I know there’s a lot of career changing advice out there. And I know you’re busy.

So I spent weeks reading through all those articles, blogs, tweets and books on career change. All to bring YOU answers to the 7 top career change questions you (dear readers) have asked me via this blog and on Twitter.

Seriously, I am EXCITED about sharing this with you. All of the world’s top career change advice, in ONE place? Wow. This should clear everything up. Ok, take a deep breath, here we go!

Answers to your top 7 career change questions, courtesy of the world’s leading career gurus.

1. What should I do next?

  • Stick to what you know
  • Explore things you don’t know

2. I don’t have the contacts I need! How do I meet them?

  • Network online (face to face is so 2008)
  • Network face to face (online’s pointless)

3. How should I make contact with people I don’t know?

  • Cold call, you wimp.
  • Don’t cold call, who likes cold callers?

4. Where should I look?

  • Use lots of different avenues in your search
  • Stick to one avenue and do it well

5. I’m going around in circles!

  • Calm down: think things through, stop just diving in
  • Get out there! Dive into action, stop thinking so much

6. How do I get my message across?

  • Develop a personal brand
  • Are you joking? Personal branding is a wanky term

7. Should I focus on my skills when deciding what to do next?

  • Yes, they are all you have. Analyse your skills
  • No, your skills are just a mini-teeny part of you. Forget about them. Just visualise… like, stuff. Nice stuff.

All right! That sorted everything out then.

By the way, I wish the above was a joke. It’s not.

If you want to spend weeks reading career change books and blogs, I encourage you to. But at the end you’ll be as confused as I was when I first entered this field.

As a shortcut, here’s my take on it: ALL OF THE CAREER CHANGE GURUS ARE RIGHT. Even when they contradict each other.

How is that possible? Simple. They are each speaking to different people. And they each come from the perspective of what sort of person THEY are, and what would work for them. As everyone is different, we have contradiction!

Every one has their own path to what makes them happy in a career, and everyone has their own path to what works in career change. One single guide, or one single approach for changing careers will never work for everyone.

Imagine if Bill Gates tried to host the Oprah Winfrey show, or if Oprah tried to run Microsoft. Wouldn’t work, right? (Funny though). Oprah and Gates are both super-successful. But they get there in different ways. And I’d bet that if they were to change career they’d do things differently to each other.

Finally some good news

The good news IS, there is one guide, or piece of advice, for changing careers that WILL work for you. It won’t work for the person sitting next to you, but it will work for you. It’s just a question of finding it.

Knowing your personal success profile (ie: who you are and what works for you) is the only reliable way to discover the best way of changing careers – for you. It’s the only way of knowing which sort of advice you should listen to, which to ignore, and how to go about things in a way that will work for you.

And that’s my advice for the day!

Related reading: 10 Secrets To Getting Yourself Headhunted.

Marianne Cantwell is a Free Range Human, and a career change expert. She helps mid-career professionals figure out what they REALLY want to do with the rest of their lives. Visit Marianne’s site Free Range Humans and be sure to follow her on Twitter @FreeRangeHumans. Image: Shutterstock.

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