Lost your spark? Here are 5 ways to make a smooth career move

Since 2007, I have been immersed in the public relations field. Initially, I did this at communications agencies and as an independent consultant, until in 2020, I founded my own strategic communications firm. It has been a highly rewarding experience, as it has given me the opportunity to work with talented entrepreneurs and innovative tech brands in the United States and Europe. 

However, after 16 years, I found my sense of wonder beginning to dwindle. There was little that could surprise me, and in need of fresh, creative inspiration, I set the intention to find a new career vertical where I could develop myself. It was this way that in 2022, I entered the art world and found my new goal by leveraging my PR expertise to help brands engage with culture-sensitive audiences through the power of women’s art. 

I pride myself on being deeply thorough in my approach, so before jumping into something, I consciously study it to make sure I can be a master at what I do. So, if you are looking for a professional change, here are some tips that helped me transition smoothly, and that, from my experience, could help you, too. 

Define your big “why”

First and foremost, deliberately ask yourself why you have decided to shift gears. This doesn’t mean you need to come up with a hurried, half-hearted answer. Instead, mindfully ponder about your mission, your intentions, and your purpose. Is there something in the world that you want to change? 

It also helps to look at your current industry with a renewed perspective, and find something that still excites you. Then, you can use this as a bridge—it will make your adaptation to your new field easier. 

For example, I was initially studying and working on reducing gender inequality by supporting female tech founders, and this morphed into the concept of empowering female artists and helping them grow a thriving business. 

Craft a crystal-clear vision

In today’s world, it can be easy to drift in so many different directions. Define your objectives with precision, and map out the trajectory you aspire to traverse. When doing this, it is key to have a clear vision and unique vertical to shift towards, as otherwise, it is tempting to jump from one idea to another. Also, this will guide you to establish realistic expectations. 

Additionally, something challenging about making a career transition is that, at times, you might feel compelled to return to your previous field, particularly if you are encountering several hurdles. 

Rely on your current career hard skills

A seamless professional move is one in which you start working in a new industry using the hard skills that you already have. If you opt to start from scratch, the learning curve will be steeper, and prospects might look at you with skepticism. 

In my situation, strategic communications is the foundational pillar behind my growth. Hence, based on this ability, I started building a network in my novel sphere and secured my first clients, which, in turn, will help me build up my reputation as projects get delivered successfully. Once you have this, it is easier to change your role entirely, provided that is what you desire. 

Invest time in understanding how the market works

To master something, you need to go in-depth. Of course, this takes time. You cannot comprehend everything about an unexplored market in one day. 

There are, though, ways to create shortcuts. Personally, I love to learn by connecting with mentors, consultants, and experts in the field. This will augment your insights about how the ecosystem works, and give you a more solid foundation to know how to go about your new venture.

As I navigated my transition, several art experts gave me a consultation. One of them provided invaluable input by creating a table that classified all the participants and stakeholders in the art market and outlined their roles and responsibilities. Through these lectures, I heightened my awareness about artists, galleries, museums, brokers, dealers, and the way they are interconnected. Once I created this system in my head, everything was a lot easier. 

Diversify your immersion activities

Besides what I just outlined, you can immerse yourself in a new field in multiple ways. For instance, I have attended top-10 industry events in different countries, read as much as possible, watched plenty of movies, and taken online courses, webinars, and master classes. 

This approach has myriad benefits. First, it enhances your knowledge from the points of view of diverse stakeholders. Second, it helps you build connections in multiple verticals within the industry, which ultimately leads to exponentially multiplied opportunities and a broadening sense of recognition.

Transitioning to a new career vertical can feel daunting. However, if you’re ready to make the move, this doesn’t need to be the case. By identifying your big “why” (the reason why you’re eager to move in the first place), crafting a clear vision, taking inventory of your hard skills and exploring their potential applicabilities, understanding the market, and immersing yourself in the field, your shift can be seamless, and your opportunities for success will increase.