Fast Break Your Career Change: Players You Need on Your Team


March marks the beginning of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament, also known as the Month of Madness. The tournament is known for its unpredictable upsets and exciting games, with fans filling out brackets and following the action closely. March Madness is a major sporting event in the United States, with millions of fans tuning in to watch the games on television or streaming online. 

But what if we told you that the concept of March Madness could also be applied to the world of a career change? Basketball teams are usually composed of 12-15 athletes, all of whom share a common goal and work together to achieve it, supporting and trusting one another. 

Just like in basketball, you need a team of people on your side to help you navigate the twists and turns of a career change. Making a career change often means entering a new industry or field, which can be daunting and uncertain. A good support system can provide the emotional and practical support you need, helping you stay motivated, focused, and positive as you pursue your goals.

This article explores the different types of people you need on your team when considering a career change and handy tips and tricks to fast-break your career transition. 

The 5 types of players and their roles on your team

March Madness is all about building a winning team, and so is the process of changing your career. Whether you’re looking to shift your focus, climb the corporate ladder, or start your own business, assembling the right team can make all the difference in achieving success. So, here are the five types of players and their roles for your career change team.  

  1. The Point Guard – Your Career Connector

In basketball, the point guard is responsible for leading the team and making sure everyone is working towards the end goal of “winning.” In the world of a career change, your point guard is your career connector aka, your admissions producer. 

General Assembly can be a valuable resource for career changers looking to develop new skills and break into new industries. At GA, we focus on practical, hands-on learning, collaboration, and career support that can help you build a strong foundation for success in your new career. We offer courses in a variety of in-demand skills, such as web development, data science, digital marketing, and (UX) user experience design. These skills are highly valued in many industries, making it easier for career changers to transition into new fields and positions.

Our courses are designed to be highly interactive and collaborative, with students working together on projects and assignments. This can help you develop important teamwork and communication skills, which are highly valued by employers.

We host a range of events and workshops that provide valuable networking opportunities for career changers. These events allow our students to connect with other professionals in their desired industry and learn from experienced thought leaders and mentors.

  1. The Shooting Guard – Your Career Coach

In basketball, the shooting guard is responsible for scoring points and improving their shooting skills. In the world of a career change, your shooting guard is your career coach. 

If you’re thinking about joining one of GA’s immersive courses, then you can be sure to enjoy the perks of your own career coach. Similar to the shooting guard, career coaches score career points for their clients through professional development opportunities. Here are the top five ways our career coaches can help you build the skills needed to succeed in a new career: 

  1. Identify your strengths and weaknesses: A career coach can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, both in terms of your existing skill set and your personality traits. This can help you determine which skills you need to develop further in order to succeed in your new career.
  2. Set goals: A career coach can help you set goals for your career change and create a plan to achieve them. This can include identifying the specific skills you need to develop, such as soft and hard skills, setting a timeline for achieving your goals, and creating an action plan to help you stay on track.
  3. Develop new skills: A career coach can help you identify the specific skills you need to develop in order to succeed in your new career. They can provide guidance on which courses or training programs to take, as well as offer advice on how to practice and improve your skills.
  4. Build confidence: A career coach can provide you with the support and encouragement you need to build your confidence as you transition into a new career. They can offer feedback on your progress, help you overcome obstacles, and provide strategies for managing stress and anxiety.
  5. Networking and job search: A career coach can also provide valuable networking and job search support. They can help you identify job openings, connect with potential employers, and prepare for interviews.
  1. The Small Forward – Your Career Cheerleader

In basketball, the small forward is responsible for providing energy and enthusiasm to the team. In the world of a career change, your small forward is your career cheerleader. Your career cheerleader is someone who will provide encouragement, motivation, and positive reinforcement as you navigate the ups and downs of your career change. 

Having a strong support system can make all the difference when navigating the period of your career change. Your loved ones can be there to offer words of encouragement, listen to your concerns, and provide helpful feedback. They can remind you of your strengths and help you stay motivated when things get tough.

Secondly, your friends and family can also help you stay focused by holding you accountable for your goals. They can check in on your progress, offer helpful suggestions and keep you on track when you feel lost or distracted. Having someone to share your goals with can also help make them feel more tangible and achievable.

Ultimately, your career cheerleader, whoever they might be, can make all the difference when navigating a career change. They can help you stay focused, inspired and motivated when you need it most. 

  1. The Power Forward – Your Bootcamp Bestie 

In basketball, the power forward is responsible for defending the team and providing support on both offense and defense. In the world of a career change, your power forward is your career advocate. Your career advocate is someone who will support you and advocate on your behalf, helping you get the representation you need to succeed in your new career. 

LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with people who can help you steer your career in the right direction. Here are some handy tips on how you can grow your network on LinkedIn.

  1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile: Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and up-to-date, with a professional profile picture and a clear headline that highlights your skills and experience. This will help you appear in search results and make a good impression on potential connections.
  2. Connect with colleagues and classmates: Start by connecting with people you already know, such as current and former colleagues, classmates, and alumni from your courses. 

Alumni are a great way to find meaningful professional connections. With GA’s Global Alumni Community, you also have access to exclusive networking events, development programs, and opportunities to take advantage of career development platforms like Hired to fast-track to the career of your dreams. 

  1. Join LinkedIn groups: Joining LinkedIn groups relevant to your industry or interests can be a great way to connect with like-minded professionals. You can engage in discussions, share insights, and connect with people who are active in your industry.
  2. Engage with your network: Engage with your connections by commenting on their posts, sharing their content, and congratulating them on their achievements. This will help you build relationships and stay top-of-mind with your connections.
  3. Attend events and webinars: With the rise of virtual events and webinars, it’s easier than ever to connect with professionals from all over the world. Look for events and webinars in your industry and attend them to learn from thought leaders and connect with other attendees. You can also follow up with attendees afterward to continue the conversation and build your network.
  1. The Center – The Skills Enhancer

The center is responsible for rebounding and defending the basket. Similarly, enhancing your skills can help you rebound from setbacks and defend your position in the job market. This can be done by taking courses, attending workshops, and gaining the certifications you need to succeed in your field. 

General Assembly’s immersive courses and bootcamps are designed to provide students with a comprehensive and intensive learning experience that prepares them for the demands of today’s job market. By focusing on practical, hands-on training and real-world scenarios, students gain the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in their chosen field. Additionally, GA’s immersive courses are led by industry professionals with years of experience, giving students valuable insights into the latest trends and best practices in their field.

General Assembly’s commitment to lifelong learning means that students can continue to access support and resources long after they complete their courses. From alumni networks and job placement assistance to ongoing training and workshops, GA provides students with the tools they need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in their field.

Your 5-step small action plan to fast-break your career change

According to LinkedIn, the average time it takes to make a successful career change is around 6-12 months. However, there are a lot of factors that can come into play which can determine the length of time it takes you to make the switch, such as finances and if you’re undertaking a full-time or part-time course. However, to help you speed things up a little bit here is a small five-step action plan to help you fast-break your career change. 

  1. Picking up the necessary hard skills: In order to succeed in a new career, you will need to pick up the necessary hard skills. This may involve taking courses, participating in training programs, or gaining hands-on experience through internships or other opportunities. By focusing on developing the hard skills you need for your new career, you can build a strong foundation for success.

Examples of important hard skills you can start learning today include: 

  • Programming languages
  • Database management
  • Web development
  • Cloud computing
  • Cybersecurity
  1. Don’t lose sleep over your age: Age should not be a barrier to making a career change. In fact, many people make successful career changes later in life. The average age Americans change their careers is 39. By embracing the opportunities and challenges of a new career, you can continue to learn and grow throughout your life. 
  1. Start looking now to find the job you will love: There are a number of simple things you can do to find the job you will love, such as networking, researching job opportunities, and attending career fairs or industry events. By taking an active approach to your job search, you can increase your chances of finding a career that is a good fit for your interests and skills.
  1. Find a good support system, you will need it: Having a good support system is crucial when making a career change. This can include family, friends, mentors, and colleagues who can offer encouragement, advice, and resources. By surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people, you can stay motivated and on track during the transition process.
  1. Start your portfolio prep early: Your portfolio of work is an important tool for demonstrating your skills and experience to potential employers. By creating a portfolio of your best work, you can showcase your talents and provide evidence of your ability to succeed in your new career. This can be especially important if you are transitioning into a new field or industry where you may not have a lot of prior experience.

By focusing on these five factors, you can fast-break your career change and increase your chances of success.

No matter where you are, support is here

Career transitions can feel daunting and overwhelming at times, this is why it’s important to note the different types of players you need on your team to help make your career transition a manageable one. Finding your solid support system will help your stressful days easier and you will be more motivated to achieve your goals.
Apart from surrounding yourself with a great support system, it’s also key to map out a small action plan to keep your career change on track and moving forward as planned.

To help you keep your head in the game, you can also chat with our Admissions team to receive tailored career-changing advice.

Disclaimer: General Assembly referred to their Bootcamps and Short Courses as “Immersive” and “Part-time” courses respectfully and you may see that reference in posts prior to 2023.