Career Change Guide

Career Change Guide
Section II – Your Search

Once you have a good sense of yourself, you are ready to begin to plan your search.

Career Change Guide Preview: Recommended Actions following Chapter 5 – Stay or Leave

Decide if you want to leave.

  1. If you share the values and culture of your current employer, try to work something out.
  2. Consider discussing your feelings with your boss.
  3. Possibly meet with peers in other departments and see if there are any opportunities of interest.

If you decide to leave:

  1. Continue to do your best work while you are there.
  2. Strengthen your relationships with those you respect.
  3. Find out your employer’s and government’s unemployment policies.
  4. Leave in the best way you can.

Start your search well.

  1. If short of funds, try to get some part-time work.
  2. Be positive, especially with your family.
  3. Consider yourself to be embarking on a path of exploration and discovery.

Recommended Actions following Chapter 6 – Your Search Plan

Review your thinking about your priorities with regard to where you work next, especially:

  1. What is most important to you.
  2. The values and culture of where you want to work.
  3. Your competencies and preferred role.
  4. The contributions you want to make.

Develop a new or revised resume. Resume Template

  1. Have the objective state what you want to do.
  2. Show specific competencies, three at the most.
  3. Give accomplishments with metrics for each job.
  4. Make your Education Section brief and factual.
  5. Have the Other section give a broader sense of who you are, your interests and involvements.
  6. Prepare to answer potential questions.

Identify and select your references.

  1. Explain what you are looking to do and why.
  2. Show appreciation for their support.
  3. Periodically update them on your progress.

Create your Elevator Pitch.

  1. Prepare a brief statement of what you want to do next, qualifications, and contributions you could make.
  2. If appropriate, ask for suggestions.

Determine the market for your services.

  1. Your prior compensation is a good starting point.
  2. Use surveys & websites.
  3. Contact anyone you think could help get current information.

Identify industries and organizations with products, and/or services where you might want to work.

  1. Meet with seasoned people you respect to get their thoughts and referrals.
  2. Explore any areas you think could be interesting.
  3. Stay open minded and keep at it.

Recommended Actions following Chapter 7 – Your Network

Identify and make lists of people whom you think could help you find opportunities.

  1. People you know from work, recently and in the past.
  2. People who have a broader perspective, such as professionals in service industries and community leaders.
  3. Friends and family from all aspects of your life.

Prioritize each list in a way that makes sense for you.

  1. Include each person’s name, phone number, email and perhaps organization.
  2. Organize yourself and keep good records.

Prepare a short script for your meetings.

  1. Review your objectives for your meetings.
  2. Prepare a basic script.

Begin your networking by calling potential sources of leads. Be organized and persistent.

  1. If you feel uncertain, start with people with whom you feel most comfortable and ask for feedback.
  2. Then broaden your networking as you gain experience and confidence.
  3. Seek referrals for job leads and sources.
  4. Make networking something you do every day.

In your meetings with sources:

  1. Let the person know that you appreciate his/her meeting with you and ask if he/she has any time constraints.
  2. Give a summary of your situation and thoughts about it.
  3. Ask what is happening in his/her world and what opportunities he/she sees.
  4. Ask if he/she has any suggestions or referrals.
  5. Always follow up your meetings with a note or e-mail thanking him/her.

Actions for continuing to network:

  1. Set up meetings with those to whom you have been referred.
  2. Keep records of people you meet.
  3. Make weekly plans for all that you are doing.
  4. Periodically review what you have learned and make any changes or redirections you think are appropriate.

Recommended Actions following Chapter 8 – Other Search Approaches

Develop and utilize a LinkedIn account.

  1. State your current position and/or the position you are pursuing with a title you think would be picked up by search engines.
  2. In describing your experience and accomplishments give metrics where you can, but no embellishments.
  3. Include a formal photograph of yourself.
  4. Begin connecting with LinkedIn’s services.

Visit and explore other websites mentioned in this chapter.

  1. Explore both monster.com and careerbuilders.com and submit your info on opportunities that look interesting.
  2. Check out Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com, and Craigslist.

Answer ads and/or send letters without referrals as appropriate.

  1. Search publications that you think are likely to post ads for opportunities of interest.
  2. Respond to postings that look right for you.
  3. Write to people you want to meet but to whom you have no connection. Try to get meetings.
  4. Look for and respond to job posts at websites of organizations of interest.

Contact search firms that you feel are appropriate.

  1. Mail a resume to members of appropriate search firms.
  2. If you are a senior manager or executive, send your resume to bluesteps.com to get visibility with small search firms.

Develop a search plan that includes:

  1. Networking as your primary activity.
  2. Visiting and posting on LinkedIn and other websites.
  3. Going to meetings and appropriate events.
  4. Contacting search consultants.
  5. Answering ads.
  6. Approaching people and organizations of interest where you do not have an introduction.
  7. Making time for your personal relationships.

Space in the back of the book is available for a more detailed plan then you could put on the following page.

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