Making a Successful Career Change

Making a Successful Career Change

I did a Webinar last night for 600+ members of college alumni associations.  The topic was Career Fitness, and many of the questions had to do with how best to use the Career Fitness System for a career change.

As I explain in The Career Fitness Workbook, career changing is increasingly prevalent as the workplace adjusts to the impact of new knowledge, new technology and new competitors in a global economy.  So, the first step in a successful career change is to free yourself from any sense of failure or inadequacy for being involved in such a move.

Second, tailor the Career Fitness System to the particular challenges of changing careers.  That means implementing the Career Fitness exercises into two phases:

Preparation Prior to Your Job Search. Focus on the following Career Fitness exercises:

Exercise I. Pump Up Your Cardiovascular System: Make sure your knowledge is at the state-of-the-art in your new field as you are not competitive if all you offer is cross over skills from your old field and a willingness to start at the bottom.

Exercise II. Strengthen Your Circulatory System: Build up your network of contacts in your new field as they are the people who are most likely to take on the risk of hiring you despite your lack of experience.

Exercise VII. Stretch Your Soul: Look for opportunities to apply your knowledge in your new field in volunteer, community or social service organizations as that will enable you to help others with that expertise and, in the process, give you valuable experience.

Focus During Your Job Search. Continue with Exercises I, II and VII, but now add the following:

Exercise III. Develop All of Your Muscle Groups: Figure out which ancillary skills will enable you to apply your new career expertise in a wider range of work situations and enroll in a course that will give you that capability.

Exercise IV. Increase Your Flexibility and Range of Motion: Recognize that your first job in your new field is unlikely to last forever, so begin researching the dynamics of transitions in the field and preparing for them.

Exercise V. Work With Winners: Put yourself in a position to do your best work by researching which firms and individuals are the leaders in your new field and begin laying the ground work for employment with them.

Exercise VII.  Pace Yourself: It takes extra effort to build up credibility in a new field, so set a pace that will enable you to stick to your goal and perform at your peak during interviews and interactions with your new peers.

Thanks for Reading,
Peter