Career Transitions – an event or a process?

Gone are the days of an employer/employee loyalty to each other. Gone is the 25 year pin.  Gone are the days when job movement was a negative on your resume (although too much can still be an issue).  Gone are the days when search firms would not present unemployed candidates to a client.  Gone (or soon to be gone) are pension programs that fund your retirement.  And gone are the days when all of us employed souls were buried in the organization and powerless to affect career change.

Now, career transitions are the new normal and are no longer a once or twice in a lifetime occurrence.    Transitions are frequent and all of us who must make a living need to get comfortable with this fact and turn it to our advantage.   Whether you are moving from one job to another with the same employer, or moving to a new position with a new employer, maximizing your career performance requires career movements.  So, embrace them and turn them to your advantage.  Sometimes these transitions will be your decision (always preferred) and sometimes it will be their decision, it’s just that simple so be prepared and get used to it.

Today, you are empowered to act and must act.  You need to be proactive and not simply reactive.  You need to be visible and not invisible.  You need to be looking even if you are not looking.  You need to be a participant in the job market at all times, not just when you want to look and not just when your employer tells you it is time to look.

And the best part is that all of this is easy.  Nothing has changed more than the transparency and liquidity of the job market.  Back “in the day,” nobody knew who you were, what your background was and whether or not you would be a good fit for a job.  You were buried so deep in an organization that nobody could find you.  You were trapped with no control.  You were dependent vs. independent.  You only updated your resume when you needed to.  And, you were “scared” that your employer might find out you were looking, so you didn’t.

So what to do?

  1. Excel in every job you have and exceed every expectation regardless of your satisfaction. Checking out is a bad strategy.
  2. Be communicative with your employer about your career aspirations and put the right amount of pressure on them to keep the conversations two-way so you know their plans for you.
  3. Create a career savings account to fund six months of unemployment.  Set these amounts aside and write them off as an expense and not an investment.  Hopefully you will avoid a jobless transition but I wouldn’t count on it.
  4. Make yourself visible through all available social media and be specific about your skills, experience, accomplishments and career aspirations.  Keep your information up to date, not just when you need to.
  5. Use social media to communicate and stay “top of mind” with your network.  This is easy to do and takes little time.
  6.  Be a player.  Listen to employment opportunities when they come your way.  Be open and receptive.  If you are not interested, help recruiters and employers to network so they call you the next time.
  7. Make career moves carefully and be sure they are advancing your career and not simply a side-step.  Side-steps are fine when you are in a jobless transition, but not when you are employed and have options.

Ok now, are we clear? This is a changed world and you need a changed approach. Good luck!     

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  1. svetlana's avatar
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    Great article! Really relevant information and great tips! Thank you!

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