Similar to planning a physical move, you need to pause and create a plan. If you were looking to move homes, you wouldn’t just pack your personal items and bounce would you? You’d likely research and identify your next home, evaluate potential changes to your finances and responsibilities, put down a security deposit, pack gradually and (hopefully) give your current landlord sufficient notice for your exit. Similarly, planning an effective career transition requires pausing from the hustle, grind, and your fast paced life to evaluate what you want to do, why you want to do it and how you’ll get there.
Here are three steps to planning your career transition.
Take a weekend or a day off work to sit down, think and strategize your game plan for your transition. This time should be uninterrupted and distraction free. This may require getting out of the house and away from your kinds, spouse, roommates, etc to focus on your thoughts and game plan. Grab your journal or device to write your internal thoughts. Seeing your game plan will give you the motivation to work towards your transition goals even in moments where you feel like you’re hitting a wall.
#2. ASSIGN PURPOSE
Assign purpose to your move by highlighting the “why” behind your transition. Will a career transition enable you to make more income? Assign purpose to that increased income. Perhaps it’s to put a down payment on your home, pay off your school loan or throw that dream wedding. Will a career transition enable you to work in the industry you desire? Assign purpose to that new industry by writing down all the areas of interest you’ll be able to learn that will keep you mentally stimulated and excited compared to the boredom you may be feeling now. Assigning purpose to your move will enable you to identify the areas that will keep you happy 6, 12, 24 months from now versus making rushed decisions to escape the lack of enthusiasm you currently feel. Making moves without strategy will only lead to what I call 3D feelings: discontentment, defeat and doubt. The excitement of your new opportunity will only last so long before you feel unsatisfied again.
#3 CREATE YOUR GAMEPLAN
Career transitions take time and will require you to be intentional and strategic in effort to make a successful move. You may have to spend time identifying all your skills that will translate to your next role, update your resume, create an effective online professional brand through your LinkedIn profile, tap into your LinkedIn network to identify who has ties into the companies or industries you want to work in and schedule informational interviews with people who can help you get your foot in the door. My personal secret sauce to a successful career transition is creating an executive summary. An executive summary highlights and adds more context into your key accomplishments and career wins that you typically do not have room to expand on in your resume. The executive summary is broken out into three categories that any employer want you to demonstrate: leadership, scale and results. Having a game plan versus moving without strategy will bring you faster success and opportunities aligned with your vision.
Interested in learning how I pivoted from my career in sales at Google and LinkedIn to entrepreneur and Owner of Brij the Gap Consulting? Check out my feature on the Liberty Leave Blog here.