Career change often begins with a statement. “I hate my current job. I want a totally different environment. What are some steps I can take to make a move?”
Alas, many career books give a false impression. They suggest that career change proceeds at an orderly and very linear pace. Typically, you are advised to take these steps:
* Look inward to find out who you are.
* Identify your strengths.
* Find a career that matches your strengths.
* Apply for jobs in those fields.
* Live happily ever after.
Of course, an experienced career consultant will tell you this is hogwash. The best guide I’ve found is still Herminia Ibarra’s book, Working Identity. The book’s getting old and out of print but you can find it in libraries and online bookstores.
As Ibarra explains, most career change begins by looking out – not in. Here are the steps:
Come up with a few ideas that might work for you.
Use your network to explore your idea.
Get referred to other sources of info.
Hit a few dead ends and realize your dream job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Run into an old friend at an airport lounge in the Los Angeles area. He says, “Gee, we’re looking for somebody to take a job in our Chicago office. You’re in Chicago. Interested?”
Your friend dashes off an email from his laptop. He tells you to call a certain number. You shake hands. You get on your plane for Portland. He gets on his plane for Tokyo.
A few days later, you call the number. The job isn’t anything like what you’ve been looking for. But it sounds intriguing. You go on a few interviews that feel more like social chats with a bunch of old friends. Before you can return a call from your career coach, you’re on a new payroll.
So do you have to take a fatalistic approach?
Not at all. You can give serendipity a little push.
Keep moving. Talk to lots of people. Instead of calling strangers for “interviews for information,” use your network. Apply for LOTS of jobs. Develop confidence and radiate a positive, optimistic outlook.
I’m not being woo-wooey. More research shows that we like to be around others who are confident, energetic and upbeat. The more people you meet and the more friends you make, the more likely you are to hear the magic words, “Gee…maybe you’d like to consider our company.”
And the rest, as they say, will be history.
Teach Your Intuition to Send You a Text Message (Not a Post Card): https://midlifecareerstrategy.com/intuitionbook.html
No need to do this on your own – check out the Career Strategy Session here.