Post Date: February 24th, 2015

The simplest ways to career transition

goldfish jumping out of the waterOne of the factors I find most influences successful people is their understanding of self and ability to make life changes. Call it a goal, an aspiration, or a dream… most successful people are focused on achieving a positive end result and continue to pursue it because they are self-aware and self-motivated.

Self-motivation doesn’t come naturally. In fact, many of us have already given up on our New Year’s resolutions. However, those people making positive change in their lives stick it out. They make things happen, regardless of what else might be taking their attention. So what’s the difference between you and them? It’s two-fold: motivation and preparation.

Motivation – These people have a reason for pursuing their goal that goes beyond something superficial. While we may dream about losing those last few pounds our motivation fades and our focus shifts as time goes by. Many of us come up with excuses as to why we can’t make it to the gym, or go for a walk. These people you see at the gym most mornings want to be fit for a reason – it goes much deeper; they have an underlying motivation that reminds them and encourages them to get their bodies to the gym no matter what other distractions life has thrown at them; and

Preparation – Successful people have a plan, a system, some form of accountability they employ to keep themselves focused. They are ready no matter what unexpected events present themselves.

So let’s apply that same line of thinking to our career.

There’s a reason we may procrastinate about making a change in our professional life. It’s scary. Not only do we not know what’s out there, but we may not have a good understanding of what we want from our next career, or an awareness of what we have to offer. Add these two things together and you’ll quickly see why most of us cringe at the idea of writing our own resume, promoting ourselves or “tooting our own horn.”

How to prepare now for your career change?

Like most people ready to make a change, you may be looking for something to help tip the scales and nudge you to get started. Here are my recommendations on how to get started transitioning from one career to the next.

  1. Start now. Career transition can take a long time; especially for people who haven’t spent much time learning about their own interests, the local labour market, and where the two intersect. You want to give yourself plenty of time to do your homework, get informed and present your best self.
  2. Don’t panic. Panic isn’t a great first impression to give an employer, a better strategy is confidence. If you were given the opportunity to hire someone for a position are you going to ‘take a chance on someone’ or are you going to hire the person you are confident will get the job done? You’re going to hire someone confident. Confidence is gained through preparation and hard work. So next time someone doesn’t want to ‘take a chance on you’, remember you likely haven’t taken that chance on yourself by preparing properly.
  3. Present your best self. When you’re prepared, you won’t panic and you’ll be ready to present your best self. This means knowing what you have to offer, knowing what companies you want to offer it to, and being able to articulate your value with confidence and impact.

While this all seems easy enough, sometimes we need a starting point to help get the process going. Below, I have created a list of items to collect in preparation for your career transition. Reviewing these aspects of your career, and having this information ready can help you both prepare and gain insight into future career paths.

Research – Collect your career data

Resume/Linkedin Profile Awards and Citations Speaking Engagements
Language skills Academic Achievements &
Formal Education
Professional Development &
Continuing Education
Technical Competencies Professional &
Volunteer Affiliations
Relevant Personal Interests
Publication Contributions Assessments & Performance Feedback Digital Photograph and Biography
Testimonials &
Quotes from Your Contacts
Desired Job Postings Publications

 What’s motivating you to make a career change?

Whether it’s money, location, family, environment, stability, or something else – when you know why you want to change something, you stay focused on the goal much longer and improve your likelihood of success. Focusing on your motivation and preparing yourself for progress (or setbacks) will put you on the path to success. Good luck!

Related Categories: Career Development, Job Loss, Job Search