Making the Switch - Where Do I Start?
There are hundreds of reasons why people switch careers: money, dissatisfaction, following a passion, relocation, getting into school...the reasons vary and there are a number of considerations in each individual case. However, when someone in sex work is looking to transition into something else, there can be a whole new set of complications that the Senior Accountant who now wants to make jewelry doesn’t have to consider.
The biggest and most widespread issue of course, is social stigma.
While the movement for sex work advocacy is gaining traction, we still have a long, long way to go in regards to acceptance, support and legal protections. Many people have a very strong, negative view of sex work that is misguided due to misinformation moral grandstanding and/or religious views. Some of those people are hiring managers and Human Resources professionals who can bar your entry to certain jobs and companies. So, you’ll need to decide for yourself if you want to be ‘out’ with your background or if you want to be more subtle about how your information is presented on your resume or LinkedIn.
Whether or not you decide to be out about your past, you should think long and hard about what you want your Web presence to look like. Your online handle or email address for your current work, shouldn’t match what you send on a resume to a potential employer. There are tons of articles online about recruiters, HR departments and hiring managers that search potential candidates’ names to see what pops up. Many an unsuspecting job candidate has been red-flagged and ruled out completely because a recruiter saw something they didn’t like on their Facebook. If you have an eye on a different path for the future, your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other social media should reflect what you’re moving toward. This isn’t a shame move. But you will have to do a bit of ‘clean up’ online if you really want to position yourself properly for a change.
One real positive is that you may be surprised to see how easily the skills you’ve amassed in working with people and running your own business - because that’s what you’ve been doing! - will translate into more traditional occupations. Sales, client management, business development, fostering relationships, financial planning and conflict resolution - you’ve done it all! Matching your skill set to a job description suddenly doesn’t seem as much of a leap when you consider what you have already mastered in your work.
The change in lifestyle is another area that will need some preparation and planning on your part. If we’re looking at a really traditional 9-5 opportunity as an example, then maybe you’re having to adapt from night shift to day shift or adapt to a regular schedule period. If you were working it 6-8 hours per day on the pole, on the floor and giving lap dances, if you want to maintain that awesome physique, you’re definitely going to have to find time in your new schedule to work out. And of course, the big daddy of them all, going from daily cash in hand to a scheduled payday is going to take planning. You’ll have to determine what you need to live on in order to transition smoothly and how long it will take you to earn that before you jump ship. As an alternative, you can choose to do something part time first and work your way to full time. Sites like FlexJobs offer legitimate work-from-home and flexible schedule opportunities that range from basic administrative and customer service roles all the way up to VPs and CEOs and everything in between. This would be a great way to add a more traditional role to your resume while still maintaining flexibility while you are still in sex work.