The first thing you want to do is to stop thinking of yourself as just a job title, whether that be financial analyst, human resources specialist, manager, teacher, homemaker or whatever.
No matter how you spend the first part of your career, whether it’s coaching soccer or fully entrenched in corporate America, we all end up developing a specific expertise. But if you start your own independent business from scratch, you will need to know something about every aspect of the business, from managing staff to selling your product or service.
If you’re interested in a switching to a new industry, you might want to consider a franchise, which comes with a tried-and-true business model, a brand name and marketing expertise, as well as a training program and ongoing support.
With a franchise, you get to operate your own business while having a team of experts behind you.
To accurately gauge your preparedness for any new endeavor, you should consider all the skills you have accumulated that can be transferred to a new career.
Take a Personal Inventory
As you take an inventory of your skills, you want to dive deep into the details of your day to accurately assess your strengths and transferable skills.
1. List what you do in an average workday.
Make a list of all the activities you perform in any given day over a week, since not everything you do happens daily. And don’t skip anything you may consider “a no-brainer” or insignificant because these little things can add up to a very significant skill. So, if you sometimes have to field phone calls from disgruntled clients, and you’ve discovered you’re really good at calming people’s nerves, that’s a valuable skill. Even if your job title is financial analyst.
2. Realistically assess your personal strengths
You don’t need to be good at everything, but if cold-calling is an essential aspect of the business, you need to know you can do this day in and day out. Consider core skills such as communications, business acumen, managing people, marketing, and so on. Be honest with yourself and stay clear of businesses that rely on skills that are not among your strengths.
3. Are you detail-oriented or more the big-picture thinker?
If you’re a numbers person and love tabulating figures, you may want to find a business that can capitalize on this valuable skill. Or maybe you prefer creating strategies that can make the whole operation run more smoothly.
4. Do you have good follow-through?
Building a clientele involves not only making good connections but following through to convert these new contacts into lasting relationships. Follow-through can also be an essential attribute in managing staff. A good franchise program can help you learn this skill.
5. Are you a people person?
Do you love being around and meeting new people? Do you strike up conversations easily and enjoy learning about other people’s interests and goals? Many businesses require a whole range of people skills in hiring and managing staff and attracting and keeping customers, but there are lots of businesses where the role of the owner mainly involves working alone at your computer.
Personal inventory in hand, you’re now ready to begin researching businesses that would best match your skills and interests.
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