Thinking About A Career Transition? Do These 3 Critical Steps First!

Is it just me… or is everyone finally accepting the fact that normal will never be the same again. Even after this pandemic is completely over, our world will remain a different place. And that causes a little reflection in all of us, whether we’re thinking about a career transition or not. 

We wonder, are we just going through the motions? Should we have found fulfillment by now? I mean really, a world wide pandemic does bring up some questions, right? 

Even before the pandemic, the dissatisfaction rates were alarming. A 2019 Study conducted jointly with the Lumina Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and Gallup surveyed 6,600 workers with alarming results. The study showed that less than 50% of US workers felt they were in what they considered to be good jobs. And that was pre-COVID. 

Normal is new. But the questions about fulfillment and happiness at work are not. 

And with those questions, of course, there’s also emotion. On the one hand you’re excited and ready to jump into a new future. There are new industries and changes in the workforce that open new doors. You can close your eyes and imagine your dream job so clearly that you could almost feel it. 

On the other, there’s fear. Real fear. You have questions like: is this the right time, am I too old, what else can I do? And one of the most terrifying questions is… what if I make a mistake?

I get it. But NOW really is the perfect time to consider making your move. It’s just important that you do it right.

I’ve been an executive and career coach for the past 11 years. And I know how easy it is to get excited about a position and take a leap of faith. But… that’s not always the best move. 

People who do that often end up in positions that leave them feeling just as miserable as when they started. 

The path you take to your career transition matters. We’re talking about the next decade of your life. You want to make sure you do it right. I’m excited to share with you the pathway that has worked for hundreds of clients and it will work for you too if you’re thinking about a career change

So let’s get started as I introduce a pathway to your career transition, Reflect, Rebuild, Rebrand

The three step method to a successful career transition.

Each of these steps is critical if you want to make a career pivot with zero second guessing. 

Here’s exactly what this looks like and if you follow these steps, you will transition with power. .

Step One: Reflect

This is the foundation of your career transition. It’s where you do the inner work that will set the stage for moving forward. If you skip this, you run the risk of making a pivot into a new job that leaves you feeling just as unfulfilled as the one you’re leaving.

Some things you’ll need to do as you Reflect are: 

  1. You need to have a clear vision of a future that you want. You don’t have to have all the details of how you’ll make the future happen, but you have to have a vision. Without this step it’s like building a jigsaw puzzle without a box top. You throw all the pieces onto the table and you try jamming them together. It’s only once you look at the box you can visualize the outcome. Then you can choose the right pieces at the right time to make the picture a reality. 
  2. You must build a success mindset. That means you’ll need to take a tactical and strategic approach to self-sabotaging thoughts, fears, and doubts. It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you are in your career. If you’re human, you deal with sabotaging habits of thought. A successful career transition requires you to get a handle on those thoughts. 
  3. You’ll need to understand how your career has developed up until this point. In other words identify the patterns of positions you’ve had. Did all of your past jobs provide a lot of autonomy? Were they all in big companies?  What were the cultures like? What made you feel joy and what made you feel stress? There’s much information locked in the history of your past jobs.
  4. And finally it’s critical you have clarity on your personal CORE Values. These values are what will assure that you make the right choice moving forward. In fact, the dissatisfaction you currently feel in your professional life is directly related to one or more of your CORE Values being ignored. 

My client Lindsey said “My biggest aha moment came when I was doing the exercise on CORE Values, because looking at these words… come together, it made so much sense. It really explained a lot of my previous experiences with my jobs and whether they did or didn’t align with me authentically…” 

Step Two: Rebuild

Once you’ve taken the time to do the inner work, you’ll have the foundation that’s necessary to begin to REBUILD your career. This means you’ll get down in the weeds and do the hard work to prepare for the transition.

  1. You’ll evaluate the various types of transitions (there are four!) and choose the style that fits best with your risk tolerance and work style.
  2. Take assessments to get clear on your personality and interests and how they play into your career. This will help you with self awareness and inform you in your decision-making process.
  3. Next, you’ll want to take an honest look at your knowledge, skills and abilities, and determine what gaps you might have. Not to mention, create a strategy to fill those gaps. It might mean you need another certification or online course. It could mean you need another degree. But recognizing it and creating the strategy are what makes the difference. 
  4. Another, often overlooked, step is what I call an outside the box search. We are geared by habit to look for the obvious positions. Ones that fit with our resume as we’ve always viewed it. But understanding that your skills can transfer to areas you’ve never considered is refreshing. Try doing a random search on a job board with zero parameters. See what comes up. This is the only way you’ll be exposed to things that actually might interest you but wouldn’t have shown up in a traditional search. 

I had a client, Robin, who followed a very traditional job search. She took a position that matched her resume. It checked all the boxes. But she was miserable in the job. By the time she reached out to me she was ready to cry. Actually she had cried many tears.  

I walked her through this program and when she started looking outside the box she uncovered some amazing things about herself and her interests. Today she has a thriving real estate business and she is happier than she’s been in years. 

Step Three: Rebrand

And finally, you’re going to have to pull all of these things together to REBRAND yourself. Why? Because if you continue to market yourself with the same brand, you’re going to get the same opportunities you have right now. 

Our goal is to up level your offers. We want you to be out there as an industry leader showcasing the exact expertise you want to showcase. Robin had never sold real estate before. Yet we positioned her as an industry leader and, within 6 months, she was. 

In rebrand, you want to focus on 

  1. Your resume. This isn’t a generic item you send out to hundreds of people. It’s a custom product that showcases how you can solve an employer’s problems. It has to make it through the applicant tracking system and, once a human sees it, it must win you an interview.
  2. Next will be your social media profiles. ESPECIALLY Linkedin. Your LinkedIn profile gets used in two ways. First, when you apply for a position, a hiring manager will read your resume and then look at your LinkedIn profile to learn more about you. So you want to include more on your profile than is even on your resume. Second, people who will be looking at your profile are headhunters, recruiters and hiring managers that don’t have your resume in their hand. That means your profile is the first impression they get. Make it a good one. 
  3. Leveraging your network by making the right connections. It’s important you make the right connections. That means networking with people who are going to help you get noticed and help you move forward in the new industry. 

Reflect, Rebuild and Rebrand For A Successful Career Transition

To summarize, Reflect, Rebuild, Rebrand is the pathway to your future. These are the main three topics you’ll want to consider when making a career transition at a professional level. 

Watch this space for articles and videos that will break this process down into more detail in the coming weeks. 

If you would like to have a private executive coaching conversation, please schedule an appointment with me here.


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