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  • Sarah Mancinho

Where to start when thinking about setting your career sails for a new body of water.

Are you marketable? Do you possess the skills employers want? Are you willing to take a risk?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you've got some work to do; especially if you are looking to switch careers, or land your first job after college. The competition is fierce, as there are a lot of unemployed (or underemployed) people out there. Additionally, there are a lot of employed people out there whom are not giving up their cubicle any time soon.

Employers are being very picky. taking their time, and being very specific on their KSAs in the job description. So how can you compete with so many others?

Stand out from the crowd.

It sounds easy but, it's not. It's work. It's like having a second job. If you are unemployed, then looking for a job IS YOUR JOB! Treat it a such. If you are underemployed, then looking for a job is now your side gig. Own it. It is what it is. Now, let's get to work....

Brainstorm about what it is you want to do, and research any and all variations of that job, and the options stemming out of it. If you want to get into sports marketing, you had better start learning about sports, marketing, and sports marketing. Also, you will need to know communications, sales, digital skills, writing, and more. You then have to figure out if you want to do digital marketing, social media, public relations, client management, etc. It's cool if you want to do all of those things but, you have to start with just one.

Now let's take off the rose colored glasses for a moment. - Getting your first job out of college, or making a career pivot years later is not easy. There is no magic potion, other than hard work and determination. It can take months. It all depends on how much you are willing to work, how fast you are willing to execute on your plan, and how much risk you are willing to take.

The one thing that deters people from making a change is fear of the unknown. People tend to avoid risk at all costs. It can be stressful thinking about all the "what-ifs"; So don't think about them, or else you will get stuck.

After this initial stage, you have a few more choices to make. Do you need a certification, training, or experience for the job you want? Then go get it, and know that in doing so, your plan will take a little longer than anticipated but, it's all for the cause. Keep going. Keep learning.

Don't have money for the certifications, license, or whatever it is you need? Are you sure? I hear objections all the time. No money, no time, no need, need to ask my spouse first, need to think about it, etc. Everyone has an excuse.

People complain about the cost of gym memberships all the time but, are quick to go out with their friends or order take out food every other night. Long story short - you need to sit down and do a household budget. Are there things you could cut back on? Something you can live without? Most of the things we think we need are just wants, and non-essential to our every day living.

For instance, I don't have cable. I don't have Netflix or Hulu. In fact, I haven't watched TV in months. I can live without it. I read books instead.

Giving up the ability to watch TV, or not being able to have drinks on the weekend, or order takeout once a week are all first world problems. If you really want to achieve this thing, get over it.

You will live. I promise. Get serious about wanting to make the change you claim to want to make. Short term sacrifices for long term results. It's a mindset. The sooner you learn that, the closer you will be to the goal. Step one.....

Change your mindset, and you will change your life.


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