Hello and welcome to another edition of Using Only Gifs, Let’s Get a Song Stuck In Your Head!
Just kidding. It’s actually an episode of the Bitches Get Riches podcast! But while brainstorming titles for this episode, I got ABBA stuck in my head. And misery loves company, soooo…
Bitchlings, we love talking about career transitions. It’s always so magical and rewarding when it happens! My own career transition was an agonizing decision and process that actually resulted in one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had. So we’re thrilled to impart some of that wisdom to our question asker this week.
Is that wisdom to in fact sing ABBA at new employers until they take a chance on you? BITCH, IT MIGHT BE. Watch the episode to find out.
This week’s question
This week we’re answering a question from our dear follower Alpunka. Alpunka asks:
Esteemed Bitches: Long time reader, first time asker. I recently got a new job with a big pay increase, better hours, more job security, etc., but now I’ve realized that I hate the career path I’m on right now. I’m a manufacturing supervisor and I don’t want to manage people forever and I hate the capitalistic crunch to bleed my employees dry for revenue. I’m pretty sure I want to be an independent contributor, but I don’t want to take a step back down in salary. I’ve been thinking about looking for a career coach or a recruiter to try to figure out what kind of different jobs I would be qualified for, would actually like, and would be in a similar pay range. Are there consultants for that sort of thing? How do I find a good one? What other resources are there for figuring out what to pivot to when you know you want to pivot?? Help me, Bitch Nation!Alpunka, beloved citizen of Bitch Nation
Can I just say… I love that Alpunka is taking a critical look at their own place in the “capitalistic crunch to bleed my employees dry for revenue.” Because we should all do that kind of career audit from time to time! Ask yourself “Hey, is my work actively harming others or contributing to a system that perpetuates harm to others? And if so, how can I mitigate that harm?”
We call this the Capitalist Cog in the Machine Reality Check.
In our answer, we talk about the value of career coaches and what exactly constitutes a “transferrable skill.” Plus, Kitty’s hair looks stunning so if you aren’t yet following us on YouTube, you might want to get on that.
For more of our career guidance—including my own experience transitioning between industries—check out these articles:
- Season 2, Episode 11: “I Tripped and Fell into a Career I Don’t like. How Do I Reinvent Myself?”
- My Career Transition Succeeded When I Gave Fewer Fucks, Made More Friends, and Had More Fun
- Season 1, Episode 9: “I’ve Given up on My Dream Career. Where Do I Go From Here?”
- The Actually Helpful, Nuanced, Non-Bullshit Way to Choose a Future Career
- Job Hopping vs. Career Loyalty by the Numbers
- The Fascinating Results of Our Job Hopping vs. Career Loyalty Poll
This episode was sponsored by Mainvest—the wholesome crowdfunding alternative to stock market investing! Mainvest helps connect small business owners to investors like you and me. The goal is to help fund small businesses. Divesting from the stock market is just an added bonus. Make your first small business investment with Mainvest by clicking the button below!
And as always, none of these shenanigans would be possible without our Patreon donors. They are the reason for the season! Our muses! Our inspiration! The wind beneath our proverbial wings! Join them for access to exclusive content, polls, pet pics, and give-aways for as little as $1 a month.
Transcript (Click to reveal)
This episode, like all of our episodes, is brought to you by our beloved Patreon donors. This week we want to thank Chad, Jordan, and Georgiana. And an extra special thanks this week goes to Q. Q is the timely death of Mitch McConnell. [blows kiss]
There are entirely too many sports. I can barely keep them straight. Is Blernsball one of them, or did Futurama make that up? Who knows? I don’t.
I couldn’t tell you. I couldn’t tell you. Is—like, curling. If I were to make up a sport as a joke, it would be curling. But curling is an actual fucking sport.
Can I tell you? One of my all-time favorite sports media. It’s not a movie, it’s a TV series, and I believe it’s called Losers.
Ooh sounds promising. Sounds like my people.
I’m pretty sure it’s a Netflix original. And it is about, it is a documentary and they shift over to lots and lots of different sports, ton of different sports. And they profile a notable loss or failure and they turn it into a fascinating, fascinating story. And one of them is, in fact, about curling, and you have never seen me and my non-sporty partner sitting on the couch with like, tears gathering in the corner of our eyes watching something about curling.
I fucking believe it. I fucking believe it. And you guys are like the least sports conscious people I know. Like, I at least, you know Bear used to be a football player. He, against his better judgment, still loves football and he’ll watch all the balls, all the sports balls, he’ll watch ‘em all, whatever it is. But you like, if I were to walk into your home and have you and your husband watching a sports game on TV, I would call…frankly, I would call the Men in Black because I’d be like aliens have—
Replicants have replaced my friends.
We are Replicants. We are Yeerks. 100%. We are Yeerks. We’re going to invite you to The Sharing any second now.
Theme Song 2:16
If you need some dough
You don’t know where to go
In this patriarchal capitalist hellscape
Well here’s the ‘sitch
We’re gonna help you, sis
Because bitches get riches
Bitches get riches
Bitches get riches
Bitches get riches
And so can you
Enough. Enough of the sport.
I’m getting tired and sweaty just thinking about it. I’m Kitty.
And I’m Piggy.
And we are the bitches in Bitches Get Riches.
We’re a pair of colorful, elegant Betta fish.
And we are recording from across the country from each other because we will fight each other on sight.
It’s true. And our time on this planet is limited.
So let’s get started.
Today’s letter comes to us from our dear follower alpunka. Alpunka asks: Esteemed Bitches: Long time reader, first time asker. I recently got a new job with a big pay increase, better hours, more job security, etc. But now I’ve realized that I hate the career path I’m on right now. I’m a manufacturing supervisor and I don’t want to manage people forever and I hate the capitalistic crunch to bleed my employees dry for revenue. I know I don’t want to take a step back down in salary though. I’ve been thinking about looking for a career coach or a recruiter to try to figure out what kind of different jobs I would be qualified for, and what would I actually like, and what would be in a similar pay range. Are there consultants for that sort of thing? How do I find a good one? What other resources are there for figuring out WHAT to pivot to when you know you want to pivot?? Help me, Bitch Nation!
I think a lot of our listeners who are maybe in their late 20’s, early 30’s especially are going to be relating to this question. I think a lot of folks fall into their first career and they kinda take what they can get. Especially for folks like us who graduated during less than ideal markets.
Yup yup yup. Two thousand niiiiiiine. The class of 2009.
Shout out to the incredible pain and trauma.
Shout out to competing with 40 year old parents in the job market for entry-level jobs. Woohoo!
Loved it. Loved every moment.
Couldn’t get enough. Mwah. Thank you all.
So I think this is a relatable question, right? Like, I have fallen into something and it’s working for me economically. I’m making good money doing this. However, now that I understand what’s being asked of me, don’t like it. How the fuck do I get out of this? One of my favorite statistics to bring up is that so, for someone in—we are in our mid-thirties, we are old Millennials. And for someone in our grandparents’ age range, a Silent Generation person, the average number of jobs that someone from that generation might have in their lifetime is one and a half. The folks who are now in their 30’s, 20’s, and younger, so the average for us is closer to a dozen. A dozen different employers over our lifetime. And I think that that number has grown and will continue to grow over time. So, there’s a lot of advice out there about specialization and how that’s the key to growing wealth, and I don’t think that that’s like bad advice, but I actually think like—
But I don’t think it’s the only advice.
We live in a society where I think actually generalists are more in demand. You can always be trained into a new job as long as you prove that I have the skills to learn new things. So you know, just to counter, a lot of traditional advice would really focus on like, you need to find one industry and one job that you’re okay with doing in that industry and do it forever. And that’s not where we’re at.
That is definitely not where we’re at.
And it sounds like it’s not where you’re at either.
So I think the next step for them is just realizing what are their generalizable skills.What are the skills that they can take to other employers? And speaking from personal experience, I had a really hard time with this when I was going through a career transition. You know, I started my career in the book publishing industry, very glamorous, very underpaid. Very stuck in the fucking Stone Age. All my publishing friends right now are listening to this and taking notes because they’re like, how do I also get out? And I’m like, I know. I know.
[laughter] Yeah, no, it’s true. It’s true.
Yeah, it’s true. But no, when I was sitting down and I was like, okay I need to transition into a new industry. I’m going to miss my identity inpublishing, which spoiler alert, more than two years after leaving it, I don’t miss it. But I was focusing on the wrong skills. I was like, okay I’m an editor. I know how to edit. And I’m an acquisition editor. I know how to manage writers. How do I transfer that to an industry where I’m not necessarily working with writers and editing things? And I was looking at it wrong. I was focusing on the hard skills rather than the soft skills. And when I say hard skills, I mean like the on paper tasks that you know how to do. When really the soft skills are more like, the ability to learn, the ability to manage people, the ability to identify problems and go through an effective problem solving process. These skills are something that you can learn in any industry because they are applicable in any industry.
So I used to work for, before I retired, a household name technology company that works very hard to recruit the best and the brightest that they can. So I remember having this very interesting conversation with someone who’s very, very, very senior within the company. And they told me what their favorite major to hire, if they were hiring a student fresh out of school, what major they most wanted. Now, I want you to guess what this major is. And I’ll tell you, this is for a role where they would be working in enterprise-level technology sales. Meaning, they are a gigantic company selling to another gigantic company this very, very complex technological solution to their problems. What major do you think that they most wanted?
Okay, I’m looking at this the wrong way. Communications.
You’re getting warmer. Okay, so the answer? Theatre majors.
He told me his absolute favorite recruits were theatremajors because they had good improvisation skills. They were good at listening actively. They can memorize scripts very easily and they’re good at understanding and communicating an understanding of what it is that the client wants and needs.
So, he said hands down he would rather have a theatre major who he can train to be exactly the kind of employee that he wants rather than someone who comes in with like a business administration degree or some kind of like, intelligence design architecture degree, like whatever. He’s like, I don’t want them, they think they know how to do the job. I will teach them how to do the job, but they have to have the soft skills and he loved theatre majors because of their soft skills.
I fucking love that. I feel like that is the sound of a thousand theatremajors like, scampering over to their parents who said “what are you going to do with this major?” and going see, see? And in fact, one of our most successful friends in the financial media industry was a theatre major. Do you know who I’m talking about?
I actually don’t. Who is it?
Tori fucking Dunlap.
Oh I didn’t know she—! Okay, alright yeah. She know—she know how to sell that shit.
She know. Yes. But that’s exactly what we’re talking about here, is like there are some skills that do not come with the fancy technical majors or the fancy technical jobs. And like, if I were to classify my most valuable work skills now that I’ve successfully transferred to a different industry. Like yeah, I still use editing, I still manage authors, but it’s my problem solving skills. It’s my ability to communicate difficult messages. It’s my ability to collaborate across departments and explain and teach things to people in other departments who might not have the technical expertise from my department. Like, these are all things that did not come with my fancy publishing industry degree or career, but they were super valuable when it came to transition. So I think that the best piece of advice we can give to alpunka is that they need to identify the soft skills that are transferable.
I think kind of what we’re getting at is that it’s very overrated to have direct experience. What’s more valuable is your ability to communicate that the experience that you have right now could be relevant in the experience that you want. Which does kind of require—
It’s all about framing.
Framing. What are the skills that you offer as an employee regardless of the role? Just what are your interpersonal strengths? And that is something I think a lot of people really struggle to quantify and say like, well I’m goodat problem-solving. I’m good at communicating. I’m good at arriving at diplomatic solutions that please a bunch of people who are like chronically determined to not be pleased by anything. Those are very, very valuable roles.
But they are difficult because we’re so trained I think, to think about things like, well what’s my degree in? Do I have any certifications? What’s my direct work experience? All of those things I think ultimately, are kind of bullshit. You can train anyone to do anything. What they need to be able to prove is that they have the qualities that you need as an employee.
And I’ll give a caveat to that, which is that like, there are going to be some employers in some industries who aaaabsolutely want to see those qualifications on your resume. They aaaabsolutely want to see that you’ve taken this class and gotten that certification and you majored in the right major at the right school. And I would argue that those employers are a little—
Regressive. Yeah, stupid. Sure.
They stupid. They basic.
They’re so stupid. Oh my god.
They’re so dumb.
Like, get with the times.
Get with the times.
People are complex and they grow and they learn, you dumb fuck.
Yeah. I would agree. I mean, obviously, there are some industries that you can’t just transfer in. Like, don’t think you can go from working in retail to being a doctor without—excuse me, a medical doctor— without having gone to med school, obviously.
You can be a TikTok doctor.
Listen, you can give financial advice on the internet without any qualifications. We’ve proven that.
[gasp] You dare j’accuse! Do not @ me in this indictment.
I am @ing you. Listen, this is a scathing indictment of our complete lack of skills, qualifications, and knowledge.
We have no idea what we’re doing. Flee, flee for your lives!
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Alpunka references 2 things, recruiters and career coaches. Much like financial advisors, I used to think career coaches were bullshit. And this was because I had a career coach experience. So my husband’s boss’s wife was getting certified as a career coach. And she was like, I need practice hours.
I—I’m—for podcast only listeners, I’m like already grimacing because I’m like, certified by whom?
Okay, no, go on.
And she’s this lovely person. And she was like, Jess, you’ve expressed displeasure with your chosen industry. Could I practice by coaching you on your career transition? And I was like, ugh you’re so nice and lovely and I think you’re wonderful, so fine. But I’d rather have my fingernails gouged out with pliers. So we had several sessions over several weeks, and she put me through these questionnaires and these tests to really like drill down to these transferable skills that we’ve already discussed. And at the end of it, after all of this work and like hours of sessions, she says, I think you need to stay an editor. And I was like, well that’s bullshit! This is what I’ve been trying to not do. But here’s the fun thing people, she was right. I am still an editor in a completely different industry. I got where I needed to go, and in looking back, it was like fuck, everything she told me was totally helpful. I just didn’t want to hear it at the time because I thought she was giving me the wrong answer. So at the end of the day, I don’t know what she was getting certified with for her career coaching, but she was very effective.
But it was working.
It was working. So the only other thing I would say about career coaches, is that if you can find an affordable one or find a career coach equivalent maybe in book or podcast form, go for it. Even if you might not recognize its usefulness in the moment, you might find yourself being like, oh hey wait, the lessons I internalized from that really benefited me later on.
Yeah, I agree and I think that like, what I don’t want our listeners to take away from this is like, great. So I was told that I need to go out and pay a coach $700 to explain to me how all the ways that being an ISFP affect me. Like, no, you do not need to do that.
You don’t. You don’t need to do that. Find an equivalent.
Rather like, have you ever sat down with some of your closest friends or co-workers, even better, and said like, hey I want to take an hour and I just want you to tell me, what do you think that the value that I bring as an employee is? Like how would you describe me? If you were trying to get me hired at a company, how would you talk about me? I kind of need to hear that because it’s really, really hard for people to understand what the true value that they bring is because—all right, this is very cynical, but I really think that so many of our systems are set up to keep people away from the feedback that most benefits them, because the feedback that most benefits them is usually like, you are so cool. You’re popping fresh, you are underpaid, and you are capable of so much more than this. And companies don’t want to tell you that.
Whoa whoa whoa, are you suggesting, are you suggesting that there are capitalist forces at work here, preventing us from recognizing our full value? Surely not.
No. Capitalism is perfect and unimpeachable like my tendril and this messy bun situation that I’ve got with the lavender tips.
Very 90’s. Listen, Gwen Stefani, I am feeling it.
Totally, totally unimpeachable. Absolutely not. Capitalism’s perfect and there are no flaws. No notes for capitalism.
Totally. No notes.
So I would say over all, people in particular, I might say marginalized people, like women, are very poorly equipped to describe what their own best qualities are in the workplace because a lot of the things that they do have been historically undervalued. And it’s really hard to shift and talk about those skills like they are the amazing talents that they are and not just like, oh well like managing conflict, like, that’s just something like women just do. You know, with their uteruses, or whatever. So one of the most valuable tools that I have found for articulating my own value, especially in roles where I don’t have direct experience is cultivating a diverse group of friends and contacts who are able to help me articulate my value. If you have only friends who are kind of like you, exactly like you, they will have the same blind spots that you have. They won’t know what it is that you should be bragging about. They won’t know how rare it is to have some of the qualities and skill sets that you do. So I have gotten so, so, so much out of having direct conversations with a diverse group of friends, in terms of like what their role is and what their educational and career background is, and saying, what do you think it is that I do that’s amazing? What do you value about me as a partner, as a co-worker that’s rare? And that will really, I think, help you frame things. If you do not have that, a career coach can help you get there. A recruiter, a really good recruiter, who asks like, deep, important, probing questions can totally help you get there.
Yeah, one who’s not phoning it in.
But there’s a very wide range of quality in terms of recruiters. There are some who are just like, yeah, I gotta [tapping inside of wrist]—I don’t know why I thought my—I was tapping my watch here.
[tapping inside of wrist] The inside of your wrist.
[tapping inside of wrist] But I was tapping the inside of my wrist. So it looked like I was maybe trying to get a pulse.
[tapping outside of wrist] Yeah, no, this is where the watches generally—
[tapping outside of wrist] It’s over here. I need to flip it around.
[tapping outside of wrist] Yeah. Flip it around.
You know, one of my skills, not spatial reasoning.
One of our lacking skills like, as a podcast, is that we are very not used to being a visual medium this season.
No, we are not. Okay, so [tapping on outside of wrist] tap tap tap on the wrist, the outside of the wrist, not the inside of the wrist. It’s a watch, not your pulse.
[tapping outside of wrist] Time is money. Money is power. Power is pizza. Let’s go.
And pizza is all.
Pizza is everything.
So you don’t want the recruiter who’s tapping their watch going like, yeah, I have a role to fill and like I need you to say 3 of the magical code words that will get you this job. That person is not helpful, they are just kind of looking out for themselves, they’re trying to tick a box. But I have had the experience myself, and have seen many friends have the experience, of working with a recruiter who’s really good at asking deep, probing questions to draw out things that might not be on your resume yet, that might not be on your list of soft skills that you know and understand how to promote. And they will just like pull that out and be like, here you go. You don’t understand how rare it is to find someone who for example, is good at transitioning between the big picture and the details very fluently. That’s a hard thing to articulate. It’s a hard thing to point to but an external person is good at it. You don’t necessarily have to pay a professional to do that. If you have a really good diverse network they can help you find that stuff, but it requires work. So if you’re maybe kind of overtaxed in your current role and you don’t feel like, I can’t do like a lot of deep, probative psychological work while I’m also working at this job that I don’t like, you can totally outsource that.
Yeah, I need somebody else to do this. Exactly, exactly. Set aside a little money for your transition. And like this is the end of lesson, which is that like part of your emergency fund should be like an exit strategy from toxic employers and bad work situations. So, you know, it can be expensive to work with a recruiter or a career coach, but, you know, factor that into your emergency fund.
100%. Yeah, I think a good one is worth their weight in gold. A bad one is worth their weight in…
Depreciating assets…such as dog farts.
Such as dog turds.
Are you good with that?
I am good with that.
Excellent. Nailed it.
Listeners, if you want us to answer your question, go to BitchesGetRiches.com and click “Ask the Bitches.” After all, this podcast is listener-supported. We are committed to never ever putting our best content behind a paywall. Only our worst content. So if you like what we do and you want us to keep doing it, you can support the podcast by joining our Patreon at patreon.com/bitchesgetriches. And if you need even more Bitches in your life, and who could blame you, you can read our articles or follow us on social media at BitchesGetRiches.com.
Hey, is there anything else they should know?
Yes. I’ve been thinking—
A dangerous prospect.
Okay so, I was thinking that if we had ranked-choice voting for musical genres, you know what would win?
Oh, it is totally funk. It is absolutely funk.
No matter who you are, funk is your second favorite genre of music. It is wrong that disco ever died. That was incorrect. We need to like go back and fix that timeline.
That was incorrect.
Everyone can rally around funk. It may not be your favorite—
But it’s at least your second.
But when September by Earth Wind & Fire comes on, your ass is moving, okay? All right, so.
Listen, George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic are a better governmental system than our actual legislature and presidency.
Absolutely. Rome would still be a whole thing today, if they had had funk music, but they didn’t, they just had pan flutes or whatever. So, fuck ‘em. That’s why.
Good to know.
Kitty & Piggy 25:45
3 thoughts to “Season 4, Episode 9: “I’m on the Wrong Career Path. How Do I Convince a New Industry To Take a Chance on Me?””
If I ever need to go back to work for someone else (totally possible, as I’ve only been full time in my biz since Dec. 1!) I will absolutely be hiring a career coach or someone to help me apply for jobs more efficiently. There is very little as demoralizing as sending endless, beautifully tailored resumes into the void. I am totally going to hire professional, expert help for that shit so I maximize my efforts.
So obviously, I’m team “hire help” especially if you can afford it. The right person should pay for themselves in the end, by helping you land an amazing job or a great pay raise.
As a coach myself, I’d advise asking for references, stats, and any guarantees. Do you feel amazing and hopeful after meeting them? Etc. Trust your gut. You can always go back and hire someone if you pass initially; you can’t always get your money back from a mediocre experience.
What do I do if I can articulate my soft skills but employers don’t care? There are people looking for jobs who DO have the direct experience I lack and ALSO the soft skills. How do I convince jobs to take a chance on me when other people have the same skills?!?
Ugh this is the WORST isn’t it? That’s been my experience in the past, and part of the reason I tended to stick in terrible jobs wayyyyy longer than I should have. It’s so hard to convince employers that soft skills matter! Especially in tech.