You probably don’t want to get out of the summer state-of-mind, yet (just one more beach read and umbrella drink, please), but now is a great time to start thinking about making a career change or polishing up your professional goals.
It’s never too soon to make a change that will get you to where you want to go—both in life and in your career—and having a strategy, and creating priorities, makes all the difference in reaching your goals.Many professionals—whether career changers or business owners—step up their efforts before autumn kicks in so they can reach their goals before year’s end.
Let’s take a look at practical prioritizing as a key step to navigating your plans. I’d like to share with you a case study that demonstrates the power of setting priorities, making choices, and staying on target.
With more career options in the world than ever before, a career changer could spend a lifetime researching online job postings or sending out resumes. Here’s how one of my clients, we’ll call her Jeannie, set career priorities, focused her search, and found the perfect fit.
Like many of my career coaching clients, Jeannie wanted to find more meaningful work. She also wanted to move closer to her boyfriend, about 50 miles away. And there was one other thing—she wanted to make these changes as quickly as possible. Jeannie’s current job was due for a few shake-ups, and she wanted to land on her feet.
Any one of these goals—a career change, a move to a new town, or a quick exit from an existing job—has a lot of moving parts to navigate. Someone taking on all three could get stuck in overwhelm or act too quickly on a compromise and then feel disappointed later.
Combining my client’s goals meant that we had to prioritize and keep key targets in mind throughout the process.
We started by brainstorming Jeannie’s ideal job. What was she passionate about? What skills and experience did she want to use? What kind of contribution did she want to make? This information helped us narrow down a universe of jobs into a manageable list.
In addition, talking about an ideal situation helped Jeannie feel encouraged rather than fearful of the impending change. She began to feel confident she would find a job that better suited her abilities and interests.
Next, we tailored Jeannie’s resume and LinkedIn profile to highlight her top skills, which were also the skills she hoped to apply in her new job: communication, customer service, research, organization, training, and finances. We completed her resume by demonstrating how her various work experiences had called on each skill and how they transferred perfectly to the new line of work. Her focused resume illustrated where she’d been, where she wanted to go and exactly what she offered her new employer.
Finally, we brainstormed possible employers or industries in her new destination. Jeannie researched the possibilities online and through informational interviews to further prioritize her career plan. This way, she was able to devote her energy to applications with a select group of employers rather than trying to flood the job market with her resume.
Each week, Jeannie could see progress being made. Steps that once seemed like obstacles were overcome. Instead of overwhelm, she had a manageable, targeted action plan.
Reporting her progress between our sessions kept Jeannie on track. She listed job prospects identified through her own research or Internet postings and noted the status of resumes sent and applications completed. Our next few coaching sessions prepared her for interviews so she could demonstrate, in person, how ideal she was for the job.
Within three months of our first meeting, Jeannie had a job offer. We discussed how to negotiate for desired benefits and extra time off to handle her move to the new city. Jeannie was eager to get on with this new chapter in her life, so we also navigated her resignation from her old job.
Jeannie is now settled into her position and enjoying life closer to her boyfriend. Her ideal has become her reality thanks to setting priorities and taking focused action.
If you feel stuck or overwhelmed in your career change plans, let’s talk. Contact me today!
Note: Written authorization to share this case study has been received from the client. Certain details have been changed to preserve confidentiality.