ow that the worst of the Pandemic is over in many places, you may feel it’s time for a job or career change. Following-up on last week’s blog post on 14 questions to ask yourself about your job, we have some practical steps to take so your transition will be smoother. Specifically, here are a few thoughts to consider:
- Get your financial house in order,
- Decide on a career and job target,
- Research your target,
- Prepare to leave your current job, and
- Develop your career marketing strategy.
The comments below are based on my experience as a career advisor and resume writer. They are general information, not legal or financial advice.
Get your financial house in order.
The first step is to be financial prepared for a career transition. You’ll be in better shape to make a change if you’re on sound financial footing. As you start this process, make sure a financial evaluation is part of your plan. Are there expenses that you can cut out — even temporarily — that will help you stockpile cash in the short term? Maybe you need money for additional training or certifications. Identify how you can save that money so that you have it ready when you need it. If your research shows that you may need to take a pay cut initially in order to make a job or career move, start cutting back now so that it’s not as big of a shock later.
Of course, change can come unexpectedly. As many of us learned during the Pandemic, or even earlier in our careers, job change can be thrust upon us by events beyond our control, and events out of our employer’s control.
Fortunately, there may be financial benefits if you are let go before deciding to leave on your own. You could be eligible for severance benefits from your employer, as well as unemployment insurance benefits from the state and federal government.
Decide on a job target.
The next step is to pick a target job — what do you want to do? How will your next job — or career — be different from what you’re doing now? Take some time to identify what you want. Invest in career assessments or meet with a career coach who specializes in helping with job change and career change.
Research your potential career choice.
Next, research your new career. Talk to people who are doing the job you want to do — especially if you’re moving into a new career field. Research the qualifications for candidates who do what you want to do. One way you can do this is to put your job title into the search box on LinkedIn, and search for “people”. You may be surprised at how many people in your network are doing the job you want to do next.
Prepare to exit your current job.
Once you decide to make a change, start slowly compiling the information you need and slowly start disengaging yourself from your current job. You don’t want to take a full box of knick-knacks home at once, but you may start decluttering your files (both paper files and on your computer) and taking some personal items home so that you don’t have to pack them up all at once. Be careful when doing this, however, as it may tip off co-workers — or your boss — if too many personal items start disappearing. Hopefully, you will be complimented for decluttering your desk!
Take calls from recruiters — or reach out to connect to them. However, keep in mind this strategy will only work if you’re staying in the same industry. Recruiters specialize in placement, so they want to put “round pegs in round holes.” They won’t be interested in helping you make the change from being a computer software developer to a teacher. Also, remember that recruiters work for employers, not for you.
Develop a career marketing strategy.
Finally, one of the best things you can do, once you have a job target in mind, is to build your career marketing strategy. This includes developing or updating your resume and LinkedIn profile. You can prepare these materials yourself or engage a professional resume writer to help with your desired job change. Especially if you are considering a career change, an expert can help you identify transferable skills that you have to offer and boost your confidence when you see the evidence of your qualifications on paper. Your resume writer can also help guide you in collecting the information you need to develop your new career documents.
Be prepared to invest in yourself and in the development of this resume and your LinkedIn presence, because your resume writer will have to spend a considerable amount of time to prepare a resume that demonstrates how your skills, education, and experience are applicable to your new career path. But it can be a worthwhile investment as you make a change in your job or career.
In short, job and career change involves planning and implementing a business strategy to meet a desired objective, just as you would for any project at work. Establish a goal, make a plan, set milestones, and adjust your plan as conditions change.
You can engage an expert consultant for your career change project. Contact us today for a complimentary conversation to learn how we can help plan and implement your career marketing strategy.
One last suggestion: Don’t post that “I quit” video. It will not impress prospective employers.