Hi Everyone!

I am spending time working through the nuts and bolts of what I consider the EIGHT most important components of a successful career transition with my career transitioning clients.  I am sharing a top-level overview of these eight components with you.  Obviously, as we “peel back the onion” together in one-on-one career consultation, there’s a lot more hard work to be done for EACH component.  That goes without saying, I suppose.  But, this gives you an initial feel for the eight key components. As always, I’m here to assist you in your career transition.   Additionally, if your company, alumni association or club/organization would like to organize a teleclass based on these eight key components,  I am happy to host such a teleclass.  


1.  Define What a “Great Job” Is

What are your passions and interests? What activities give you a sense of purpose and satisfaction?  The career transition process gives you the opportunity to explore, experiment and discover what a “great job” means and how to pursue it.

2.  Address Fear

Financial instability, family disruption, giving up an identity, failing at something new.  These are all fears that may stand in your way of successful career transition. The biggest thing you can do to get past these fears is to meet them head-on. Bring these deepest fears to light and examine them with reason; talk about them; play each one out to its most irrational end. What is the worst thing that could happen?

3.  Create an Action Plan with a Timeline and Goals

Pursuing the ideal career is less a leap than a series of incremental steps that move you closer to your goal. What is critical to reaching that goal is making sure the steps you follow are the right ones. An action plan is needed.  If you make a list of all the things you need to learn and do in order to realize a great new job, you will have mapped out a plan for moving ahead.  A knowledgeable action plan provides you with the power to forge ahead.

4.  Find a Mentor

Inspirational, experienced, realistic, forthcoming and optimistic.  A good mentor is all of these things and eager to help someone else get started.  Recruiting a mentor who is a good match for you requires following a plan of action, asking the right questions and building a mutually satisfying relationship.  Having a mentor is at the crux to a successful career transition.  Whether you are 20-something, 30-something, 40-something, 50-something or even 60-something, you need a mentor in your desired career.   

5.  Test-Drive A New Job or Career

There’s no better way to learn than by doing. Test-driving a new job with a mentor provides a hands-on experience that has the potential to change your life. This is the opportunity to learn as much as possible about the job, how you feel about the day-to-day activities and what it takes to succeed.  The volunteer mentorship experience gives you the required personal and professional due diligence you need prior to making a career transition.

6.  Create Your Professional Brand

Your professional brand (including a professional biography, in addition to your resume) separates you from your competitors and colleagues. Professional branding is not about building a persona.  Instead, it is a way for you to maximize your key passions, attributes, skills, strengths and values – and use them to differentiate yourself in the workplace.

7.  Network, Network, Network

You need to reach out to people with similar interests and goals. Additionally, you need to do your homework and access resources ranging from LinkedIn, Yahoo!Groups, Twitter, etc. within the online social networking world, to the good, old-fashioned one-on-one interaction with people in the field you are exploring, as well as business and university alumni associations.  

8.  Establish Thresholds

The biggest benefit to a successful career transition is increased life satisfaction. It is important to understand how much risk, challenge and uncertainty one can tolerate before the life satisfaction goal becomes blurred by the process.  The career transition process is as much about what you learn on the journey as the rewards when you reach your destination.




My Career Transition book:  Test-Drive Your Dream Job:  A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding And Creating The Work You Love (Hachette, 2008)