Career Transition – New Support, New Surroundings

With unemployment rates at record highs and Fortune 500s daily announcing pending layoffs, it is pretty clear that 2009 is going to usher in an even greater frenzy of job seekers. All of us, directly or indirectly, will be affected in some way.

Create a Clear Plan. With a clear vision of your ideal situation, you can now make a plan for getting there. You can use this information to transform your current job into one that is a much better fit for you (start doing more of the things you love, start working with people who are the most pleasant/fun, etc.). Or you can use this information to create a roadmap for a job or directory.

Do not do this alone. Hire a coach, join or form a group, find a success buddy, create a structured arrangement with a friend. Here are the important elements you want in your support structure: you want people who believe in you and in your quest; you want something structured, so that there is a routine to the support.

I was a practicing eye surgeon for over two decades and ran a very successful practice. However, the time came when I knew it was time for me to move on. The long/short of it is by listening to my guidance, the perfect buyer showed up and I have moved on instead of waiting until something unpleasant happened to push me out. I have even seen doctors drop dead of heart attacks after staying on when they were obviously no longer doing what they loved. I did not want to wait until boredom set in, and I’ve learned to trust myself and go for it. Is the path completely clear? No. I’m I still glad I did it? Absolutely. I am happy and moving right along in my life purpose. We are in a time of much change and the more you learn to let go of fear, the better off you will be.

Tips from Hallie: One of the things single people feel will make their outplacement firm harder is the fact that they’re alone. Viveca reminds us that this doesn’t have to be true. You have a support network all around you of friends, family, fellow career seekers and career coaches like me. The key is to tap into that network and ask them to help you during your outplacement firm. Identify what you need the most help with whether it’s staying motivated, managing your time while you search for a job after hours, or networking in the field you’re interested in pursuing. Then ask for what you need. Request their support and help, don’t be shy. Friends and family will be happy to support you in pursuing your passion.

Understand your personal brand & propagate it. Yes, I know, some are sick of the phrase “personal branding”–but the thing is, it works. If you say “wordsmith” to anyone who’s ever met me, they’ll think of me. So maybe don’t call it that–but absolutely do it.

Remember, you are never alone in your struggles. If you believe in prayer, it can help in difficult times like this. Prayer is not necessarily the solution to our economic problems, but something that can help give us the strength to get through tough times. Whether you have religious belief or not, if you need support, speak to trusted family members, friends and professionals who can help give you the support you need to make it through. Nothing lasts forever in life. That’s a given.

Finally, consider the price of a resume as not a necessary evil, but as one part of investing in you and your career. A resume is a tool, and we all want the best-quality tools. That desire comes with a price. But at the end of the day, the tool is only as effective as the one who wields it. So when weighing the cost, make sure you have a realistic expectation of what the resume can do and what role is required of you to make it even more effective.

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