Career Tips from One Who’s Been There [Alexandra Levit]

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The internet is an enormous space filled with information for the job seeker, but sometimes you don’t want to rely solely on anonymous tips with little to no background for support. As I begin my journey, I am glad to have found one such expert on career paths.

 

Alexandra Levit

Alexandra Levit

Alexandra Levit is an author and career consultant who started her own business in 2008, after years of honing her skills and working off-hours on her goals. She has had much experience as an entrepreneur and has spoken of – and written – many important tips she’s learned thus far.

Some info that I’ve found increasingly useful are as follows:

Define your passion

In her 2011 blog post, How to Start Thinking About Passion, Levit points to key ways one should analyze their passions and dreams career-wise before making a major decision, such as:

  • What makes you unique
  • What you do really well
  • What you have the world needs
  • What moments in your past have proven the most memorable to you

 She emphasizes the need to define your passion in a concrete way if you want to pursue it as a job.

Don’t be your own slave-driver

As an entrepreneur, Levit is aware of how easily one can get wrapped up in their craft and spend over 50+ hours on their career. This is especially true for freelancers starting out. Levit has listed this in her post, 8 Things I Wish I Knew about Business and Careers When I Was 22. Don’t burn yourself out trying to do everything all at once, and learn how to let other people help you.

Don’t expect overnight success

One of the hardest virtues to learn at times is patience. You must have that, especially when you decide to start a business or switch career paths. Levit remarks on her own journey from employee to businesswoman in an interview for Escape from Cubicle Nation. Levit began her consulting as a side hustle and it was four years before she stopped her day job. Be patient and look for every opportunity to grow – both on your own time and within the company you work for – before taking the leap. Once you do take that leap, expect progress to be slow and have lulls, but do not be disillusioned by it.

Alexandra Levit’s depth of understanding of the business world and her own experiences provide a ton of information for a fledgling freelancer. I’m learning so much from her articles and I hope others can find a solid foundation and wisdom as well.

~ What do you think are important lessons one should remember before starting a new career?


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A New Start: How do you know when it’s time to change jobs/careers?

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For most people, there can be many moments of boredom and frustration with their current job. That alone doesn’t mean that it’s time to look for something new, but if you feel that way every single day, it might be time to reflect on what is really bugging you.

Some folks consider their jobs as simply a means to an end – standard 9 to 5 – and their lives begin after hours. They don’t let whatever work they do get into their heads; it’s just a few hours a day then they do whatever they like. To those people I say, rock on! Do what makes you happy.

Some days, I’m jealous of that attitude, but that just isn’t me. I’m one of those types who want a job that brings them joy as well as a paycheck. That ideal, however, can be tough to find in this economy… which is why I jumped at the chance at steady income after I couldn’t land a journalist position immediately after graduating – where I have been for over four years – and each year I felt it sap my energy. I always had an excuse or emergency pop to delay searching for a job where I could use my degree. Starting from scratch is scary, but I knew that I had to stop complaining and DO something about it.

You should be certain that your unhappiness at your current job requires you to leave it, and/or the industry, completely. Some problems can be fixed by changing aspects of your job (without leaving the company). Beth Kuhel – author and career coach – posted a blog at U.S. News in December with some important things to consider when you’re feeling that itch.

Some key points to reflect on:

  • Figure out why you are unhappy and if it really requires you leaving the company and starting over
  • Talk with your boss about your schedule
  • Volunteer to assist with other projects/activities outside your immediate responsibilities
  • Consider switching departments within the same company
  • Find activities outside of work that interest you
  • Think about whether or not you going off on your own would be best

Now, if you are like me and are currently working in an industry that isn’t in your dream field, then the answer is pretty clear.

This is your life, you owe it to yourself to reflect on every pro and con. Then, do whatever is good for your soul.

How do you know when it’s time to switch jobs? Leave a comment below!


Other articles to check out:
Forbes: 13 dos and don’ts of job searching while you’re still employed
Forbes: How to start thinking about career change