Life’s changes are rarely without anxiety. The first day at the college of your dreams is a mix of excitement and apprehension. Deciding to marry the love of your life is joyous and nerve-wracking, all at once. And despite months of thoughtful consideration carefully weighing the pros and cons, when you finally decide to change careers, your heart won’t stop pounding with both anticipation and fear.
Second-guessing our decisions and ourselves seems to be human nature. But it can undermine your ability to reach your goals if allowed to run wild. Fortunately, there’s help. If you’re one of the many people considering or in the midst of a transition to an analytics career, here’s how to quiet that pesky inner voice of doom.
Focus on what you know, not what you don’t:
When I started mentoring Paul, a career transition trainee, his background quickly thrilled me: teaching, office manager for a distribution enterprise, experience with lab performance testing, actor, writer; the list went on and on. I knew he was an excellent candidate for a transition to an analytics career and the results of his analytics aptitude assessment supported that conclusion (if you score 16 or above, you too are on the right path).
In fact, he said he enjoyed the test and remarked on how easy it was for him (another validation that he was on the right path!).
But as he did his homework, researching jobs that might be right for him, he became discouraged. He focused on the holes in his resumé rather than the skills he could bring to the table. Instead of showing his bright side, he fell into the trap of thinking he wasn’t good enough.
No one perfectly matches all the job requirements for a position. But a positive, can-do attitude can close the gap. It’s a cliché but true: If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will. Plus, career transition doesn’t mean leaping from one role to another. Career transition is a process that builds on your strengths until your path becomes clear.
As we talked, Paul realized he had made chasms out of the small gaps he saw in his resumé, gaps that could be easily handled with training and a positive outlook. It’s all about your mindset and focusing on the positive.
Experience is not a liability:
Analytics jobs are anything but cookie cutter, and neither are you. Your experience and background is uniquely you, and the right analytics job is waiting for you.
Resist the urge to convince yourself that your experience isn’t sufficient, doesn’t apply or seems frivolous. Leverage everything you’ve done to gain experience to find roles tailor made for you. Perhaps you’re an engineer who has done product management and added some analytics skills. Meantime, an analytics tool company is looking for a product manager who understands product management and product engineering. It’s a unique role, but not unlike most jobs you’ll encounter. It could be just the right fit for you.
Appreciate the value of your experience. Someone straight out of school brings very different experience than someone who has done engineering for 5 years and then learns analytics. And the engineer’s experience is different than that of the executive with 20-years of tenure who wants to transition to analytics leadership. Yet all are valuable and the path they will follow is unique.
Show your Sparkle:
When you find jobs that pique your excitement, show it in the interview! Your tone, your eyes, and your enthusiasm will open doors if only you will show yourself to the universe.
You’re not only wearing your clothes; you’re wearing your attitude!
Now, that may be hard for those who allow nagging self-doubts to creep into their minds. But belief in yourself starts a chain reaction: when I really believe in what I do well, when I show enthusiasm about my work, people respond. The same will happen for you.
The best part: you don’t have to go through this alone. Career transition mentoring can help you stay on course, gain confidence and find the path that’s right for you.
Visit our website to learn more about Aryng’s career transition track. Trying to decide whether career transition is right for you? Download a copy of my e-book Acing Your Analytics Career Transition today, and don’t look back.
Read more by Piyanka Jain, here
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