The New Year is traditionally a time for fireworks, celebrations, resolutions, and now, career change. A new study from Fiverr and YouGov shows that nearly 6 in 10 U.S. workers are looking to change something about their work or career in the New Year. Some of the changes they are considering include their company, industry or job location. These results underscore the fact that work has dramatically shifted over the past decade. People no longer have jobs for life and are prioritizing purpose over profit.
“As we enter a new decade, it is important for everyone to consider the opportunities that exist for them now that might not have ten years ago,” said Gali Arnon, Chief Marketing Officer at Fiverr. “Technology has made it possible for people to earn a living right from their phone or computer, work from anywhere and collaborate on a global scale. It has allowed people to be measured by their skills and their talent, regardless of anything else. People nowadays are not looking for that ‘job for life.’ Rather they want to be part of something that has purpose and stands for something bigger than itself.”
If you are yearning for a career change in the New Year, here are five tips to guide you through the transition.
1. Take a step back
If you are considering a career change, this is a good time to ask yourself why. Take a step back to understand your motivation. Are you considering a change because you hate your boss or because you really don’t like your job? Try not to make a fear-based decision. If you’re thinking of starting a business because you are afraid of company layoffs, that’s not a good reason to pursue entrepreneurship. Your goal is to run towards something you love, not away from something you hate. To feel fulfilled, you’ll also want to ensure that your future career aligns with your values and priorities. For example, if your number one priority is your family, a job that has you on the road 42 weeks out of the year won’t be a good fit.
2. Consider freelancing
The Fiverr and YouGov study also confirmed that many workers are looking for increased flexibility, the ability to work remotely, and a career that they’re genuinely passionate about. If that sounds like you, you may want to consider a freelancing career. According to the sixth annual “Freelancing in America” study sponsored by Upwork and Freelancers Union, more people than ever see freelancing as a long-term career path. The share of those who freelance full time increased from 17% in 2014 to 28% in 2019. Not only that, but at nearly $1 trillion (approaching 5% of U.S. GDP), freelance income contributes more to the economy than industries such as construction and transportation. Skilled services are the most common type of freelance work, with 45% of freelancers involved in other areas such as programming, marketing, IT and business consulting.
3. Start a Side Gig
Thinking about going from employee to entrepreneur? One of the best methods to test a new business idea without immediately abandoning your day job is to launch a side gig. It’s also a rewarding way to acquire valuable skills while generating a bit of extra income. As your side gig grows, you’ll get a sense of whether this is a more meaningful and fulfilling career path. Eventually, you’ll have the potential to turn your side gig into a full-time business.
4. Hire a coach
As someone who is a coach and has hired coaches for myself, I can attest to the power of coaching. They are sometimes referred to as career coaches, life coaches, or business coaches. If you are feeling stuck, wrestling with what to do next or wondering how to put your ideas into action, a coach can help. Coaches are especially valuable in terms of holding you accountable and assisting with the creation of short and long-term action plans. They essentially keep you on track and moving forward toward your goal. Ultimately, getting an outside perspective from a professional can be extremely helpful when navigating a career change.
5. Revamp your personal brand
Has your LinkedIn profile gone untouched for months or even years? Did you send your last Tweet back in 2012? Or, worse yet, do you lack a social media presence altogether? The New Year is an ideal time to revisit your personal brand. Your personal brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are and allow you to stand out from the crowd. Cultivating a personal brand has become more important than ever. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process. Personal branding is also essential if you are a consultant or a small business owner. By effectively managing your online reputation, you will be able to control the narrative and differentiate yourself from the competition.
If you are contemplating a career change, the New Year is the perfect time to reflect on the past 12 months, inventory your skills and chart a new course forward. In the words of author Melody Beattie, “The New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written.” Get out your pen because the best is yet to come.
If you’ve been thinking about being your own boss for a while but aren’t sure if it’s the right time, download my free guide: 5 Signs It’s Time to Leave Your Soul-Sucking Job!