stepping stones

How Your Next Job May Be One of Several Stepping Stones to Your Best Job

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Finding your best job ever isn’t always a straight shot or a linear path. There are often several stepping stones to get from your nightmare job to your dream job. This has been the path for one of my clients I’ve highlighted several times in the past few years.

You probably remember Robert, and his path from a job in logistics that made him miserable, to a joyful fulfillment of his passion for artwork. He recently emailed me with another update on his career.

Robert’s most recent step is he’s moved up from doing cartoon animation as a full-time freelancer, to working full-time for an LA-based animation studio, where he’s currently designing the scenery for an upcoming animated show based on Chris Rock’s childhood in New York, which will air next year on CBS and Paramount Plus.

Let’s break down Robert’s career path and the stepping stones it took to get him to where he is today. Perhaps you’ll learn some stepping stones you can apply to your own career path.

Stepping stones to obtaining your best job

1. Stop avoiding fear and start reaching out to others

Robert’s path to his dream job began by reaching out to someone who was already doing what he wanted to do. It was someone who’d previously done animation for Disney, and was now teaching animation at a local university near Robert.

Robert had been wanting to reach out to this animator for nearly two years, but didn’t have the nerve. Once he got the courage to do so, things started moving in his career.

While it can be intimidating to reach out to a total stranger, you shouldn’t let fear paralyze you and cause you to waste time. There’s a way to reach out using certain forms of etiquette, which I teach my clients and can also teach you.

Just think how much further Robert might be in his career if he hadn’t let fear get in the way for nearly two years! Do you have some fears holding you back from pursuing your best job? If so, push past your fear, seek help, and reach out to those who are already doing what you want to do.

2. Set goals, work toward those goals, and reassess when necessary

Set goals to learn as much as you can about your chosen job or industry, and to improve your skill set. Robert asked the animator if he could audit the class he taught. The university approved it, and he got to learn from one of the best in his industry!

Also, in between classes, Robert practiced the new techniques he was learning to improve his skills. He treated the class and the practice as if it was his job.

Then, when the semester was over, he reassessed his goals and the obstacles he had faced trying to make time for learning and honing his craft.

3. Find a way around the obstacles

No doubt, you will face obstacles in your career path. They will often seem like insurmountable stumbling blocks, but it helps to view them instead as stepping stones to something better.

A few tips to help you push through potential obstacles include:

  • being willing to have difficult conversations
  • and making tough decisions using discernment and counting the costs.

If you remember Robert’s story, he stepped out of his comfort zone, to not only have a conversation with the Disney animator, but also with his supervisor and his HR department at his former job, to see if he could adjust his work schedule and audit the class offered to him.

When his supervisor approved but the HR department didn’t, Robert spent time discussing with his wife what he should do. Together, they made the difficult decision for Robert to leave his job, so as not to miss out on the opportunity to learn from the best, and it’s paid off for him and his family.

Also, don’t let money be the most important factor in your decisions. The right decision may require some sacrifices and lean times, but it will be temporary. Robert was making great money in his former job, but it was at the expense of his mental and physical health. Now, he’s where he wants to be, both financially and healthwise.

You can also overcome financial obstacles during the lean times by supplementing your income with side hustles, if necessary, just like Robert did with tutoring and commissioned artwork.

Finally, follow Robert’s advice by learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. This will create the momentum you need to not let obstacles strike panic in you, and to help you stick with your goals.

4. Apply the career development skills I teach

In Robert’s most recent message to me, he talked about how paNASH’s services helped his career.

“…Lori…I finally got my full time dream job after 6 years of applying the skills I learned from you. I think very frequently about everything I learned from you and how I got to where I am today because you helped me. Thank you so much!”

I taught Robert how to market himself, and can do the same for you.

This includes how to uniquely showcase your skills and past work, just like Robert has with his web site.

It also includes teaching you how to network with people you want to meet, and how to grow your network exponentially.

Finally, I can help you uncover additional stepping stones to your best job ever, whether it’s working for someone else or for yourself. To find out more, click here.

Stepping stones can be many or few

While there were many stepping stones and many years between the time Robert first came to me and later landed his dream job, I have other clients who’ve made career changes with fewer stepping stones and in less time.

Here’s a message I received recently from a client and Yale alum I only began working with this past March:

Lori, Just wanted to say thank you for being my coach. 2 months into my new job, and I didn’t know I could be this happy. My stress level is infinitely lower. I’m a better parent and partner now that I’ve made this big change, a change that felt impossible until I chose to work with you. I’ve learned from my coworkers that1) My resume was fantastic, so thank you for helping me make it so. The admin assistant who funnels all résumés says it’s in her top 3. 2) My interview was a slam dunk. For my current position, the team had already prepped an offer to another internal candidate when my resume came in, prompting them to pause that offer and give me an interview. Thanks to all the prep I did with you, my interview was obviously good enough for them to offer me the job over the other internal candidate. I seriously couldn’t have done it without all the ways you prepared me. Thank you. I’ll use my other sessions when it’s time for a promotion, hopefully sooner rather than later! Elise”

Are you ready to take the first step to your best job?

If you’d like to follow in Robert’s or Elise’s stepping stones to your own best job, click here to fill out the paNASH intake form and schedule a complimentary initial consultation. Completing the form does not obligate you in any way. To read reviews from additional clients, click here.

I look forward to hearing from you and helping you!

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