By: Marti Benjamin, MBA

Professional Certified Coach | Certified Career Management Coach

Champion for a Great Work-Life!

Kristen was unhappy in her job. This was her fourth position in the field and she had concluded that it wasn’t the job or the company that she didn’t like it was the industry.

Work-life was all work and no life for Kristen. She routinely worked long hours and described the environment as, “over the top stressful.” She noticed that she was carrying that stress into her personal relationships and concerned that she would hurt the people she loved with her negative perspective.

Kristen was ready for a career transition, but to what she wasn’t sure. Although she had talked with friends and family about her dilemma, she hadn’t yet discovered a new career field that caused her to light up with enthusiasm and excitement.

Her first coaching assignment was to ask five people who knew her well, what they always counted on from her. She learned that others appreciated her ability to see several alternatives when presented with a problem. Her friends, family and co-workers said that she’d shown them there’s often more than one right answer to an issue.

Kristen began thinking of ways to use that talent in a new work role. She took these 7 steps from career dissatisfaction to her great work-life.

Step One: Identify Transferable Skills

Identifying transferable skills is a personally satisfying way to begin career exploration.

Make a list of skills you enjoy using that also apply in another career field. Include personal traits, like dependability, specific work skills such as bookkeeping, and talents like getting along with a wide variety of people.

Step Two: Identify Where Those Skills Are Used

Next, search job postings and databases to see what occupations and professions use those skills and qualities the most. The point of this research is to find the jobs where you’ll have the opportunity to do more of what you enjoy. Settle on the top two or three position titles—the jobs that rely most heavily on the skills you enjoy using—and research the qualifications and requirements for those positions.

Step Three: Gap Analysis

Learn the qualifications of each position. Analyze the gap between your current skills and experience, and the requirements of the positions you seek. Design tactics to close the gap with projects, volunteer experience, classes or certifications. Consider how you can describe your prior experience honestly, and in a way that highlights skills used in the position you’re pursuing.

Step Four: Career Communication Documents

Prepare a resume that features your qualifications for the new field. A professional resume writer will be helpful here. They’re trained to see your skills from a different perspective than you do and to make connections that you’re likely to overlook. They use the language of resumes; they’ll apply the strongest and most accurate description of your unique value to an employer.

You also need to update your social media profiles to represent the future, not the past. Use keywords and make connections with people who are doing the work you want to do. Follow their postings; find the discussion groups they’re in and learn from the issues discussed.

Step Five: Target Employers

Research prospective employers, those that hire for the position you want. Learn about each company’s mission and vision, their corporate values and the culture of the organization. Look for the organizations that fit you well and where you’d feel proud to be employed.

Step Six: Build Relationships

Build relationships in your new career field, both online and in person. Join appropriate professional associations and online discussion groups. Get to know people in the field and learn about their employers.

Arrange informational interviews. Ask for advice: what additional training, experiences, certifications or other strategies would help you gain entry to this field? Will this company be hiring for this position in the near future? How would you position your application for a favorable review?

Step Seven: Go For It

Apply for suitable positions. Prepare to answer interview questions with examples of your relevant experience and skills.

Career transition requires work, knowledge and support. Hire a professional career coach to help you plan and execute your transition. An objective thinking partner can help with each of the seven steps for your career from here to there.

Marti Benjamin inspires great work-lives in her business and career coaching practice. In this, her third career devoted to service to others, she applies the discipline of business while executing the mission of service. Since founding Business Energetix in 2004, Marti’s proprietary coaching systems have led fed-up professionals from frustration to a richly rewarding work-life. www.CareerFromHere.com





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