As we finish off one year and prepare to start the next, it’s a good time to make career change a new year’s resolution.
As a psychologist and career transition coach, I’ve been helping leaders and their teams improve their emotional skills and work on transitions for those who are looking for a change, need to exit a declining industry or identify whether their workplace is right for them.
Here are six ideas to making a successful career transition in 2018
To make career change a new year’s resolution, you will need to separate from your previous or current job or position. It’s very difficult to achieve any level of emotional objectivity while still in your current job. If you can’t completely uncouple before making the transition, you will need to work on emotional strategies for planning the change while transitioning from your current workplace.
Consider taking a short break to do a ‘career checkup’. At the very least, take yourself out to lunch or coffee, and write down how you’re feeling about your career. What makes you happy, and what would you like to change? Is your current job really what you want to do? Is it helping you reach your goals? Also, do some salary research—is your income in line with your field and position?
If you are considering career change a new year’s resolution, you will need support. Just like you would with a new diet, exercise regime or giving up something harmful like smoking, you need to built a support network.
When you are in the middle of a transition, whether it is career or personal, it’s very difficult to remain objective. Career rebooting’ requires external support and assistance to ‘reframe’ your experience and enable a successful re-launch. At the very least, engage a trusted friend, colleague or mentor to talk about your goals and ideas. However, when making a final evaluation, it’s best to enlist the support of a professional.
Following on from step 2, this means engaging with a coach or advisor who can help with both the ‘mechanics’ of your career change. For example, revising and redesigning your resume, presentation skills as well as strategic advice and coaching. This includes repositioning your skills, which means looking at ways you can apply what you already know to another field. It is also a good idea to get an unbiased, up-to-date assessment of the jobs market. They can also help you identify new skills that you’ll need, such as using social and digital media.
Once you have identified the areas you need reskilling, you’ll need to take a course, do online research or engage in professional training to upskill. Key areas that mid-career leaders will often need to revisit are revisiting job interviewing skills. Understand how you come across to others and fine tune your body language. Through professional coaching, you can emphasise your strengths and minimise your weaker areas. Social media is another area many neglect to use when looking for a career transition. Networking now encompasses online options. LinkedIn skills are particularly valuable, as many job seekers find roles through the platform.
Test out and seek validation of your career strategy with your coach, or friends, apply for and attend a job interview for a role that is not on target, for low risk live experience.
Validation offers a sense check for your peace of mind. It can be stressful making a big leap without advice or input from a third eye perspective. Make sure you test your assumptions and validate your strategy to get the best start in your career transition.
The process will take time! Actively adopt a sanguine real-life approach to the process. Being realistic will help you maintain a positive attitude towards your career transition. You will suffer setbacks and take some wrong turns, but these tips will help.
I worked with one professional who was in the engineering field. The particular industry is hydroelectricity, which is facing many changes, and less job availability. With careful coaching and some strategic plans, we were able to successfully transition him from his former workplace to one where there are many more career opportunities now open.
He said “Alan’s advice proved invaluable. Now I feel more secure and better challenged. In my previous role, I knew there was limited career progression, which added to my stress levels.”
You shouldn’t have to put up with unnecessary stress – take the time to get the advice you need. A third eye perspective can make all the difference to your peace of mind. It also makes all the difference to your career.
Make Career Change a New year’s resolution
If you have been unhappy with your job circumstances, consider making career change a new year’s resolution. The path for transition doesn’t have to be scary. While change is happening faster than you think, you can make easy adjustments and get help to prepare you. It’s important to seek help, and validate your assumptions with external advice that you can trust.
Life coaches can help, but consider a professional business psychologist as your coach to ensure you get the most from your career change.
Wishing you a very happy and successful 2018! Remember, if you need help with your career transition, I’m happy to help.