Two simple steps to your client’s career transition

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By Maureen McCann.

One of the factors I find most influences successful people is their ability to be self-aware enough to make good life changes. Call it a goal, an aspiration, or a dream – most successful people are focused on achieving a positive end result and continue to pursue it because they are self-motivated.

Self-motivation doesn’t come naturally. In fact, many of us give up on our resolutions quite quickly. However, those people making positive change in their lives stick it out. They make things happen, regardless of what else might be taking their attention. What do they do differently? It’s two-fold: motivation and preparation.

Motivation – These people have a reason for pursuing their goal that goes beyond something superficial. While we may dream about losing those last few pounds our motivation fades and our focus shifts as time goes by. Many of us come up with excuses as to why we can’t make it to the gym, or go for a walk. These people you see at the gym most mornings want to be fit for a reason – it goes much deeper; they have an underlying motivation that reminds them and encourages them to get their bodies to the gym no matter what other distractions life has thrown at them; and

Preparation – Successful people have a plan, a system; some form of accountability they employ to keep themselves focused. They are ready no matter what unexpected events present themselves.

So let’s apply that same line of thinking to our career.

There’s a reason we may procrastinate about making a change in our professional life. It’s scary. Not only do we not know what’s out there, but we may not have a good understanding of what we want from our next career, or an awareness of what we have to offer. Add these two things together and you’ll quickly see why most of us cringe at the idea of writing our own resume, promoting ourselves or “tooting our own horn.”

How to prepare your client for a career change

Like most people ready to make a change, your client may be looking for something to help tip the scales. You can nudge him or her to get started. Here are my recommendations to clients who are having trouble getting started transitioning from one career to the next.

  1. Start now. Career transition can take a long time; especially for people who haven’t spent much time learning about their own interests, the local labour market, and where the two intersect. You want to give yourself plenty of time to do your homework, get informed and present your best self.
  2. Don’t panic. Panic isn’t a great first impression to give an employer, a better strategy is confidence. If you were given the opportunity to hire someone for a position are you going to ‘take a chance on someone’ or are you going to hire the person you are confident will get the job done? You’re going to hire someone confident. Confidence is gained through the hard work of getting prepared. So next time someone doesn’t want to ‘take a chance on you’, remember you likely haven’t taken that chance on yourself by preparing properly.
  3. Present your best self. When you’re prepared, you won’t panic and you’ll be ready to present your best self. This means knowing what you have to offer, knowing what companies you want to offer it to, and being able to articulate your value with confidence and impact.

While this all seems easy enough, sometimes we need a starting point to help get the process going. Below, I have created a list of items clients can collect in preparation for your career transition. Having this information ready can help clients both prepare and gain insight into future career paths.

Research – collect career data

  • Resume/Linkedin Profile
  • Awards and Citations
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Language Skills
  • Academic Achievements & Formal Education
  • Professional Development & Continuing Education
  • Technical Competencies
  • Professional & Volunteer Affiliations
  • Relevant Personal Interests
  • Publication Contributions
  • Assessments & Performance Feedback
  • Digital Photograph and Biography
  • Testimonials & Quotes from Contacts
  • Desired Job Postings
  • Publications

What’s motivating your client to make a career change?

Whether it’s money, location, family, environment, stability, or something else, when your wants to change something, motivation and preparation will improve the likelihood of success.

Maureen McCann is a Master Certified Career Strategist (MCCS). Find out how you can become a Certified Career Strategist (CRS).

Source: ProMotion Career Services

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