I’m beginning to believe that “transition” is a term for the 00’s. From the time we were all zygotes, we’ve been in transition so it should come as no surprise to us when after twenty-five years or even five years of working in a comfortable job we find ourselves having to look for another one either because our company is laying off or because we are just plain bored.
Two new clients have hired me this week to help them figure out what they want to do next in their world of working. Both have over 25 years a piece in the technical industry. One of them left their very well-respected, well-paying job to strike out on their own after being the good “girl scout” and the other’s company is going through another round of lay-offs again and he suspects that his time is nearing.
Some of the pointers I like to give clients at the beginning of tackling their career transition are these:
1.) This is life! B R E A T H E. All will be well. Trust the process;
2.) Make a list of all the people that you know, and where possible, where they work and what their job is about. The good news about being a more “mature” worker is that there is a stronger likelihood that you know a lot more people than you realize. The good news about being a younger worker is you probably have some great connections right now in an on-line community. Think of the game “six degrees to Kevin Bacon” when talking with your friends and acquaintances. Join on-line networking communities such as LinkedIn.
3.) What is that one job/career/passion that you’ve always wanted to explore but could never find the time? Consider testing your dream job by checking out sites such as VocationVacations. Who do you know who is doing that job/career/passion and how could you introduce yourself to them to ask them about what they do? People love to talk about themselves, offer to buy them a cup of coffee to hear them.
4.) Take an honest assessment of who you are and where you have been the most happy in your life (or where you think you’d be the most happy) and remember: there are always more than three options.
5.) Enlist the help of a professional who can look over your resume with an eagle eye and make recommendations to you. Before you submit your resume to on-line places such as the Monster Board and Dice, make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors. List from most current job to past. Update the tense of your resume. Write out the names of tools and technical skills that pertain to the industry that you want to work. When submitting your resume for a specific job, if you have done what the job is requiring, use their language to show them that you have in your resume.
Welcome to your next evolution as a human being in life as you experience this career and life transition. Take a deep breath and let your wings dry for a bit and then get ready to take off and fly!