If you’re planning a career switch, these tips can get you off to a good start.
Conduct a resource assessment. Take stock of your experiences, accomplishments and skills, including your Toastmasters activities and volunteer work. Highlight the ones that are transferable or directly related to your new field. Consider your contacts, including those in your club, district and networks, such as the LinkedIn Official Toastmasters International Members Group.
Make a plan. How will you get from here to there? Set realistic goals—weekly and/or monthly ones— and continue moving forward. Be open and flexible in your learning; you might find a path you haven’t considered.
Target your message. Tailor your marketing materials, including your CV and elevator speech, to your new field, updating the materials as you learn more. Every employer looks for skilled communicators and leaders, so show initiative by highlighting what you’ve learned in Toastmasters.
Talk to people. Learn about potential paths, resources and opportunities. Attend conferences, trainings and events (in Toastmasters and elsewhere) to meet new people and expand your network. Use Toastmasters speaking opportunities to explore possibilities, test interest and practice your pitch. Ask accomplished people in your new field to review your marketing materials to ensure you’re sending the right message. Find a mentor. Stay motivated and be accountable for your goals by partnering with someone considering a transition or looking for a new job.
Have patience. Hang in there—transitions don’t happen overnight. Be good to yourself and recognize that a little perseverance goes a long way.