Landing “In Transition”
Being “in transition” can be your worst nightmare, or greatest blessing.
Your next career move might be wholly voluntary. The work situation is growing intense. Stress, anger and frustration take over. You decide that anything is better than staying where you are, and you walk out the door, into both freedom and the void.
Or you might be blindsided by “a change in corporate direction.” Although you were “instrumental in our development,” the organization is “afraid you don’t fit the new structure.” And while they “regret they have to make a difficult decision,” effective immediately, “your services are no longer required.” So you gather your belongings, take a last look around, and walk out in a numb haze of adrenaline and disbelief.
Whether by choice or by fiat, you are launched into the great unknown. The whole world is before you, and it’s terrifying. And more than likely, at that moment, you are in no shape to launch a methodic career strategy.
Prepare now, before you find yourself “in transition.” You may be extraordinarily fortunate, and never need to search for your next job. If you are confident of that, this exercise is totally unnecessary. But for anyone with even a remote chance of job loss, now is the time to get ready for your next career move.
Get ready for the unexpected. Give yourself the best chance for a great outcome, if you find yourself suddenly launched into unemployment.
- Update your resume now. Don’t wait until you need it.
- Stay attuned to innovation and disruption in your industry and in the marketplace.
- Find a mastermind group. Share insights with trusted peers in a range of industries.
- Anticipate change and position yourself to take advantage of it.
- Project the skills that will be in demand, and acquire them now.
- Think about your dream job. What is it? Take action. Develop the skills and credentials to be a prime candidate for the job you would like to have.
- Build and maintain a professional network.
- Include your mentors, industry leaders, and peers.
- Expand your network to individuals in your industry as well as in a range of industries and disciplines.
- Support your network. Help others when you are able, without expecting return.
- Business is a team sport. Build your team.
- Keep notes. Document your accomplishments to share with potential employers. Include the following:
- Achievements which helped the organization: When you’ve boosted revenue by x%, note the situation and how you did it.
- New skills: Demonstrate your capacity and passion for constant improvement.
- Honors and awards: Show how you have excelled.
- Your failures, how you recovered and what you learned: We all make mistakes; show how you changed them into accomplishments.
- Set strategies to deal with uncertainty. Sometimes the only thing that is certain is uncertainty. Keep your options open and remain flexible and adaptable.
Career transition is part of life. Act now and make “in transition” a strategic move to your next position.