Is a Career Pivot Next?

266woman-head-spinningProfessionals who have successfully made a career change have done their homework. Have you been feeling unsatisfied or mismatched in your career or is it this job that you don’t like? It may be that the culture isn’t a fit or the environment is not what you expected. You may feel overwhelmed or under compensated. For some clients, the commute made everything unpleasant and stressful and that became the deal breaker.

• Are there recurring patterns in your life and is this another attempt to fix something else?
• What’s unsatisfying about your current situation?
• Who’s doing work that you think you might want to do?

Unless the situation is toxic, we don’t recommend quitting a job in the hopes that something better will appear. As part of our intake we ask clients the following: If we were to have an appointment at a local restaurant three years from now, what would have taken place in your life for you to be fully satisfied and fulfilled both personally and professionally?

If money, time or credentials were not issues, what would you be doing? If the client already has an answer, we will break that down into how-to achieve your goal steps. Then it’s time to look at your networks, identify people who are doing what you would like to do, request an informational interview and spend time with them. This step takes work but for the most successful career changers, they learn from being curious and diligent in their efforts to become informed.

Not uncommon, especially for Millenials is the burnout after 18-24 months of not having a satisfying job, quitting and returning to school. School may have been a safe place, where achievement was rewarded. Adding debt without a plan is always a mistake.

Change is rarely simple. There are financial questions to address, perhaps relocation and even the judgment about leaving a role that you trained for years to reach. It takes courage, persistence and a plan, all of which are doable.

©MWeisner2017

Has Your Career Been Delayed, Detoured or Derailed?

habitWhether you are returning to the job market or have a significant work history with some gaps, change is coming and you need to prepare. Are you an empty-nester? Took a buy-out or an early retirement and now what? Have you been laid off and unable or unwilling to relocate? Newly divorced or separated? Bored to death, scared to death, or just stuck? You’ve been out of the marketplace for awhile and are contemplating a re-entry, but where do you begin?

Getting back on track means something different for everyone. Perhaps you simply don’t like the career path you’ve been on, yet the salary is good enough and the benefits are important and could be hard to duplicate elsewhere. You remember being inspired and excited about your career at one point, but the job market is tight and you think you are too old to make a change.

According to recent studies, only 30-percent of Americans feel engaged or inspired at their jobs, which leaves a huge number of unhappy people in the workplace. The reality is that most of us need to earn a living and too often we check-out or settle for less than we should. However, when you spend 40+ hours weekly in addition to commuting time, don’t you deserve more? It could be the best time to reconfigure your professional life.

Ask yourself several important questions:
• What is your definition of work?
• Do you believe that making money will make you happy?
• Do you feel confident that you are exceptional at something?
• Do you believe in yourself?

At KICKSTART Your Transition ™ we want you to be equipped with the tools, strategies and skills that will make your job search and interviewing process less formidable. Preparation is key and distinguishes you from the rest. Make no mistake about it, this is your personal campaign and your success is directly related to developing a focused, proactive approach. Interviewers and hiring managers want to employ the right person and they need your help in making that critical decision. Take control of the process and view this as a full time commitment as you gain new skills and insights into an industry, a company, or a career path.

To learn more about our packages, programs and next steps in planning your encore career, exit strategy or career pivot, please visit our website. www.kickstartyourtransition.com

©MWeisner2017

5-Tips for Career Changers

binoculars1. Look at the issues that make you crave change and outline your goals
What are you satisfied with about your current situation? What are you dissatisfied with? Is it your boss or the culture of your organization? Or do you really want to change careers? Outline your goals- for example, more money, more time off or more flexibility. Write it all down.

2. Work to understand your inner critic
Observe thoughts that trap you with fear and prevent you from achieving your objectives. Write these down on a piece of paper, then crumple it up and throw it away to symbolize your freedom from thoughts that interfere with your goals and dreams.

3. Recognize recurring patterns in your life
What makes you happy? What are your recurring interests and social needs? What makes a work environment feel good or not so good to you? Write it down.

4. Network and investigate career interests that map to your goals and needs
Once you’ve identified your patterns and desires, start thinking about careers that make sense for you. Give yourself one to three months to explore your curiosity by finding people who do these jobs and talking about the pros and cons of their work. Explore anything and everything until you’re satisfied — or until your time runs out.

5. Make a plan that takes your financial situation into account
Change is never simple, but having a plan that outlines your steps and financial requirements makes it doable. Will your new career require additional education, a small business loan, time off from work or relocation? Make a plan with financial considerations and a realistic timeline that you can follow through on.

©MWeisner2017

Is Your Career on Life Support?

worryWhether it’s a matter of boredom or limitations in your organization, you have mentally checked out. The job may no longer engage you or the landscape has changed in other ways. Perhaps there is a new manager and the workflow has shifted. Other colleagues may have left for better opportunities or been promoted while you continue doing more of the same work you’ve always done yet with tighter deadlines. You no longer look forward to Mondays and you believe the compensation is below the industry standard.

Remember; do not turn a bad moment into a bad day, a bad week or more. You have the power to choose and there are always 3 options before you:
• Change it
• Accept it
• Leave
If you choose to change it, you need to create a game plan to include achievable goals.

1. Get paid more for the work you do. Check on-line resources like www.payscale.com before approaching your boss for a raise. When you research and strategize beforehand you are in a much better position to negotiate an increase.

2. A promotion. Again, research the industry standard for the job you have and the job you want. Have you been doing the work but without the title? If so, you need to produce data to support that your job title and responsibilities are out of alignment and it’s time to negotiate both the salary and title.

3. Self-improvement. You’ve become lackadaisical, stuck and just getting by. It’s time to pump up your resume. Choose one skill to improve. With even a minimum of 15-minutes of daily focused attention, you can brush up on skills like writing and social media. Also, check out other industry game changers that will enhance your professional profile.

4. Work less. Has your workload morphed in to enough for 2+ people without a peep from you? Then it’s time to revisit your job description and how you and your boss can work together to determine a better way for the workflow to be managed. From temporary assistance to a full overhaul of your responsibilities, you need to negotiate for relief.

The workplace has also become a much bigger influence in our lives, from professional identity to social relationships, the lines are blurred making it that much more difficult to create strong boundaries. Yet, having that other life with other people does help to underscore the need for work/life balance and the importance of nurturing outside interests and relationships.

©MWeisner2016

Is Your Business Card a Bonus or a Bust?

be memorableI love business cards. Each one that I’ve designed or collaborated with a business partner to create, has been my very favorite. There’s excitement at the initial stage of development when you are naming your business and considering what the colors, logo and messaging will be. Finding the right shade of red, the most appealing fonts and the graphic generated even more anticipation of our KICKSTART Your Transition, career coaching and consulting business launch.

However, some clients may not share this perspective and get stuck on creating a masterpiece, but don’t know how to begin. If you’ve recently been laid-off by your employer, or in career transition, designing an attractive business card is likely not a high priority. How will you describe yourself if you don’t have a job? Omit a title or use Consultant in your field as yet to be named. What if you have a full-time job and also plan a side business, not related to your primary career? Can you have more than one business card? Many people carry multiple cards. Some clients feel that technology has made them obsolete, so why bother at all? Technology may replace cards in the future, but for now, it’s still the easiest way to share contact info, especially with many people at once.

Aren’t you dating yourself when you ask to exchange business cards?
Make no mistake about it, the business card is the universally accepted ice-breaker for business opportunists. The simple request to exchange cards is an instant conversation starter. Use it to learn more and engage with the person in front of you.

Cards can be easily ordered on-line and turned around quickly, or you can take the longer route and work with a graphic designer. The purpose of a card, is to be informative but not encyclopedia like with too much data or confusing text. This is not necessarily a one-time-only card. While there’s a range in cost, it’s generally quite reasonable to print hundreds.

• Choose the company with care and avoid *FREE* cards (Free is printed on the reverse)
• Select heavier card stock
• Keep the back blank with a matte finish (good for notes), the front can be glossy
• Keep it simple- a square or round card may be memorable but won’t fit in my card holder

What’s most important?
• Your name, company name, phone number(s), e-mail, website and physical address if you have room and your logo if you have one
• Avoid cluttering up the card
• You can refine and revise with future versions
• Just get one done!

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©MWeisner2016

Career Search: Other Places to Look

6a0105360968fe970b01347fdd88a8970c-500piCareer transitions do have an upside that is often obscured by the anxiety accompanying a proposed change even when you are the driving force behind it. Shifting your perspective can lead to a more creative approach and in the process deepen your learning about what pleases you, what you are good at and what might be another way to broaden your focus. Take some time to answer the questions below. This really is about YOU! 

1. What problems make you want to discover a better way of doing something?
________________________________________________________________

2. What topics are you drawn to find out more about?
________________________________________________________________

3. What are your favorite books and/or movies?
________________________________________________________________

4. What subjects are represented by the books on your bookshelves?
________________________________________________________________

5. What did you always want to be when you grew up?
________________________________________________________________

6. What subjects fascinated you as a child?
________________________________________________________________

7. What life experiences or life-changing events make you want to share what you’ve learned with others?
________________________________________________________________

8. What process or set of steps do you do regardless of the topic or task at hand?
________________________________________________________________

9. What tools, equipment, or raw material do you like to use in your work?
________________________________________________________________

10.What characteristics describe your favorite clients or customers? (Age, gender, belief system, cultural/ethnic background, life stage, education level, income level, problem or life situations, shared interest, lifestyle, particular talent, etc.)
_______________________________________________________
© 2015 Maureen Weisner

Career Change Tips

career-changeHow often have you contemplated doing something entirely different than what you are doing right now? Before quitting your job, look at the bigger picture and the implications of making a change or not doing so. Will you be proactive or just let things slide and continue? What’s really at stake? Let’s examine a more systematic approach to finding answers that work for you.

1. Look at the issues that make you crave change and outline your goals.
What are you satisfied with about your current situation? What are you dissatisfied with? Is it your boss or the culture of your organization? Or do you really want to change careers? Outline your goals- for example, more money, more time off or more flexibility. Write it all down.

2. Work to understand your inner critic.
Observe thoughts that trap you with fear and prevent you from achieving your objectives. Write these down on a piece of paper, then crumple it up and throw it away to symbolize your freedom from thoughts that interfere with your goals and dreams.

3. Recognize recurring patterns in your life.
What makes you happy? What are your recurring interests and social needs? What makes a work environment feel good or not so good to you? Write it down.

4. Network and investigate career interests that map to your goals and needs.
Once you’ve identified your patterns and desires, start thinking about careers that make sense for you. Give yourself one to three months to explore your curiosity by finding people who do these jobs and talking about the pros and cons of their work. Explore anything and everything until you’re satisfied — or until your time runs out.

5. Make a plan that takes your financial situation into account.
Change is never simple, but having a plan that outlines your steps and financial requirements makes it doable. Will your new career require additional education, a small business loan, time off from work or relocation? Make a plan with financial considerations and a realistic timeline that you can follow through on.

©MWeisner2015