As deliberations continue about the strength of the economy, Americans continue to leave their jobs in search of better opportunities. More than 4 million people quit in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their reasons vary – some leave as a result of low pay, for example, others as a result of lack of career advancement.
Millions also find themselves unemployed for reasons beyond their control, such as temporary or permanent layoffs. Many are likely looking for their next role.
If you’re looking to advance in your career, whatever stage you’re at, here are three career tips from entrepreneurs who have recently pivoted themselves.
Jobs are like spider webs.
Shirley Romig suggests a holistic approach when it comes to tackling your career. Romig co-founded Mixo, a short video platform focused on food and recipes, just this year.
“Jobs are like spider webs,” she told CNBC Make It during BAM PR’s media matchmaking day.
“I think, as a beginner, you have this vision of climbing the career ladder and the career ladder always looks vertical,” she says. “I find that the smarter way is to think of the spider web effect, which is sometimes to move sideways, sometimes diagonally, but the goal is to try to always have a contrasting experience.”
She says you know you want to get to C-suite someday. Although you may envision a specific path to get there, you may find that you are getting job offers that do not necessarily align with that plan. If they pique your interest and seem like the kind of opportunities you want to take advantage of at that moment, take advantage of them.
You never know how they will help you achieve that goal, or help you find an entirely new and better one.
High tide lifts all ships
For Amy Devarania, the advice is fairly classic: “High tide lifts all ships,” she says. That is, help your colleagues and others around you even as you grow in your career. Divaraniya co-founded Oova, an app that provides women with easy-to-understand information about their hormone levels using urine samples at home, in 2017.
Divaraniya has a PhD in biomedical sciences with a focus in genetics and has seen first-hand how this type of collaboration can help. In science, she says, “Everyone keeps their data. They don’t want to share it. I’ve always been so helpful on this. And our research is even more powerful because you now have 10 sources of data to just one.”
It’s a position she uses to build her company, too. Since Oova works with the hospital system, they have taken into account patients’ frustrations and tried to resolve them along the way. Problem #1 is patient satisfaction, she says, and their number one annoyance is the wait to get to the fertility center. The company helps speed up this process.
“You have experience”
“I think it’s very important to make sure you have experience,” says Anusha Harid-Paoletti, who founded Liquidly, a fintech company focused on private fund assets, in 2018. Among the company’s investors is VC Village Global, backed by entrepreneurs including Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.
“There must be something you know really well,” she says. “I think this is what will set you apart when you are in a large organization, but also when you want to take risks [as an entrepreneur]. You have something to fall back on.”
In any job, you will likely have opportunities to deepen your knowledge of something. Perhaps there is a program you use that enables you to learn the ins and outs of becoming the right person for how it works in your company. Or maybe there is a topic you can learn to help you gain an advantage over your competition. Learn about the types of resources your company offers to become an expert in this thing.
Even if you are unemployed, there are tools you can use to gain knowledge on a wide range of topics. Research courses, tutorials, or mentorship programs you can take on sites like LinkedIn or Udemy, or through a local college or university.
Harid-Paoletti herself spent 10 years working at Goldman Sachs building a knowledge base on financial services before embarking on her own entrepreneurship.
“I think there is no substitute for depth,” she says of the importance of learning something at its core. “Like, do what a surgeon does.”
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