the necessary skillsets, certificates, credentials, etc., you may need to build some physical proof (the “experience”) of using them.


This could be as simple as a web portfolio or as “big” as finding a local business to use your skills out on, possibly pro bono. In our Facebook group (if you haven’t joined yet, come check it out! We are just getting going again with things there) I have a video I did a couple years ago about how to change into a new profession. It is worth watching--I go into a lot more depth about these principles. 


So there you go. This is a super general idea of “how” you build a road map forward for yourself to get away from point A and make steady progress to point Z. Don’t be overwhelmed by steps B-Y, they will happen!


Let me know if there is anything I can help you with on your pathway forward. Wishing you all the best!

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Ryan Kay

Helping people get the career of their dreams!

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