Career Transition Action Plan - Part II: Ingredients for Sweet Success!

• Overwhelmed with your job-search options?
• Considering a new, career-direction?
• Wondering if you have the right skills, knowledge and experience to be competitive?

Choosing a new career, is not as easy as choosing a tasty dessert! If you haven't job-searched for the past year, you would barely recognize the 'career buffet table' !
As an experienced career counselor, I eliminate the guesswork and frustration from career transition, provide strategies to expedite the job-search and help you uncover new career options. Check out this post (Part I) about how to get started in planning your career transition.

Very few people ever receive training in career management so it's no wonder that the process is daunting! A career action plan will help you transition smoothly and will reset your career path. It is essential to determine if you have the skills, knowledge and aptitude (SKA's) to be competitive in your chosen career path.  See my related post on SKA's and business consulting. When considering a new career path: ask yourself, how do you know if you are competitive, what’s your level of proof? How would recruiters view your candidacy compared to other applicants?

Always, plan for change and plan alternatives to your original plan. As cliche as it sounds - if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Similarly to healthy weight maintenance, it is easier to continue with a healthy lifestyle than to have to restart one after “falling off the diet wagon.”Changing careers or changing direction, usually entails a multi-step process. There should be a logical flow in your career path and work history. For instance: if you worked as a real estate investor for a land development company, you cannot just decide to be a logistics expert working in a major metro hospital – in one career move. This may take multiple, strategic steps. From an employers' perspective, they want a low-risk hire, who fits all of the criteria. Whey should they take a random risk?   Consider your short and long-term career goals - random choices may come back to bite you. See my first post on this subject. Check out the initial steps you need to get started. Career Transition Action Plan Part I. 

Career Transition Action Plan Part II (see below)
I. Career Preparation
a. Understand the Career Requirements: review potential jobs. Research your Competitive Advantage.Do you have the skills, knowledge and experience which employers require in this field.
b. A career counselor can help you conduct a SWOT analysis and/or a Job Task analysis to determine fit.” If the new job is a stretch, what skills, training or experience will you need to acquire to be

c. Academic: Do you have the correct degrees, certifications and licenses to be competitive in your new
career? How old are your degrees? Can you take refresher, training?

d. Do you have an advantage based on additional activities, industry association memberships, clubs,
trade shows participation, conference presentations or participation?

e. Additional Experience: Do you have any experience in this new, chosen field? Look into securing an
apprenticeship, practicum, internship, volunteering, job shadowing.

Would you hire yourself? Why or why not? I always encourage my clients to meet with recruiters and employers for informational interviews. Get first-hand feedback about what is required to be competitive. Consult with a career counselor who has experience with your chosen sector. They can help you determine if your career goals are realistic. They can also help you research whether you would have a competitive advantage in your new, chosen field and if you are the right “personality” fit.

When choosing a career counselor, ask about their approach to testing and counseling. Do they use the same test on every client, regardless of career goals? Do they use a standard job search workshop and or a custom approach? You do not want a one size fits all, cookie cutter job search class or approach. Ideally, you would work with a counselor who gets to know your likes, dislikes, strengths and limitations. A customized and individualized approach is necessary for any career transition. Coming from a counseling paradigm, I view the individual as unique and use a tailored approach for every single client, whether they are in transition or planning a straight-ahead job search. Also, check out my post on Virtual Career Counseling and learn how to choose the best counselor. Virtual Career Counseling: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint!

Remember that there are major regional differences in the employment outlook.Check out  the employment outlook for your state. Job Rebound Map of the USA.

 Author: © 2010 - All Rights Reserved - Sharon B. Cohen, MA, Counseling Psychology,CPRP. Licensed Counselor. Career Counselor and Career Transition Specialist.

"Virtual Career Counseling: helping business professionals, reach their career potential!"

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