Getting into a new field of work

A lot of us are currently pivoting, making changes, toying with ideas what to do next. It is extremely easy to be overwhelmed when researching new roles or ideas.

Here are some pointers from eLN Director Christine Locher to get your started:

Learn more about the field (publications, events, discussions, key thinkers etc). What are people talking about? What are they not talking about? What are low-key ways to get into a conversation? For example, LnD folks “meet” on twitter on Friday 8am UK time for the #LDInsight chat – watch out for the question and hop right in. The eLN coffee mornings will be coming back in January, come along and ask questions. You could also get a mentor, the eLN has a great programme for members.

Network Network Network. Who do you know? Who would you like to know? Don’t forget your “weak links”. Everyone knows someone. Remember this is a two-way street though. While people are willing to pay it forward, the overdraft on that bank account is not unlimited. Get to know people first. The “social” bit in social media… Don’t make a pitch the first thing you say or do.

Map out your transferable skills. Job ads are a good starting point to see what people look for and how they frame things. See what you already have, and what you might need to add. Chances are, you will already have something to build on, and analysing your own situation and drafting up a path that works can be a great exercise in needs analysis and making recommendations, so use yourself as your first case study 😉

Change might require several “hops”, e.g. taking old job in new industry to then switch or taking a step back or sideways to make a switch happen. You can’t pre-plan lucky breaks, but it does help to be within shouting distance should one materialise…

Do your homework (salaries, training cost vs. your financial obligations and plans so you know what this would look like for your life). Are you able to make that switch, right now? What help might be available?

Join professional communities like the eLN – it can be a great way to make this a bit easier. Our LinkedIn group is also a good way to get started, as is our members’ Slack channel. Full eLN members get 5 sessions of free Mentoring where we find someone from the network with a suitable background to provide 1:1 support. Get in touch here or sign up to become a member.

Do you have any more pointers, why not share your own on the eLN LinkedIn discussion page? If you’re not already a member, simply request to join.

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