A beginners guide to starting or pivoting your career — for those who don’t yet know where to start.

Over the course of my professional career, I have worked in four working capitals — London, Washington, New York, and Tel Aviv. I have also worked in numerous sectors: Politics, Journalism, NGO’s, Venture Capital and Tech.

Recently because of these rather varied experiences, I’ve been meeting with two main groups of people who have needed some advice:

College students: Those who are wondering how to find the right career for themselves post graduation.

Under 30’s: Those who started their career and have realised they might not be in the right profession and are wondering how to change.

After a while, I began to asses the feedback I was giving. It appears that whether they were finishing college or looking to change or pivot their careers, the advice appeared to be somewhat similar.

Here’s what I found myself saying:

It seems very lonely and as if no one has gone through this before but actually in 2017, some 20.4 million students are expected to attend American colleges.

Let’s assume these numbers haven’t changed much in the past ten years. This means that every year around 20 million graduates will be looking for a job and most likely, will not yet know their dream career.

If you’re already in a job but have realised you might not be in the right one, recognise that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American changes jobs 10 to 15 times between the ages of 18 and 46.

One of my favourite podcasts is Geek Girl Meetup — a podcast started by by Cathy White which interviews inspirational women in tech to hear more about their careers, how they got to where they are, and their best bits of advice.

What I love about this podcast, is how many women said that they had dreamed about a career or tried a career and were initially embarrassed when it didn’t turn out to be what they wanted, but it was only because of that experience they realised what their next career stop had to be.

For example Gemma Milne was previously a Maths Student, Investment Banker, Door-to-door Fundraiser and Chef, before she started at Ogilvy & Mather as a Creative Lab Technologist.

2. Write a list of your skills:

If you’re just graduating, you’ve probably spent 3 years doing a lot of different things, studying, societies, networking — you have an idea of what you’ve enjoyed and what you haven’t, not just in terms of academia but also in terms of whether you like meeting people/ speaking to people or whether you prefer to be alone.

You also probably know whether other people working around you makes you more motivated or you are able to motivate yourself.

If you’ve been in a job for a while, you know what’s worked and what you’d want to continue doing and what hasn’t worked and so you wouldn’t want to be doing in your next job.

Write this down.

3. Do your career trajectory research:

Once you understand that you are not alone and what your skillset is, make a list of some possible career options.

Go through LinkedIn and look up people in those careers — study their trajectory — how they got there, what they studied at college and see if there are any similarities between these people and yourself — if there’s not that’s fine too.

Often you’ll be pleasantly be surprised at how many entry points there are to the same end destination, which means yours, which probably previously felt very unconventional to enter said career, is actually pretty normal.

4. Connecting to those in the know

Once you’ve researched the people who would be good to speak with, see if you have anyone that is a mutual connection that can introduce you — use Linkedin and Facebook to check the mutual friends and ask your family and friends, if they know anyone in the careers you have identified as possible interests.

If you aren’t able to find a mutual connection, your first stop should probably be a networking event, these sound far more daunting than they actually are.

This guide by The Muse is a solid go to on how to master Networking Events:


If you have a mutual friend — reach out to them and send them your bio of who you are and why your looking to meet with x person.

You need to make it as easy as possible for the person to do the intro, otherwise it probably won’t happen.

Once the intro has been done, arrange a call or ideally a face to face meeting/ coffee where you can speak to the people in those careers — ask them about the questions that are on your mind about the industry, they’ve probably been there too and would be happy to help.

Remember: No coffee is a waste of time — you’re there to learn and if they can’t help you, ask them if they are able to direct you to someone who can or can suggest some events or some reading you would be wise to do.

After the meeting, write an email thanking them for their time, a reminder list of anything they said they would do. Then add them on LinkedIn and follow up a few weeks later if any progress has been made with the introductions they have done.

5. Profession sector research

At this point, you should have a clearer idea of what profession is or isn’t for you.

Now it’s time to listen and read as much information as you can about that profession.

I can only really give a guide on Business, Tech, Non For Profits and Venture and there may be some great resources which are specific to your country or city, but here’s what I would say have been the best resources for me:



‘The Female Lead is a non-profit project that celebrates women’s achievement, endeavour and diversity. Aiming to make women’s stories more visible, and to provide positive role models for future generations, The Female Lead works on three platforms: the website, a book of remarkable women to be launched later this year and an outreach programme targeted at young women.’

Other Material:

If it is Venture Capital you are looking to enter.

This guide by Justine and Olivia Moore is fabulous.

At this point I should also mention Lucy Kellaway as a person to ‘follow’ — she doesn’t have a newsletter, so I would recommend twitter or the FT, where she writes a frequent column. She genuinely has no fear, isn’t afraid to say business needs to pull itself together and has pivoted her career at the age of 58 to become a teacher.

Her Ted Talk explains more:

6. Financial Assessment

Now you know what you want to do, understand what you need to do to get there and whether that is financially viable.

If you’re just graduating or looking to change into a career where you don’t have much experience, maybe you need to consider an internship — can you afford for this to be unpaid?

Maybe you need to do a masters or a course like coding — can you afford this?

If you think you are ready for a paid position, what is the average wage — can you live off that?

Read Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry for more help with the financial side of things. Based on the successful blog, the book is a choose your own adventure guide to personal finance that uses wry humor and real-life examples to demystify the basics of money for millennials.

7. Revamp your resume/LinkedIn.

Now you’ve taught yourself or learnt from others about the industry, follow up with the people you met or spoke with.

Choose one or two of the people that you met and felt most comfortable with and ask them to review your resume/LinkedIn — is there anything they think you should take out/ put in / emphasize?

You can ask a parent or friend about the grammar but if you want to appeal to a specific profession, there may be some key musts that only someone working in that field would know.

At this point it is also wise to start ‘Following’ some companies that are of interest on LinkedIn or Facebook, that way you will hear about any career opportunities, should they arise.

8 . Follow up with your contacts and work on your pitch

Then once you’re confident with your resume, work on your paragraph pitch — who you are and why you’re changing careers or if your graduating, the skills you’ve picked up and make you right for the profession you’re trying enter.

Feel confident in this — this should be your opening paragraph when you meet people for interviews.

Once you are pitch ready, reach out to the rest of the people you met with and ask them if they’ve heard of any positions in their company or the industry as a whole.

Don’t wait for company’s you are interested in to advertise because recent studies suggest 70/80 percent of jobs are never officially advertised but rather come from recommendations of current employees.

With that I would say you are good to go. It’s not always easy, but I hope this guide has made it seem a bit more simple.

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”

This article was originally publised on Linkedin

If you are looking for more help, feel free to reach out to the team at HiPitched, the company I recently founded. * A CREATIVE STRATEGY AGENCY MAKING YOU HEARD * ALL about: Branding | Strategy | Consulting | Scaling

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* Made in London / Living in Israel * WIRED on: Style | Modest Fashion | Brand | Wellness | Culture | * CEO HiPitched: https://www.hipitched.com/

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Avital Eusgeld

* Made in London / Living in Israel * WIRED on: Style | Modest Fashion | Brand | Wellness | Culture | * CEO HiPitched: https://www.hipitched.com/