After last week’s #LevoMentorPowerHour with career coach Ashley Stahl, we realized that many of our readers are preparing to make significant changes in their careers. They’re considering switching industries or changing their career paths altogether. Below, we’ve summarized five questions from our readers about leaping—along with Stahl’s insightful responses.

When you can’t decide whether to leave your company or start your own business, what factors do you compare? —E.G. 

Ashley Stahl: If you’re called to start a business in your soul, it’s a MUST–DO! What I do lights my heart on fire and you deserve that, too. That being said, it doesn’t have to be so black and white. Start your biz and take a part-time job. The part-time gig can be something that serves your overall mission. If you’re going to be a solopreneur, look for something part-time that supports that…perhaps a job in branding. I am ALL about the part-time job for new entrepreneurs, as it gets you out of desperation. Needy is creepy and clients don’t want that smile emoticon. I would also hire a business coach—you don’t need one; they make things happen cleaner and faster if they’re outstanding.

I am a manager and am looking for a new management job but in a different industry. I’m passionate about finding the right company where my experience is an asset, not a deterrent. What should I do when most companies posting jobs think I have either too much or too little experience?—S.S. 

AS: Career pivots are the best. The only issue is the belief that you have too much or too little of anything. The right employer will get you and will want your valuable experience. To me, this just means perhaps you can be networking more. People will take a chance on you when they like you, as likability is a huge factor in hiring. I would take this as an invitation to network a bit more! 

[Related: Everything You Need to Know About Making a Career Change in Your 30s]

If you’re considering a career change, what suggestions do you have for those of us who may not have as much relevant experience? I frequently find that even though I have plenty of relatable experience, it’s tough to stand out against other applicants who might have more specific experience in the field. —L.G.S.

AS: First, networking. Second, brand yourself. You can brand yourself by writing articles online for awesome places like Levo, or you can do so through volunteering, taking classes, and joining meet–up groups. Use this experience on your resume and in your networking conversations! If you don’t have the experience, CREATE it! You’ve got this.

[Related: 3 Ways to Learn From Your Career Mistakes]

I want to switch careers, but don’t have the related experience. How can I make my next job a step in the right direction? —K.W.E. 

AS: I would think about what skills you’ve built (skills are more marketable, and industries can be irrelevant) and how you can translate that into your next step. I would also explore joining groups, or taking a course if you feel it would serve you. You can even add those courses or groups as branders on your resume.

[Related: 4 Signs You Need A Career Change]

If I don’t check off every single job requirement but have related skills, should I still apply? I want to shift into a different field where I don’t have experience, but I’m confident that my skill set is applicable. —S.R. 

AS: Networking is more potent for this. Ditch the applications and start scheduling calls and coffees with the power players!

[Related: 13 #NetworkingFails We’re All Guilty of (And How to Fix Them)]

Join Forces of Women Professionals

Stay empowered, inspired, and connected with a network of incredible women. Subscribe to our email updates today and be part of a vibrant community driving change together. Don’t miss out on exclusive content, events, and opportunities. Together, we’re more vital! Subscribe now!