It was great to catch up recently with some of my past clients who have successfully transitioned to a new chapter of their career. Listening to them talk about what had worked and didn’t work there were many common themes.
As you might expect the importance of preparation, planning and persistence shone through. I’m in awe of the thoroughness and effort of most people. Connecting deeply with yourself, clarifying your value proposition and then having conversations for information. Exploring and being open to how you work – is it full time, flexible, part-time, contract? Representing yourself through bios, resumes and social media including LinkedIn.
Another theme was how serendipity played a key part– the chance meeting, the unscheduled conversation that sparked a new idea or the connection that made the difference and lead to a result. For many, there was a theme of having worked away diligently for what seemed an eternity, and then there was a connection and things fell into place and they were onto the next chapter.
An article by Dianne Collins “Why change doesn’t work” generated much discussion on a LinkedIn Harvard Business Review (HBR) group that I follow. The article defined “Transformation” as distinct from “Change”. “Transformation” means “going beyond the current form”.
Dianne discusses Quantum Thinking and gives some how to essentials, that I think offer some real insight into those who are transforming their careers.
One essential is becoming conscious and mindful of your own habitual thoughts. If you have been working in the one organisational culture or profession or geographical location for some years you may not be aware of how much of your own thinking and way of working has been a part of that culture. Or how you define “career” and “success” and how you can think and live differently moving forward.
Start planning your career change
For some people, career transformation is desired, but taking time out is not an option as they have to meet commitments.
A good strategy is to start building a bridge, a plan B, while you are working.
If you are already in the job market, and you don’t have time to wait before your next ideal role or clarity as to your next career chapter arrives, decisions may need to be made and actions taken. There may be options to explore opportunities through:
- contract roles
- project work
- entrepreneurial ventures
that will allow you to bring in income and give you time to think and explore. I will be providing tips in future posts and creating free resources to assist you.
In today’s world, it’s important to keep in touch with people and to challenge yourself with new ideas in order to stay relevant and employable. If you are making a career change, there are many ways to find people who are like minded, who inspire and that you can learn with.
I regularly attend events and workshops both online and face to face. I hear stories from people who went to an outplacement program or engaged a career coach and it didn’t really help. I have a client who was advised by a vocational counsellor at school that he was perfectly suited to marine biology – when he caught up with his school mates later that day, they had all received the same advice! Admittedly this was 15 years ago but it had left a lasting impression with him about the value of career services.
Things to consider before engaging a career coach
If you are considering engaging a career coach, I suggest taking some time to clarify your intention, and determine what kind of coaching support would best assist you:
- Are you looking to find work, and need help to learn how to do that well so that you get noticed and achieve results quickly? This is a skill, like playing tennis, and you wouldn’t expect to go and play tennis without learning how. Would you like support or an independent opinion when making decisions or considering options?
- You may be looking for someone to shine a light on possibilities or learn more about yourself, so you find work that’s a better fit, to gain the clarity and confidence to take a next step that plays to your strengths so that you thrive in your work going forward.
- If you’re looking to transform your career and create your next chapter consider working with someone skilled in transformation. Someone who can:
- help you to access your creativity and intuitive knowing, as well as think your way there
- help you connect or reconnect to what you love to do
- challenge your mindset
- move forward with a clear plan and confidence to find work you love.
Please get in touch if you need help with any of the above, sometimes a conversation can make all the difference.