Perhaps you had the good fortune to land a big role or a great position at the office, but you're ready to move on to other projects. Maybe you're running your own business and you want to go in a different direction. How do you manage to make this shift without missing out on potential income?
A recent article in the Washington Post about actress Dakota Johnson mentioned that the actress had avoided being pigeonholed after starring in the film Fifty Shades of Grey. Other actors haven't been so lucky- after landing notable roles as a certain type of person, they are continually cast in the same sorts of roles. (This sort of thing is very appropriately called being "typecast.") Some actors might not mind it. Others want to leave old roles behind and move on to new projects. Whether you are in the same boat and want to give a new role a try or you keep having to do the same sorts of projects in your professional work, there are ways to make a change.
Pick up some more skills.
No matter what industry you're in, it's always helpful to develop yourself and your skillset. If you're eyeing a dream project or setting a goal, brainstorm about what skills you will require for the goal or project and then work on learning these skills. Maybe it will require going back to school or maybe you'll just need to take some short classes. If you take time to learn, not only will you be more prepared to take on your desired project, but even if your goals change, you will have skills that will last your whole career. It's no different if you're in the performing arts- if you're a comedic actor, take some additional acting classes/seek out coaching so you can feel comfortable taking on a dramatic role.
Reach out and get some experience.
Another good way to break into doing something different is to network and then use your network to get both advice and experience in your desired field/role. Perhaps it's a small acting project, but it's something totally different from anything you've done before. Maybe it's a project outside of your professional work, but it will be a great addition to your resume or portfolio. Maybe it's a volunteer position, but you will be able to use the skills in the future.
If you feel comfortable with your management team, maybe you can reach out and ask to take on different responsibilities that will lead you into a role you really want. If you're running your own business and you're trying to get into new services or products, perhaps try discounting them at first so you can build up interest.
Go for it!
If you feel prepared, go ahead and apply for the position you want. Audition for that role you've been dreaming about. Perhaps everyone sees you in a certain way, but once they see your work, your training, and what you're capable of, their perspective can change.
If you're worried about being pigeonholed into whatever role you're currently in, don't fret. With some development, networking, and dedication, you can change your course.