Monday, December 12, 2011

Brad Pitt Did It: 3 Smart Tips to Reinvent Your Career

Brad Pitt recently announced that he’s planning his retirement from acting.

That’s right. Brad Pitt, mega star of mega stars, is planning to leave acting in favor of his other great love, producing.

While this intended career change has left many reeling, simply ask yourself: why not?  Why shouldn’t Pitt (or, for that matter, anyone) leave their current job for something else that could be more meaningful or satisfying? Are we really meant to work in one mode for a lifetime?

I don’t think so. In the end, it’s better to be happy with what you do than to boast a lifelong, monotonous career, right?

While mid-life career switches can seem dizzingly romantic and exciting, they can also be frustrating, fruitless, and terrifying if done the wrong way.

Check out these three tips to reinvent your career the smart way:

The worst thing you can do for yourself is to quit your job and expect to smoothly transition into a new career. Spend the beginning of your transition research your options. Absorb as much information as possible about the career of your dreams, different companies that would hire you for the attitude and aptitude you have, and the industry (if you’re switching that as well).

Use your Google skills to find industry publications, blogs, and influential people. Hop onto your favorite social media platforms to find and start networking with peers, mentors, companies, and employers.

Read the top-rated books related to your newly chosen career path.  Schedule informational interviews and attend industry-specific conferences. Since you’re not starting as a new grad, you have more ground to cover. So, you will have lots of questions. Maintain a list of the questions for which you do not have answers after all your research. When you interact with peers, opinion leaders, and employers at these conferences, be prepared with good open-ended questions to ask.  This will help you to start conversations and engage people with a purpose at networking functions.

After polishing off the majority of your research, it’s time to figure out what you need to get hired. Brad Pitt isn’t going to jump into producing without any skills—he’s been working with producers for years, learning the ropes. Just like Brad, you need to hone your skills and develop your brand in this new discipline.

It could require a class or two (or a new degree) or work experience back at the bottom of the proverbial career ladder. It’s never too late to intern, so don’t rule out internships. They are sometimes your best option to get the experience and professional recognition at a new company, or when you are breaking into a new field. Pick experience and opportunities that will improve your skills and make you look more attractive to employers.

More Tips and Complete Career Rocketeer Article

Guest Expert:

Tony Morrison is the Vice President at Cachinko, a unique professional community where social networking and job opportunities come together. His roles include sales, marketing, and business development. He is passionate about building B2B and B2C client relationships and brings this passion to Cachinko where he focuses on helping job seekers to find their ideal job and employers to find, attract, and engage their next rock star candidates. Find him on Twitter and/or connect with Cachinko on Facebook or Twitter.

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