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13 Epic Techniques To Job Hop Like A Pro

13 Epic Techniques To Job Hop Like A Pro

The education system lied to us.

We were promised that if we went to school, worked hard, and earned a college degree, an excellent job would be the reward of our efforts. As many of us have found out, though, that’s far from the truth. Fulfilling, well-paying careers are few and far between these days. In fact, unless you attended a top school, it’s challenging to find a good job at all after college.

It gets worse: College graduates are left out to dry with an average college debt of $35,000. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 7 in 10 Americans across generations say that Millennials face tougher economic challenges than previous generations did at the same age.

Many of us don’t have a choice but to job hop because, frankly, we’re flat broke and we need to get paid more. Moreover, not all of us know what we want to do when we graduate. By working different jobs, we can find our passion sooner. And even better, by finding a position at a new company you can make 10%-20% more than you do at your current job.

It happened to me. I landed in jobs where I was stuck – no room for growth, negative coworkers, and work I wasn’t interested in. I jumped around eight times in three years looking for a company that fit. Now I get paid much more, have the best coworkers, and I wake up excited to see my boss.

It wasn’t always easy to job hop. But through honing my skills, I continued landing jobs using these 13 epic techniques:

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1. Don’t quit before you find another job

Sounds like common sense, right? I’m surprised at how many people don’t follow this advice. The job searching process has many ups and downs. You might get swamped with interview requests one month, and then not hear back from anyone for the next two. Don’t trick yourself into thinking there will opportunities waiting for you once you’ve left your job. Nail down a new position before leaving your current one.

In the end, it doesn’t matter how much money you’ve saved; you’ll find that it disappears quickly when you’re not making any.

2. Create a standout online portfolio

Having a great portfolio that exemplifies your expertise in a particular field can do wonders. Job titles can often undermine the work you’ve accomplished, so it’s important to have another channel besides a resume where employers can see your actual worth.

I suggest a simple WordPress theme or Squarespace to get your portfolio up without having to write a single line of code. Also, make sure to link to your portfolio in your email signature, on LinkedIn, Facebook, and your other social media sites, and especially at the top of your resume.

3. Expert job hoppers walk in with value propositions

This easiest way to distinguish yourself from the hundreds of resumes collecting dust on an employer’s desk is to create a value proposition. Research the top companies you want to work for and write three to thirteen pages of how you can improve the company immediately.

Now, walk into the company on a slow day, preferably a Thursday or Friday afternoon, and hand your value proposition to whoever has the most leverage in getting you a job. Four of the jobs I landed resulted from creating value propositions and walking into a company to hand it to someone of authority.

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4. Act surprised when they call you a job hopper

If someone calls you a job hopper, don’t start defending yourself. The worst thing you can do is act like you’ve heard the accusation before. So, take it with a grain of salt and move on. The more you linger on the topic of job hopping, the deeper the hole you’re digging for yourself.

If the employer persists on the topic, then subvert their accusation of job hopping into how you created huge value for each company in such a short period.

5. Outsource company leads

If you’re spending countless hours searching for businesses to submit applications to, stop. Use an outsourcing site like Upwork or Elance to gather the contact info of all the companies you should apply to.

Sometimes a simple Google search of the top companies in your favored industries will yield you countless results you can forward to your freelancer. Keep in mind that if you spend too much time looking for a job, you’ll lose some of the most valuable skills you’ve worked hard to maintain.

6. Tell employers you’re looking for more growth

If your interviewer asks you why you change jobs so frequently, then be honest and tell them that you’re in search of more growth. Stay clear and concise with your message that you’re ambitious, learn incredibly fast, and always exceed expectations. If they don’t respect what you have to say, then you shouldn’t work there.

7. Complete projects worthy of showcasing

Job hoppers can’t depend on a resume to speak for them. They need projects that garner attention – from Kickstarter campaigns to organizing an industry event.

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Any time you put yourself in the position of accomplishing something big, chances are you will meet people in your industry who can make career moves for you. These people are unlikely to dig into your job history because they’ve seen what you can accomplish first-hand.

8. Focus on making great friends

Staying connected with others will give you inside access to tons of unseen opportunities. These will allow you move around within an industry without the extra hassle of breaking into a new career. The quicker you can move into new positions, the easier it will be to job hop.

9. Start working at companies part-time

An excellent way to get your foot in the door at a company as a job hopper is by asking for part-time employment. This strategy eliminates all the risk that employers take on by giving you a salaried position. By quickly establishing deeper relationships with your coworkers and showing that you’re worth a salary, you’ll most likely move up to full-time work quickly.

10. Guest post on well-known niche publications

A great way to establish credibility is to go to the source – industry publications. If you can position yourself as someone who has enough authority to write for these news sources, then employers are more likely to skip over the job hopping stigma during interviews.

11. Look for companies with a long-term vision

In a fast-paced technological world, companies are failing to compete with giants such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google. It’s important to find a company that’s willing to take a huge risk on a long-term vision, and not just focused on monthly sales.

With so many companies going out of date mere months after turning a profit, you’ll continue to job hop until you find one that’s looking to revolutionize an industry. The truth is that in today’s competitive landscape, there’s more risk in not taking risks.

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12. Don’t tie yourself down to a particular location or industry

As a job hopper, it’s important to explore all of your options. Giving up the search for a new job because you can’t find one in a certain city or industry will not help you move forward. Keep your options open, because you never know where the most appealing work will come from.

Moreover, life is about jumping into new experiences. The more you limit yourself, the less potential you have to further your career.

13. Stay persistent

The quickest way to fail at job hopping is to simply give up. Every moment counts, whether it’s an hour, a day, or even a week. When you let discouragement get the best of you, your chances of landing job shrink dramatically. Persistence is always your strongest ally in times of uncertainty.

Think you’re ready to start job hopping?

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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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