Has your career plateaued? Now is the time to leverage your functional expertise!

getajobAs a recruitment marketing practitioner, I talk to dozens of professional and personal contacts every day.  Regardless of the topic at hand or the relative success of the individual, I’m surprised by how frequently the conversation turns to career burnout.  I can think of at least three conversations I’ve had in the past month with seemingly successful professionals with a solid career trajectory.  Each of them said some version of the same thing, that they had “been doing the same thing for too long” and were “ready for a change”, but they simply can’t afford to walk away from a good job and start from scratch.

My suggestion?  Look for jobs outside of your traditional career path by leveraging your subject matter expertise in a completely new field.  Let me elaborate:

One of the individuals I spoke with this month is a successful corporate accounting manager with about 15 years of experience.  With an Economics degree from a Pac-12 school about four years in his current role with a large consumer goods company in Seattle, his career trajectory is solid, but not atypical.  He likes the people he works with and loves the company, but he’s grown tired of the day-to-day repetition of accounting.  He’s ready to try something new, but with a family and mortgage, he can’t afford to start a food cart or get the band back together.  When he looks for new accounting jobs, they appear to be very similar to what he’s doing now, with some variances around company size, compensation, and location.  “Accounting is accounting”, he told me.  Like so many mid-career professionals, he feels forced to “grin and bear it”, with hopes of changing things up when his kids are out of college.

My recommendation to this person (and many others) is to leverage their functional expertise (in this case, accounting) with a company that supports their traditional role and needs a subject matter expert on staff.  For example, accountants use accounting software every day.  Accounting software is only good if, when being developed, it is influenced by accounting experts.  So I told him to start looking for sales, product management, or business analyst roles with a company that makes or sells accounting software.  Similar opportunities for accountants can surely be found in the legal, marketing, support, and of course consulting worlds as well.

So if you are experiencing career burnout, don’t worry, it’s normal.  Just be sure to think of all of your options, and perhaps you too can leverage your functional expertise to move outside of the traditional career path.

Jubal Ince

Jubal Ince

A recruitment marketing geek based in Portland, Oregon, Jubal Ince is a the Founder and Chief Talent Strategist at HireMob.

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