I took a turn in my career, not a complete 180°, but around 60°.
I started off in corporate finance doing analytics on budgets, and now I’m in the world of data science doing analytics on user behavior.
After I got my new role, I did a video explaining my process on how to get a job. Today, a lot of people have questions about their journey as they try and navigate a new career for themselves.
Most questions follow the same format. Here are my responses to the most common:
“Greg, I don’t know what I want to do”
Ok, no problem. Make a list of the top 30 specific activities you’re interested in, yes 30.
“Building things” isn’t an activity. “Building furniture” or “Building a web app” is an activity.
Rank them in order of most interesting to least interesting (prioritization).
One by one, spend a week on the top 6 items learning everything you can about the topic.
Google, “[this activity I like] for dummies” and learn for a week.
Hint: If you can’t get through the whole week, you probably didn’t like it that much.
After each week of an activity, rank it 1-10 on how much you still like it.
Take the top 3 you still like and then do those for 2 more weeks.
Goal: Find what gives you energy. Following your energy (not a specific task) is the key to finding what you’re stoked on.
“Hey Greg, my job is lame, I would rather be doing XYZ”
Greg: “Awesome that sounds great. Don’t leave your job yet. Take up XYZ as a side project, and continue with it until you can’t possibly do both.”
Goal: Make sure you have energy for your XYZ ambition. Make sure you do before you go for it.
“Greg, I know what I want to do, but I don’t know how to get there?”
Talk to as many people as possible in the field that you want to get into.
What do they say about your next step?
Here’s a “cold start” process from a programmer's perspective. It applies to anyone
I have no idea what’s the next step for the thing you want to do, but I know where to find the answer, and it’s through people already in the field.
“Greg, I want to leave work and go travel”
Been there done that. It’s fun while it lasts, the re-entry can be hard. It’s takes a lot of work when you come back.
Do you already have something lined up for when you come back? If so, then yes, get offline and leave now. I’ll buy you a bottle of champagne when you’re there.
If not, then it still sounds fun, but understand it is going to be tough coming back.
“Hey Greg, I want to do data science”
First off ask yourself, “what is data science?” Once you understand there is no right answer move to the next step.
Then, read this entire PDF (it changed my life) if you’ve done all the exercises and it still calls to you and, then...
Start a side project and make it marketable online, send it to as many people that will look at it.
Along the way you’ll find The Path