Managing Career Transitions

Download the Managing Career Transitions Action Plan

It is important to know where you are in your career transition before you begin your job search.  It’s also important to align your career vision (your dream) with your skills and interests, and to communicate how your accomplishments and transferrable skills can support your new career choice. Career transition can be any one of the following, and each one requires a different level of effort.  For example, you could be a…

  1. Career enhancer – keeping your industry and function but move to higher level – a higher “rung on the ladder” (easiest)
  2. Career changer – changing industry or function (challenging)
  3. Career starter – changing industry and function (very challenging)
  4. Triple jumper – changing industry, function and location (extremely challenging)

 Important Factors to consider for your Career Transition

  • Industry
  • Function
  • Location

Jot down 2 to 3 cities that you would be interested in moving to.  This will be a good starting point for your research into your next steps (creating Plans A, B, and C).

  • Plan A (Stretch) – “your Plan A may be to get into Marketing, which could be a stretch for you if your background is in finance.  You will need additional courses/ training to get into Marketing.”
  • Plan B (Realistic) – “your Plan B may be banking/finance at another firm – this is right on track with your background”
  • Plan C (Certain) – “Your Plan C could be that you go back to your former company….”

Target Company List

Be sure to use all of the resources available.  Check out various company list by Fast Company, Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, and Vault Guides.  Gelman Library is another great resource.  If you have any trouble coming up with a target company list take a look at the LAMP list process in The 2-Hour Job Search

Skills & the SAR Method

Soft skills – desired qualities that are often overlooked but are extremely important.  They can be verbal and non-verbal.  For example – leadership skills, ability to deal with pressure, initiative, motivation, professionalism.

What soft skills have you developed and how did you develop them?

Hard skills – these are equally as important, and include things like:  business analytics, accounting, sales skills.

What are your hard skills?

Accomplishment statements – refer back to your accomplishment statements from the Self Assessment Session.  Remember Situation, Action, Results (SARs).    Your Actions = Your Skills.  Many of your skills will be found in the Action segment of your SAR statements.

So now you can add up all of what we just discussed (hard skills + soft skills + accomplishments = resume), and you can check out which skills companies are looking for, determine what you already have, and what gaps you need to fill.

Value Proposition

At this point, you have already identified some great companies and positions (in Episode 3).  You have also identified your transferable skills (in Episode 4), and your Accomplishment Statements in the Self Assessment Session.

Now you need to demonstrate and articulate how you’re going to add value to these organizations – this is called your Value Proposition.  Use the template found in the related links to put together your own value proposition.