10 Pieces of Actionable Wisdom from the Best Books for Changing Careers

Business.com / Careers / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Re-invent your career with these nuggets of wisdom from entrepreneurs, CEOs, professors and philosophers.

In a world where only 13 percent of the  population enjoy their work, the dream of being handed a nice gold clock after working for the same company for fifty years is a relic of generations past.

Modern career paths have changed dramatically: we change jobs many times, and often industries too.

The average American changes jobs every 4.5 years, with young people switching faster than ever under 30s changed jobs every three years on average, while over 50s changed every 10.

No one knows how many of these are true career changes, but more than half of U.S. workers want to change careers, with that figure jumping to 80 percent for those in their twenties.

Plus, with the rise of part-time education and online learning courses, gaining new qualifications to enable a big change doesn’t have to mean giving up a big salary.

If you’re thinking of re-inventing your career, these nuggets of wisdom from entrepreneurs, CEOs, professors and philosophers will provide invaluable guidance for making the leap, and finding or creating a more fulfilling future.

Related Article:Read Like an MBA: Top 5 Books Ivy Leaguers Read in Business School

"The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention: Essential Survival Skills for Any Economy" - by Pamela Mitchell

Career coach, public speaker and media personality Pamela Mitchell has reinvented her career several times, and devotes her life to helping others do the same as founder and CEO of The Reinvention Institute. If anyone knows how to make a switch, it’s her. She advises:

1. Identify How You Want to Live

Imagine your ideal working day in as much detail as possible what time do you wake up? Do you work at home or in an office? Within a team or as a lone wolf? Use this blueprint to envision your dream life, and build from there.

2. Trust in Your Gut

Have faith in your subconscious ‘rapid cognition’, as intellect is easily swayed by things that sound impressive, regardless of whether or not they’re right for you. Prime example: those New Years’ Resolutions we make year after year, convincing ourselves that this will be the year we finally succeed when all the evidence suggests that we won’t.

3. Get Inside Information

Moving sectors is like moving countries, with unfamiliar languages and cultures. Get advice from natives in your new industry to get ahead.

Book cover: The 10 laws of career reinvention

"The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant To Do" - by Jeff Goins

Bestselling author Jeff Goins posits that finding your calling the idea or goal that drives you forward is the secret to a fulfilling life, then gives clear guidelines on how to find it. He says:

4. Analyse Your Happiest Moments

Make a list of all the major events in your life. When did you feel the most fulfilled, accomplished and happy? Examine what unites these moments it could be the key to finding your calling.

5. If You Experience a Set-Back, Use the ‘Pivot Foot’ Mentality

In basketball, if you take two steps without dribbling the foot you land on becomes your pivot foot, which you can’t take from the floor. However, just because your foot is stuck there doesn’t stop you from moving your body around it, looking for opportunities to pass or shoot. Likewise, an obstacle in you path doesn’t mean you can’t keep working towards your goal, even if it’s not in the way you originally intended.

Book cover: The art of work

Related Article:10 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read for Inspiration

"How to Find Fulfilling Work" - by Roman Krzanic

Philosopher and founding member of The School of Life Roman Krzanic explores what makes work meaningful. He advises:

6. Regret What You Do, Not What You Don’t Do

If you’re thinking about whether or not to change careers but you’re uncertain, do it. Research suggests that regret due to not taking action is one of the most damaging emotions you can experience.

7. Think of It as a Choice Between Two Types of Regret

if you’re struggling to make the psychological leap: you’ll either regret abandoning a career you invested so much time in, or you’ll regret never having the guts to pursue a more fulfilling future.

time in, or you’ll regret never having the guts to pursue a more fulfilling future.

Book cover: How to find fulfilling work

"Crush It!: Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion" - by Gary Vaynerchuk

Mega-successful entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck details how you can defy the odds and make a livelihood from doing what you love. He advises:

8. Turn Yourself Into a Brand

An image that reflects both your personality and your passion, in order to monetize what you love to do. Vaynerchuck exemplifies this approach: his YouTube channel Wine Library TV is successful because he speaks about wine in plain English and lets his loud, unconventional personality take centre stage.

9. Become Part of Your Target Audience’s Community

Spend as much time as you can scouring blogs, videos, social media and message boards related to your passion. Engage with the conversation and the benefits are two-fold: you learn what your target market want, and you have an amiable core audience ready to support your new venture.

Book cover: Why now is the time to Crush It.

"Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard" - by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Finding it hard to make the leap? These sibling professors at Stanford and Duke University examine the science of why change is difficult and provide simple yet effective tools for making a switch. They say:

10. Make a Successful Change by "Riding the Elephant"

Three key components affect your chances of success: the rider, representing your analytical intellectual side; the unruly elephant, representing your stubborn emotional side; and the path you’re walking.

To make lasting and effective change, you must give the rider a clear, concrete direction to move in; you must give the elephant ‘peanuts’ (emotional motivation) to follow the chosen path; and you must shape the situational and environmental factors around the path to make it easy to follow.

Related Article:The Most Inspiring Books for Small Business Owners

Book cover: Switch: how to change things when change is hard.

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