So, you realize it’s time for a change, now what?
Thinking through the following questions can help you get clarity about where you want to go and what you need to do to get there.
- Why do you want a change? Identify what triggers are prompting your need for something new. Some possible reasons might be boredom (not feeling challenged enough), unhappiness (perhaps not liking a boss, colleagues or work environment) or overall dissatisfaction (sensing a lack of fulfillment). Another trigger might be a specific event – being laid off or having a business be acquired or even a health scare or challenging family situation. Any of these may make your situation more stressful and urgent, but can provide helpful clarity on your most important priorities.
Connect with your gut instincts here and listen to the feelings that come up for you around this, some of which may not seem rational. DO NOT IGNORE YOUR BODY! Listen to your head and your heart to see what messages they have for you. If you are still unsure, get additional input.
- What do you think you are looking for? Describe your vision. Spell it out as clearly as possible – the type of responsibilities, work environment, pace and anything else that seems important. Start with what you really want to do and how you want to live, or back into it by thinking about what you want to move away from.
- How do you need to position yourself? This gets into defining your professional brand (the subject for a completely separate article). Here you should be thinking about what kind of expertise or experience you need to have. Do you have the right skills for what you want to do or do you need additional training? Can you leverage existing talents for a new role?
- Who can help you? What support do you need and whom do you know that can help you find it? Can you use online resources to gather insight and information about new roles, salaries or background on different companies? Get feedback from friends or colleagues who are familiar with your strengths. It can be helpful to work with a resume writer or coach to update your positioning and LinkedIn profile and for support, suggestions and ongoing accountability.
- When do you want to see results? What timeframe are you working towards and how urgent is your need for change? Use this to determine what actions are needed. Create timelines and set goals for the next 3, 6, 9 or 12 months to track your progress. Changes often take longer than expected, so factor that into your planning.
- Where do you need to position yourself for the best opportunities? Can networking groups or events help you to build relationships within your industry? Are you in the right location for the work you want to do – both physically and online? Consider contributing to LinkedIn, Twitter, other social media or relevant industry forums.
When going through any professional change, such as switching companies or roles, or rising to the next level within your organization, managing through a job loss or starting your own business, keep these elements in mind:
Any change requires planning, patience, positivity and persistence!
Stay on course by taking steady actions and following through to help you see progress over time. For additional support and accountability, consider working with a coach who is dedicated to keeping you on track and who wants to see you succeed. An unbiased experienced sounding board can help you identify tricks to move ahead and cultivate tools that will help you throughout your career. You have an opportunity to make this change and exciting opportunity to create your future!
Contact us to learn more about how we support individuals who are contemplating or undergoing change to launch successfully.