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Tackling the Transition - The Confident Navigation of a Career Change

Until recently you may have been enjoying the illusion of a secure job, only to get involuntarily thrown overboard — drifting back to the shore of resume revision while brushing up on interview skills.

With things a bit rocky, the time is right to shine the searchlight on your career and make sure that you are on the right course for who you are today — not for who you have been in the past. See this time as one of possibility, an opportunity for personal and professional transformation. George Sand, the female French writer and novelist, said, "One changes from day to day ... every few years one becomes a new being." In today’s world, this is more true than ever.

Making a major life change does not happen in an afternoon. Even if you have just been handed a pink slip, do not jump into the first career boat that comes by. Take a little time to assess what you want to do and where you want to be. Career shifts are a major life transition and should be treated as such.

To ease this transition and gain clarity and confidence when deciding which direction to pursue, do the following:

Zap the Time Zappers

You have to make your career transition the top priority in your life. You may have to say "no" to volunteer activities, some family responsibilities and other things that take up the time you need to focus on you.

Get on Your Side

Stop beating yourself up for what happened yesterday. Instead, get into action and begin to figure out where you want to go. Start taking steps to get there.

Be Strategic

When choosing your next career move, ask what industry you want to work in, what kind of culture you want to work in, what benefits you are looking for and what kind of record a potential company has in promoting women. Interview any company that interviews you.

Start with the Simple

There are things that are easy to do, such as reading a book on your ideal career, doing some research on the industry you are considering, having informal conversations with a few of your contacts. Start with these activities to get used to the idea of change; then begin the more challenging activities—redoing your resume, going on informational interviews, participating in job shadowing.


Ask yourself the important questions. What have you learned from your recent work experience? What do you really want? What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Would a move to a different place bring other opportunities? What is the best thing you can do for yourself?

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