by Deborah Shane
Excerpted and adapted from: Career Transition – Make the Shift: Your Five Steps to Successful Career Reinvention. CreateSpace 2011.
Changing jobs and careers is nothing new really. People have been doing it for a long time. We have been workers and a workforce that are so used to finding a skill or career that we fit with and then hibernating in it for 40 years that changing careers is quite a daunting idea. Being laid off fired downsized or squeezed out is just not something that most people prepare for in their work lives. The current employment and job situation is a testimonial for that. Most of the white-collar educated experienced professionals did NOT see this daunting job situation coming so they didn’t see the need to set themselves up for it when it came.
Isn’t that why we buy insurance? Just in case; we buy the insurance just in case to cover ourselves. Let’s call it Career Insurance.
Career Insurance: Ensuring that you are current relevant indispensable and someone who can impact the workplace immediately.
It’s just NOT enough today to have an expertise a skill qualifications experience. What will set you apart are the intangibles — those things that come from doing living and leading. Problem-solver change agent team-builder talent developer catalyst anticipator motivator doer. We all have unique and special personalities and qualities that we must discover use and leverage in career transition.
As I look back on my work path and process I can see how certain qualities traits and skills have enabled me to transition through my education entertainment sales and marketing careers. It was my current career transition in August of 2006 that really hit home with just how important this process and these five steps are in any career or job transition and change.
We are now seeing people who just don’t know how to process through reinvention and rebirth of themselves in their personal and professional life.
I found myself sitting quietly one afternoon in the late summer of 2006 not working living in an area in which I knew only the one person who interviewed and hired me. I was stunned that the job I changed my whole life did NOT work out within 60 days!
I knew who I was and what I could do but at that point I didn’t really want to stay in the industry I had come from. Some questions kept flowing through my head that I knew I had to answer to know what was next. Knowing what to do next was simply what was right in front of me.
The questions were:
- Are you stuck? I was.
- Ready to transition but not sure how and why? I was not sure of the why but I knew the how.
- Want to reinvent yourself? Absolutely yes.
- Need a transition plan and strategy? Absolutely yes.
So for me transitions had always kind of followed a pattern.
I got focused on what my passions and purpose. I decided what current skills qualities and experience I could tap into to keep going. I figured out how I could use them to evolve into who and what I was continuing to become. I created this newer persona and then put me out there. Simple? Actually yes. Easy? Actually no!
Looking back over my job and career titles I find:
- Marketing and Promotion Director
- Account Executive
- Retail Sales Manager
- Regional Sales Manager
- Political Sales Specialist
- General Sales Manager
- Empowerment Advocate
The 5 Key Steps to Successful Career Transition
These are the steps I used to navigate my career change — steps that helped me to define create and launch my current business. Here is what I needed to find out about myself to know what to do and how to do it and why I was doing it.
- Discover your passion vision and purpose
- Uncover your skills qualities experience wisdom
- Reinvent who you are what you stand for how you want people to remember you for
- Rebrand your new internal and external persona and create a new version of you
- Rebirth yourself through marketing networking and promoting yourself in person and online
Final Thoughts on Successful Career Transition
See also my article from Job Action Day 2011 Skill Up: Raise Your Career Metabolism Bring Your A+ Game and Develop More Magnetism.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college career and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
This article is part of Job Action Day 2013.
Deborah Shane of DeborahShaneToolBox.com is a career and small-business branding strategist and an integrated social-media marketing consultant who can see the big picture and all the pieces that must be in place and working together for individuals and businesses. She can help define your personal and business brand and determine and implement active and engaging branding activities that increase marketing sales and building community.