How to Get Ahead in Your Career Search

I’ve talked before about how you sabotage your career transition by making mistakes that many others make as well. You’re making your career transition harder than it has to be, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Let’s walkthrough these steps together how your career transition can be easier.

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  • Get out of your own way. One of the biggest obstacles to your career transition is yourself. Stop wondering how you found yourself where you currently are, why others ‘have it better’ than you and feeling like you’re the first person ever to find themselves in this situation. You’re not the first and definitely won’t be the last. 
  • Get focused. Narrow down your list to no more than 3 potential careers. Take time, no really, to sit down and think what you want to do next. By getting clarity in this step all of the other steps in the career transition process are so much easier. 
  • Stay Positive. Let’s just get this out of the way…your resume is going to get rejected, you’re going to get passed over by other candidates during the interview process, not everyone you ask to help you in your career transition is going to help, people are going to ‘promise’ you they’ll help and then their life gets busy and they forget about you. Things are not going to go the way you think or plan them to be…that’s called life! Get over it and focus on what is going right for you.
  • Write your resume to convey results & achievements. You want to demonstrate your successes by writing a resume that has action words. In addition, anytime you can quantify your results/achievements the better.
  • Spend 80% of your time talking to people. First, many people do not even know you’re trying to make a transition to a new career unless you inform them. Second, determine and perfect your ‘elevator pitch’ so can quickly and concisely frame what career you’re trying to transition to.
  • Play the long game. Do not network with people as if you’re playing the ‘speed dating game’ as you will come off as a ‘user’. Instead, play the long game. Cultivate long lasting relationships with people where they not only provide you value, but in turn you provide them value as well. 
  • Develop a routine. Create a schedule on a weekly basis with chunks of time you’ll use to work through this process of determining your next career, writing a resume, networking with people, etc. Once you have this routine going for you the process will feel less difficult.
  • Show appreciation & follow through. When people agree to help you whether that is with your resume, connecting you to someone they know or preparing for an interview make sure you live up to your end of the relationship. If you say you’ll get an updated copy to someone by the end of the week, make sure you stick to that deadline. And always be thankful of people’s efforts & time.
  • Tighten up your LinkedIn profile.If you don’t have an account, sign up today! If you have one and haven’t updated it in months/years, then update it today! Recruiters & hiring managers are looking at you profile, most likely after reading your resume, so make sure you’re making a great first impression.
  • Practice interviewing. Find someone, preferably someone who actually interviews others in their day job and get them to practice with you. The more you practice the more natural & relaxed you will be during actual interviews. 

Once I started applying all of these steps to my career transition I found the process to be easier, less stressful and more effective. 

What about the career search do you find most challenging and why?

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