sketchboard blog

Navigate the new normal

By Helena Palha Oct 10, 2016

The amount of time most of us spend scrolling down news feeds every week must be more than enough to understand the world of work keeps changing. We all know changes have only gotten faster since the financial crashes of the mid and late 2000s. And according to the latest LinkedIn studies, younger professionals are twice more likely to change jobs during their first decade out of college.

Navigate the new normal

There are many theories on why we’re seeing so many changes happen so fast. Perhaps some employers see employees as more disposable. Maybe professionals want to move up faster and see job changes as shortcuts. Whatever the reasons, things aren’t likely to slow down too soon.

I’m a proud member of my generation. I left college in 2009 and after 3 years of academic work I decided to go back to studying. My first career change happened in 2014. The experience I’ve gained since 2009 hasn’t just involved different roles. It has often brought me into contact with different industries in fairly different markets.

Up until recently, stressful days made me worry about how quickly things changed. But I’ve had to start making peace with the facts. Last week I took up a new professional challenge, and this seemed like a perfect excuse to share whatever I’m learning with other Sketchboard enthusiasts.

Work offers a sense of identity, and that’s why the idea of change seems daunting sometimes. Changing jobs might mean resumés and cover letters don’t get through first rounds as easily. If you get a chance to connect with teams or professionals you’d like to work with, you’ll need to be prepared to explain your situation clearly. Even if you’re asked to repeat things more than a couple of times, you should never slack on introductions, and you should always speak as authentically as possible.

You’ll never be a blank slate again. Even if you’re coming into a new area where you lack practical experience, you’re likely to have transferrable skills and knowledge. Don’t rush to quit a job just because you can’t bear it anymore. Instead, take some time to evaluate the skills it has given you, and focus on how you can transfer them into a new role or industry. Career coaches and professionals who’ve taken their own leap tend to talk about this in basketball terms: one of your feet needs to be firmly set on the ground while the other looks for opportunity.

Plan ahead. Be financially, socially and mentally prepared. Save money to see you through your career transition and don’t set your expectations too high right from the start. This way any opportunity you get will feel more relevant, and whatever you manage to earn will contribute to get you closer to your goals. Your next opportunity could come from your close circles, so be sure to take every chance to network. Ruling out isolation reduces the strain of the search, leaving you with more energy to cultivate your motivations. After all, most practical skills can be learned, but genuine motivation doesn’t come along every day.

Think visually. Sketching out your next moves will make it easier to identify your goal and point it out to anyone who might be able to help with practical directions and support. This blog is full of advice on how to start sketching with online whiteboard . You don’t need to be an artistic genius, you only need to get started. It gets clearer as you go.

Have you had any recent career changes? How did you navigate them? Join the conversation in the comments or on our social channels. We’ll be happy to hear from you!