on this episode
What’s the best way to figure out if a different role or industry is right for you? Many people believe you have to take huge risks to figure this out, but that’s not the case. Career experiments are the answer! They are the opposite of the tactical approaches you often hear about, and far more effective.
We are going to cover one of the most highly effective types of career experiments today: test driving conversations. This experiment will allow you to meet new people, quickly test new careers, and pave the way for creating your very own role custom-fit to you.
To demonstrate how this experiment works firsthand, we’ll walk through Laura Morrison’s initial career change (episode 213), and explain step-by-step how she test drove conversations that led to finding a role that was perfect for her!
Bonus: You can also hear a follow up of Laura’s career change in her “Where are they now” episode of the Happen To Your Career Podcast here!
Juggling her senior role with the challenges of being a new mother, Laura found herself at a crossroads. Despite loving the team she was working with, the work no longer fulfilled her, and the thought of returning each day became increasingly painful.
When Laura first found us at Happen to Your Career, she had already taken action to start looking outside of herself for a new job by going to a career coach. Coincidentally, on her walk home from that session she found our podcast, and “binge-listened for about a week!”
“The thing that stuck was it was the first time I heard there were tools and processes to help me figure this out. I didn’t have to just look at job postings but I could do other types of work to think about what I wanted to do next.“
Seven months later she found her dream career!
Woah–not so fast though. Laura went through a lot of self-reflection, and dug deep to understand what that next step should be. During this process, Laura also began to get feedback, and collect “mini-wins” from her coaches, her friends, and many others to help rebuilt her identity.
At the beginning of her coaching sessions, Laura wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to do in her next role. But, as she began to complete her self-assessment projects, she couldn’t contain her excitement. Laura couldn’t stop talking about how much fun she had completing these self-assessments (her husband might have gotten a crash course or two!). She kept this idea in the back of her mind, but still had a lot of searching to do.
Interestingly, Laura already knew what kind of culture she wanted in a company. She loved having the flexibility of wearing jeans and working from home when she wanted to. Even more importantly, she knew that the office should have a ping-pong table in it–for what it represented about the office culture.
But, from her experience in her last job Laura knew that a cultural-fit wasn’t enough. She had to find the right role, not just the right people.
That’s where she kept getting stuck. She felt naive about all the types of jobs that were out there.
One of the first things Laura did to understand all the job opportunities she could have was to begin test driving conversations!
She scheduled dozens of conversations with people in and out of her network–which was a growing experience in itself. Laura admits that this was one of the most challenging, but rewarding, parts of her coaching experience. She’s not necessarily a self-proclaimed extrovert. But hey, why not?
Laura met with tons of people who helped her understand what she did, and didn’t want in a role. Some of those conversations could have opened the door to a job. But, while it was tempting, Laura said no when she didn’t feel it was exactly right.
Until finally one day–she found it.
Laura learned quickly that she loves to prepare. For her conversations alone, she would do research and write prep questions for almost two hours each time!
But, when she finally found the perfect job opportunity, she realized that she just had to be herself.
With the help of her career coach, Laura practiced some mock interviews and found that her answers sounded good on paper, but “boring” during the actual interview. So, she stopped preparing as intensely as she might have and got herself in the zone.
“It’s less important that you know how to answer a million behavior questions but get yourself in a headspace to be yourself and be confident in those conversations.”
Laura ended up securing her dream job. But, not only that–she has completely transformed her mindset from disengaged and hopeless to optimistic and confident. Laura is thriving in her career, as a new mom, and constantly achieving new goals!
What you’ll learn
- How to explore new careers and industries through conversations
- Why an ideal career profile is a game changer for career change
- How Laura strategically used career experiments to find her ideal career
- How to conduct a career experiment when you’re still working
All the stars aligned and I ended up finding the right thing at the right place at the right time, and it was you guys! Everything that you said was speaking to me and the things that you had done in the job that you had transitioned out of and into. Also how finding work that you love is your passion for people! Honestly, it was you Scott, I mean, the way that you talked about it, how passionate you were, I was like, there's no way he's gonna put out a faulty product. So I'm gonna try it, you know… I recommend you to all my friends, you know, even if they don't realize that they're looking for a new job, I'm like this is the first step, let's do this! Even if you maybe don't move out of this career. This is going to help!
I was nervous. But obviously, it worked out extremely well. (Kelly) was unbelievable. I still keep in touch with her. She's phenomenal. And we had such great conversations. I didn't know that I would be getting laid off from this job. And I signed up for Career Change Boot camp a week before I got laid off. Which was just insane timing. And I just started it. I remember I wrote you guys, and I was like, “I just got laid off from this job. I'm so happy that I enrolled in this program.” And it was, it just was the perfect time.
Ready for Career Happiness?
What Career Fits You?
Finally figure out what you should be doing for work
Join our 8-day “Mini-Course” to figure it out. It’s free!
October 16, 2023
537: Rethinking Informational Interviews: Stop Doing Them & Start Test Driving Conversations
on this episode If your goal is to get a job, sure, you can stick with informational interviews. But if you’re after a fulfilling career that pays really well, then you must be willing to do things differently than the rest of the world. The internet and self-proclaimed job experts have been chanting the mantra […]
April 19, 2021