In the summer of 2005, I realized my 23 year career in broadcast media, radio, was about to change dramatically. I could feel the winds of change blowing in my “corporate culture.” Internal changes started to happen yearly (sometimes twice a year) with regard to sales commissions, and how we packaged and sold our products and services. New management was brought in, people shifted in a very stable management structure.
It just felt weird.
I started my personal career transition process, in my head, simply by thinking about why I was feeling like it wasn’t working for me on many levels anymore and I wanted and needed it to be working.
First, I had to honestly assess if there were any more mobility opportunities where I was. Then, I had to look at myself with regard to what I really wanted to do, and determine if I was qualified and prepared to do it. I spent almost a year, going on interviews, both locally and nationally, exploring other industries and employment jobs to try to see what resonated with me.
As I look back, it was really a smart process and revealed a lot about me. Back then, jobs were much more plentiful and there were a lot of them in my business. Today, I would not have those same choices and options.
Here are some of the lessons I learned about the career transition process that you can apply to today’s employment situation:
#1. Identify What You Want To Do And What You’re Qualified To Do
Look at all your “transferable skills” – all those jobs you’ve done that define your skill sets.
#2. Don’t Rush Change, Trust Your Process
Opportunities will present themselves, but they may not be all the right or best decisions to make. Qualify the opportunities, based on your situation.
#3. Be Prepared And Honest When Presenting Yourself
You really can’t fudge the truth when creating a resume. Know what your strong assets are and lead with them. Don’t hide your liabilities, but don’t lead with them. We all have “stuff” or else we wouldn’t be human.
#4. Evaluate Your Current Skill Levels
The business world has changed and what’s now required to get hired has changed. Review your personal, professional, technology, and social networking proficiency. If you need to upgrade some things, take some local courses through local chambers, schools, professional organizations, or online.
#5. Know That Personal Branding And Your Image Sets You Apart
Personality, mindset, energy, attitude, image are all important today to stand out and get noticed. Again, evaluate where you are with regard to your professional image, online and offline networking, sales, communication skills, and being a part of your community. Upgrade, improve, tweak, grow whenever and wherever you can.
Don’t wait until you are out of work or laid off. If we have learned one huge lesson from the current employment scenario, it’s pay attention to and keep changing with change.
Career transition is happening all the time, even when you are working and employed. Keep moving and changing. Keep adding value for what you do. Stay relevant and current. Think about how you can become more indispensable!