Hope Springs Internal™

August 28, 2008

Managing Career Transition

Filed under: coaching — by latancs @ 8:26 pm
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By Linda Tancs

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams—Eleanor Roosevelt

For many, that dream involves a transition from one career to another—and all the associated stress and anxiety. Can I succeed outside my comfort zone? Do I have the technical and educational skill sets to find viable employment in another capacity? How will I manage my fears and expectations and those of friends and family? Take heart. There are many things you can do to prepare for a rewarding second career.

First, take stock of your career progress. What are your 5 most significant achievements and defeats? Which actions are you willing to own on your part that brought about those successes or failures? You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been, as the saying goes. Understanding what it is that brings about a successful result for you will give you the confidence to try new waters. Conversely, finding your weak spots will show you what needs work to avoid making the same mistakes in a different milieu. Do you need help identifying your strengths and weaknesses? Try eliciting feedback from those who know you well.

Second, evaluate your skills. List them according to categories such as organizational, problem-solving, managerial, and oral and written communications. Note the environments in which these skills are deployed—at home, at work, in your community, etc. Many, if not most, skills are transferable. Demonstrate a track record of success.

Third, build a transition plan. Putting thoughts into words and words into actions will help you manage your anxiety. How much do you know about your target occupation? Where can you go to learn more? Are there business or behavioral competencies you need to acquire to make it work? Think about your future and imagine what you want it to look like. How will that future look in five and ten years?

With a little introspection, you can retool your career to align with who you are or who you want to be.

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