According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker spends only 4.2 years at a given job. As career shifts become more common, it is more important than ever to know how to transition gracefully.
Lisa Roth, Vice President at CMH Label Group and Executive Producer of Rockabye Baby is well-versed in drastic professional transitions. Roth has had three very distinct careers, each time starting over with zero experience in her new field.
For 20 years, Roth ran her own private practice as a nutritionist in New York and Los Angeles. "I had my first client before I ever graduated from college, and it was the first time I found myself doing something before I had the so-called paper qualifications."
Next, she made the leap from nutrition to television, learning the ins-and-outs of the television industry as a segment producer for Discovery and working in the business for 5 years.
After taking time off to care for her sick father, Roth found herself starting from scratch once again. When she was asked to give nutrition seminars for a record label, a new opportunity fell into her lap. "The owner and his business partner offered me a job at the label. The job had no title and no description."
Today, Roth runs the highly-successful Rockabye Baby franchise for CMH Label Group. Rockabye has produced over 80 albums of lullaby versions of songs by artists like Metallica, Rihanna and Bob Marley.
Roth says the secret to making bold career changes like these is to cultivate soft skills, trust your gut and have confidence.
According to Roth, soft skills are powerful tools when starting a new position. Unfortunately, they "tend to be missing in the workplace."
Experts agree that soft skills like problem solving and communication are incredibly valuable in today's economy. According to The Wall Street Journal, 92 percent of executives believe that soft skills are just as, if not more, valuable than technical skills. However, 89 percent of executives say that it is difficult to find candidates with these abilities. Perfecting your soft skills can make you a desirable candidate for any industry.
When starting a new job, these abilities can help you get off on the right foot. Problem-solving allows you to think on your feet and communication skills will help you develop strong professional relationships.
Trust your gut
Roth says following her intuition was essential to her several career transitions. "Everything I have done successfully has been based on gut instinct," she says.
Whether you are unsure about working in a new industry or nervous about suggesting an idea at work, Roth says that intuition and instinct are key. Intuition is particularly helpful when you are starting a new career because it allows you to make educated guesses when you do not have a definitive answer to something.
In order to strengthen intuition, Roth suggests that people take the time to learn every day. By absorbing as much knowledge as possible, you will improve your instincts.
In her first week at CMH Label Group, Roth was confronted by a colleague. "She came into my office and said to me, 'You have no discernible skills to work here.' My jaw invisibly dropped. I looked at her and I asked her to repeat herself.
"She said 'You have no discernible skills to work here.' I wrote it down and put it on a sticky note and that sticky is sitting here in front of me on my wall, 12 years later."
Roth used this confrontation as a source of inspiration. Today, she is proud of the way she has learned on the job. "I really think of it as a badge of honor because, in essence, I didn't have any discernible skills to be there, but I find myself still standing 12 years later, and I have three great careers behind me."
No matter what others may think of you, be confident in yourself and know that you bring valuable skills to the table.
Don't miss: 3 ways to be sure you pick the right career