Navigating the Currents of a Career Change

posted in: Career, Career Change | 0

By Angela Loëb

Sometimes making a change of direction can be daunting.  So daunting that you sort of freeze up and say to yourself… well, maybe I’ll tackle this next month.  Then next month becomes 6 months.  And maybe even a year goes by before you look up and notice that you’re still drifting.  You still haven’t made that career shift you were dreaming about.

The solution is to create a plan to move forward.

Last night I led a group of career explorers through a discussion of how to create such a plan.  I took pieces right out of our CareerFinder™ Method, specifically the SET module.  Below is the crux of what the group learned last night.

First 5 Steps to Creating Your Plan
1.  Start with do/don’t want list

2.  Break it down into segments (industry, non-profit, government)

3.  List the possible paths (e.g. a massage therapist might work with a chiropractor, in a massage clinic, for a health & fitness club or as an entrepreneur)

4.  Create an “Online Research Worksheet” containing:
– the resource name (which can range from google news to O*Net)
– place to put notes

5.  Create an “Informational Networking Worksheet” containing:
– person’s name, title/position
– career direction you’re researching
– places to put 3 to 5 key questions you would prepare ahead of time
– place to write notes after the meeting – specifically, answers to your questions
– place to add any additional info besides the answers to your questions
– place to note follow-up actions recommended or that you decided to take

“Informational networking” is a time-honored method of career exploration that helps you to learn what it’s like to work in the field you’re exploring.  Find out about the required training and skills, income, trends, etc.

The important thing when making your plan is to let the creative juices flow.  In the beginning stages of doing all this external exploring, use your imagination without critiquing whether it’s realistic.  You can consider the feasibility later.  For now, leave no stone unturned!

Angela Loëb is an author, speaker and co-owner of Great Occupations. She and her partner, Jay Markunas, help people make successful career transitions through workshops, “pajama learning” webclasses, personalized consulting sessions, as well as through The Job Search Boot Camp Show. Find out more at

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