How to get started in a new career
So you’ve decided to switch careers OR you’re just starting out.
You’re probably asking yourself, “Where do I begin?”
Here are FIVE ways to get you going and on the right track.
1. Decide what you’re passionate about
When someone asks you what you are passionate about writing, and your answer is something like “ Well a lot of things,” or “I can write about anything,” you may think that you are showing your flexibility. What you are effectually doing instead is letting the other person know that you haven’t decided what you want to focus on yet. In order to excel in your field, you need to start by laser focusing. If you aren’t sure yet, choose something. If you want to write on music, great! If it’s sports, like it was for me, become an expert in your field.
2. Get a mentor
Once you’ve chosen your focus, find five people you admire in that particular industry, and create a plan to meet them. You can use sites like facebook, or linkedin or truly the MOST effective route; get introduced to them. These people are your best resources. They will tell you what to do and what not to do.
3. Connect, connect, connect. And then….connect.
In Hollywood, they say it’s all about who you know. In fact, this is true about most industries. Knowing how to get around top-level people, and STAY around them is an integral part of making your way to the top in the journalism world. Collect a list of 20 people you know in your niche, and start calling, emailing, facebooking, tweeting at them, and knocking on their doors. If you have a friend who can connect you to someone you are inspired by, ask for an introduction.
4. Work for your mentor for free.
Once you have found a person, or a few people in your niche that you are inspired by, make it a priority to be around them. Spending a decent amount of time around high-level individuals will actually start to rub off on you. The long-term benefit of working for free for someone that you want to emulate is hard to calculate – it’s that big! Adding value to their life will only add value to yours in the long run.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Whatever your passion, you must practice it every day. If, like me, journalism is your passion…you must practice some form of journalism every day. And to truly excel and be a standout, you really must enjoy competition. You are trying to beat out tons of other people just like you. If Kobe Bryant didn’t practice making 400 shots a day, there is no way he would not be performing at such a high level. You won’t either unless you practice your craft. If your passion is strong, you know the right people, and you know what to do around them, going from average to awesome should not be very hard for you. For easy practice ask high-level people around you what you can do for them.
6. Do NOT be afraid of starting small.
Everyone has to start somewhere. Most well known people in their industries got their start in small towns, or at small market outlets. If you think you are above starting small, then perhaps you should try out a different career… or maybe a different reality. If we all started out awesome, there would be no way to improve.
NOW…I want to hear from YOU!
Let me ask you this question:
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?
Leave a comment in the comments section below and tell me your plan. I read and respond to every comment.
Go out there and get it done!
Onwards and upwards!