By Gloria Martinez.
Changing directions can be hard at any age, but transitioning later in your career can be especially daunting. How do you set yourself up for success without losing stability? Here’s how to make your move without taking on overwhelming risks.
Develop your brand
One barrier for women is being seen as a viable resource, mainly if you have always worked in a behind-the-scenes capacity. However, Forbes suggests that creating a strong personal brand can help you overcome being an unknown in the eyes of prospective employers and clients, and establish you as their go-to. With that in mind, take a good look at your experiences and accolades, and let them reshape the way you describe yourself. It’s your job to connect those dots and disconnect from your old identity, so others see how well-suited you are to your new endeavors and will be impressed by your change.
Stake out space
Websites are as essentials for most businesses these days, and similarly, they are becoming a must-have for individuals who are movers and shakers. Getting on the web shows potential employers, clients, and associates how serious you are about your endeavors, and it’s a chance to showcase your accomplishments and assets. Medium points out a personal website that a personal website adds validity to your choices and provides a touchpoint for others to get familiar and comfortable with your brand.
Start with steadfast hosting
Even if you’re not in a tech-oriented field, putting together a website is something you can do yourself these days, and the key is to start with a reliable hosting service. Read reviews and look for a web hosting package that offers reliable uptime, excellent customer service, sufficient speed, and security, like SiteGround. Bear in mind that you’ll likely want to display your portfolio and resume, and you could be making data exchanges pertinent to your new direction, so ensure you choose a host with enough bandwidth and disk space to handle everything you want.
Build versus hire
Whether or not to build your website yourself can be a conundrum. You want it to be polished, eye-catching, and professional, so it might seem like hiring a designer is the way to go. It can be particularly worrisome if computers aren’t your thing, but there are website builders, which are DIY web design tools. They are generally user-friendly, even if you don’t know a single line of code. On the other hand, the DIY versions can be somewhat inflexible, and if you are planning on a pretty complicated website, investing in a professional web designer could be the way to go.
Do some networking
While contemplating your website, start doing some networking to build your foundation. Whether through conferences, people from your alma mater, business acquaintances, or former employers, reaching out to others can help establish your next move. Connecting with those who support you in your new path can mean getting the word out about what you’re doing and endorsements for your transition. You can even collect some testimonials for your new website, which can add authenticity to your pursuits. Besides, you never know what relationships could open doors for you down the road.
Offering future employers, clients, and associates living proof of your abilities can help solidify your transition. Find ways to show how serious you are about what you’re doing, whether it’s getting additional training to cover a gap in your credentials, or volunteering to gain relevant experience. Going the extra mile ensures you not only have what you need in your toolkit, but it also shows others how realistic your change is.
Change is never particularly easy, especially when you’re pursuing a new career later in life. However, you can set yourself up for a successful transition. Develop your new brand, get on the web, connect with your resources, and show them you’ve got what it takes.