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Friday, October 18, 2013

Spotlight on our Network: Making a Successful Career Switch

Categories: Spotlight on our Network


Have you ever thought about switching careers? Lime Network member, Tiffany Yu (Georgetown), had a great career in finance when she realized it was time to follow her dreams of working in media. Here's how she did it...

Transitions: From Finance to Media

"What's your secret dream?" At a dinner in December last year, a friend asked me this question. At the time, I was spending my third year at Goldman Sachs in recruiting after two years in investment banking.

"I want to be a news anchor/reporter." 

"That's so random!" My response had surprised my friends. After that dinner, I couldn't help but think back to our conversation. Why did it have to be a secret dream?

Don't get me wrong, I had an amazing experience at Goldman and the people I worked with there were exceptional. But after three years at the same firm, I thought it might be time to do something different.

Looking to transition to a new industry can be challenging. On paper alone, I was someone who had studied / worked in finance for seven years. I felt like I was often overlooked because I was either overqualified by having a few years of work experience or underqualified by not having any relevant experience. On top of that, I would make excuses for why it didn't make sense to pursue my secret dream--from not studying journalism or writing for the school paper to thinking my disability would hinder my chances of breaking in. 

For those looking to make a move, perseverance is key. A lot of it is networking, but a big part is not losing momentum. Continue to go to events, have informational interviews, and submit job applications. Even taking online classes (try CourseraedX, or Udacity to start) or volunteering can help you build relevant skills.

I didn't want my secret dream to be a secret anymore, so I was vocal about what I was looking for. I leveraged my friends and alumni network to learn more about the media industry. My colleagues from Goldman were more than willing to help and I also kept in touch with the Lime Connect team throughout the process. (As a side note, the Lime team has been one of my biggest advocates, from supporting me during my internship search to helping me think through my career decisions.) I also continued to build my writing portfolio and created a blog (something I wrote even ended up on Business Insider!) and updated my resume to cater more toward editorial positions. Even though every role so far has been different (banking, recruiting, broadcasting), they have all had some kind of connection to finance/business, which helped me convey my story.

In August, all of the hard work paid off when I started as a production assistant at Bloomberg TV. I am learning a ton about the industry and love being in a live news environment. It has also been a humbling experience to make the move over to a world so different from Wall Street, but my new chapter only begins here... 

I remember coming across this excerpt from author Shauna Niequest that helped drive a lot of my decision-making: "I met with my boss, who was in his 50s. I told him how anxious I was about finding the one perfect job for me, and quick. He asked me how old I was, and when I told him I was 25, he told me I couldn't complain to him about finding the right job until I was 32. In his opinion, it takes about 10 years after college to find the right fit, and anyone who finds it earlier than that is just plain lucky. So use every bit of your 10 years: try things, take classes, start over."

So go forth and start chasing your secret dreams! To continue the conversation, I'm at @ImTiffanyYu.


posted By Jennifer LaRusso-Leung | 12:00 AM | 0 comments < Previous Post     Next Post >

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