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Navigating a Successful Career Transition: Insider Insights

career development career transition personal branding professional growth success stories May 16, 2024

Transitioning careers can feel like charting a course through uncharted waters (sometimes coming up against pretty big storms), but with the right mindset, support, and strategy, it's possible to find a fulfilling new career path. In our recent member mentorship session, "How to Navigate a Successful Career Transition," Yulia Slipenchuk shared her inspiring journey from finance to project management, offering valuable insights for anyone considering a shift.

Yulia's career transition wasn't achieved overnight; it spanned nearly three years. During this time, she journeyed from burnout as a financial planner through phases of self-reflection, research, education, and significant mindset shifts. Ultimately, her dedication led her to a new role in her desired career field.

The Quick Guide! (or Cole's Notes for us Gen X'ers)

  1. Time and Patience: Career transitions require time. It can be hard to pinpoint what you want, and what you want will change as you go through the process of self-discovery, exploring options, and learning what is available and possible for you.  
  2. Support Network: Having a tribe or community for motivation, ideas, and feedback is crucial. Yulia found immense value in joining communities like Propeller, where she could connect with others on similar journeys. You don't have to navigate this alone!  
  3. Personal Branding: Tailoring your resume and LinkedIn profile to reflect the new industry's language and terms is essential. If you want to be one of them, you have to talk their talk. You have to adopt your winning self-image. Write your resume and LinkedIn like you already belong there.  
  4. Openness and Curiosity: Be open to exploring various paths and approach the transition with curiosity. This mindset can uncover opportunities you might not have considered initially. When you adopt an open mindset, everything seems to fall into place, exactly as it should.
  5. Strategic Applications: Focus on quality over quantity in job applications. Tailor each application strategically to increase your chances of success. Be the sniper, not the shotgun!

Diving Deeper

The Journey: The initial struggle to break free from the finance industry highlighted the importance of reshaping your professional identity to align with a new career path. Yulia was stuck in a "banker's mindset". She adopted this term through the self-awareness that came with trial and error - when she first started thinking about exiting finance and was looking around for other opportunities. Yulia had become rigid in her thinking and had to consciously challenge herself to think differently.  

Mindset Shifts: A significant part of Yulia's success stemmed from her ability to get comfortable with ambiguity and maintain motivation through a vision of a better life. She embraced the idea of being a "squirrel," instead of viewing her multiple interests and ideas as bad and started exploring several paths before finding the right one.  

Building a Support System: We all know how important a support system is. Yulia emphasized the value of having a close peer group for advice, feedback, and moral support (as well as networking). She volunteered with Women in AI (and still does), she attended networking events where the people she wanted to connect with would be. 

She focused on building strong reciprocal relationships. As a self-proclaimed introvert, she focused on making strategic and deeper connections. She attributes a lot of her success to her community and network.  

Rebranding for the New Path: Learning the lingo of project management and aligning her personal branding with her target industry were crucial steps. Feedback from professionals already in the field helped refine her approach. She is also a researcher and dove in deep to studying articles, job postings, and acronyms on the PMP website! 

In so many words, Yulia defined and adopted her winning self-image (like lesson three). As she did her research and defined success on her terms, she was able to start to become the person who had already achieved her goals. 

That is the person who is on LinkedIn; she is the one who showed up in the interviews; she is and always has been Yulia Slipenchuk!!

What About Me?  

For those on the cusp of a career transition, Yulia's story is not just inspiring (because you can FOR SURE do it too), it is a guide to navigating your own process. 

If you've been through your own career transition and would like to add some tips, please share below! 

Whether you're just starting to consider a career change or are deep into your transition process, remember that amazing things - building a life and career you love - will take time, AND is absolutely possible and available to you.

Want to learn more about how we're helping women just like you reconnect with their professional potential and reimagine what their career could look like? Book a call in with one of our Senior tellent leaders to learn more. 

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