Tag Archives: Job advice

How to Change a Career Not a Job

How to Change a Career Not a Job

Career change is possible if you know how

No surprise that in this economy more and more people are toying around with the idea of changing careers. For some, such a change represents an opportunity; for others, it may be a necessity because their industries are shifting, shrinking, or becoming extinct. The question my clients ask with more and more frequency is how to go about it. Regrettably, though, there’s no simple or one-size-fits-all answer, because each situation is unique. In other words, no two people’s circumstances are the same. A career coach cannot make such a decision for a client; the answer has to come from the individual. A career coach can of course counsel, guide, and support the process.

Let’s make sure we understand that I’m not referring to a job change. A career change is a radical change–for example, an executive with a finance background who buys a restaurant, or a manager at AT&T, a very well-known communications company, who shifts into managing an adult community or a nursing home. Those are real-life examples of people who were successful at making those changes; I know them personally. So, the questions are, What drives the process? and What does it take to come out as a winner?

Now let’s agree from the beginning that a career change involves significant risk. Not all career changes work out well. Decisions of this nature have at least two major components: the intellectual and the emotional. The emotional part involves the pain that a person endures and that strongly motivates and impels the person toward willingness to take a risk. The other component is the intellectual part, which involves, say, the person’s need–or desire–to make more money or the person’s disappointment with the industry, or with the nature of the current job, or with an intolerable boss who is apparently not leaving soon.

At the core of the job-changing decision-making process are three questions that require concrete answers:

  • What are the job-changing individual’s values?
  • What does the job-changing individual have to offer a potential employer?
  • What does the job-changing individual expect in return?

Values have to do with one’s feelings about family, recognition, monetary rewards, security, promotions, belonging, commitment, loyalty, and so forth. The answer to the question regarding what one has to offer will be an analysis of skills–such as marketing, presentation, sales, research, and data analysis–and then identification of whether one has the traits that support those skills: is the person aggressive, independent, articulate, persuasive, logical, visionary?

The remaining issue deals with what the person wants in return. This touches on environmental and cultural factors. For example, does the person like to work in small organizations or big ones? How does the person feel about leadership styles, corporate politics, company reputation, work/life balance, and flextime for new parents, for example? And how about critical matters like salary, health coverage, and investment programs versus the minimum levels of compensation and benefits needed?

As you can see, a career change is loaded with complexities. My advice is to consult someone who is equipped to guide you as you navigate this maze. And a challenging maze it is indeed.

Want to Change Career? What Does It Take?

Changing jobs

Want to change career? Really??

Want to Change Career?

No surprise that in this economy more and more people are toying around with the idea of changing careers. For some, such a change represents an opportunity; for others, it may be a necessity because their industries are shifting, shrinking, or becoming extinct. The question my clients ask with more and more frequency is how to go about it. Regrettably, though, there’s no simple or one-size-fits-all answer, because each situation is unique. In other words, no two people’s circumstances are the same. A career coach cannot make such a decision for a client; the answer has to come from the individual. A career coach can of course counsel, guide, and support the process.

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10 Best Job Search Tips

13766035_sThe word best in the title should be interpreted as a recommendation. Please also keep in mind that job search by someone who is employed differs significantly from job search by someone who is unemployed. The latter is, typically, more motivated, the person can devote more time to it, and the unemployed job seeker’s actions should not be done covertly. This article focuses primarily on job seekers who are not currently employed.

  1. Be very focused on what you are looking for.

When looking for a job, you should think like a shopper and not a victim. A smart car buyer even before walking into the car dealership knows what car he wants, including the model, the specifications, the color, and the amount he wants to spend. Similarly, a job seeker should narrow down choices not only by title but also by what the job function entails. A job seeker can look for more than one specific job at the same time but still remain specific.

  1. Hope for the best but do prepare for the worst.

Finding the right job in today’s job market is not only challenging but also questionable in terms of its duration. Job seekers should have a fallback position in case the search becomes unreasonably prolonged.

  1. Continuously build relationships.

Sixty to 80 percent of people get their jobs by networking. The practical side of networking consists of developing relationships with people for advice, information, leads, and, hopefully, referrals. The best networkers think of the other person first. They don’t keep score regarding who owes whom, and they believe that good deeds will be reciprocated. They don’t hold back when it comes to sharing.

  1. Maximize your use of social media.

Today’s job seekers who avoid opportunities to use social media are less than competitive. Employers use social media to find potential employees, and therefore this new job-finding medium should be embraced and utilized vigorously. LinkedIn is the search tool most widely used by recruiters; Twitter and Facebook provide additional opportunities.

  1. Utilize your time and energy effectively.

Many job seekers become frustrated very quickly into the process because they have no road map to follow. They keep active driven by nervous energy but almost all the time come up empty-handed because their process is inefficient. It works best to divide time and activities into three parts: One-third should be devoted to networking and building relationships; another third, to searching and applying for jobs; and another third, to learning about their target companies and the companies’ specific needs, including culture and fit.

  1. Develop good administrative skills and use the right job search tools.

During a prolonged job search, one needs to keep good records in order to stay on top of things. Sloppy record keeping during the transition leads to further frustrations and inefficiency. And one needs to use the right tools. For example, Indeed, LinkUp, and Simply Hired could provide targeted leads.

  1. Practice mock interviewing.

How good is it to be invited for an interview but not ace it? Don’t rely on your past practices for getting a job. Today’s job market is more competitive than ever, and without practicing interviewing, one has virtually no chance to compete.

  1. Have your résumé prepared by a recommended professional résumé writer.

One of the most painful mistakes the majority of job seekers make is to write their own résumés—even if those résumés have been edited by a trusted friend. Writing résumés nowadays needs not only the technical know-how to embed the right keywords in a résumé but also the talent to make the document exceptionally good.

  1. Prepare your success stories.

The interviewer sees in you a salesperson and therefore is skeptical. One of the ways to be convincing is to recite success stories.

  1. Follow up and be persistent.

A salesperson makes seven calls before finalizing a sale. Kids go to the other parent when they hear the word no. If you’re not offered the job, try to find out what went wrong, and fix it. To paraphrase Einstein, don’t perpetuate your failures by expecting different results without making changes.