It starts like this:
You grab a piece of paper, or open a notepad on your tablet.
Write it down, if you know what the goal is.
You may or may not be sure what that first sentence looks like. That’s okay. Write down something positive, ala ” I want to work with kids.”
That’s the starter.
Now add to the list.
Notice there are no roadblocks on this list – no negatives. It’s simply a list of events, circumstances and goals that one will need to knock down to get to this point in a current or new career.
This is a real document. It’s mine, and it looks big and scary. I’m an adjunct now. I have to get my master’s. It’s the ticket into the club. Never mind that the portfolio I submit to my chosen college will be so extraordinary that any administrator in their right mind would hire me on the spot! I’m submitting a completed master’s thesis – one that I wrote for a conference. I know how to do this, for god’s sake. I cannot and will not ascend to the empire I wish to create, however, without that magic piece of paper. Those are the rules of the game. “They” make the rules, and they make it hard, because “they” don’t want me in. They don’t want you in, either.
What are the rules of your game? Do you need a piece of paper, or just a certificate? Can you take a couple of little courses and be up to speed? VERY rarely does a career change require a full-on multi-year commitment in college.
The next thing on your list are bullet point snapshots of what you have already accomplished and achieved. Your list is probably very impressive, by the way.
Your next cool achievement is more than likely an extension of the things you have already done! What a relief! You won’t have to reinvent the wheel and yourself at the same time.
I worked in the media forever. I won a couple of little awards and worked in one of the biggest markets in the country. Now I teach what I’ve learned and give my students the benefit of my experience as an adjunct. The next step will be to immerse, to jump into the deep end of the pool. Scary? Yeah. Doable? Absolutely.
This is what you can do.
Make that list. Keep it positive. Do it this weekend.
Contact me if you’re stuck – I’ve been where you might be now.
I might know the way out.
John Scott is a media studies instructor and the career services manager at the School of Multimedia Communications, Academy of Art University San Francisco. Check out John’s book, “Destination: Reinvention”, on sale in the Amazon bookstore. The hardcover edition is on sale now at Lulu. Audiobook available on Audible and iTunes.