Successful Career Change

A Forgotten Key of a Successful Career Change

PersonalityandCareerChangeIn a two previous articles, we discussed the possibility of being ready for a career change and what skills you would bring to a new job.

Attached below is another resource to help you in your pursuit of a new career…a personality traits checklist for you to identify some of your most common traits. What you will find is a listing of many common personality traits. You will be able to identify many that you will feel are true of you. Follow the instructions on the sheet to complete it for your resource.

  1. Your next project is to think back over your life, not just your work life, but all aspects of your life, and make a list of your top 25 personal achievements. What are the 25 things you are most proud of? If you were telling someone of the 25 highlights of your life, your personal highlight reel, what would you include?Think about projects, events, experiences, trips, relationships, accomplishments. Include work, family, volunteerism, recreation, hobbies, church, social groups, community groups, service groups, professional groups, and more. Take time and work your way backwards. Start with what you are currently involved in, and move backwards chronologically all the way into your teen years.Describe enough of the particular item that you will remember what it is at a glance.
  2. The next aspect of your assessment is to focus on your work life. While as a whole, it may be less than satisfying and fulfilling, there were probably some aspects of every position that you had that were engaging, motivating, and drew on your strengths.Think back over each position that you held, starting with the most recent and working backward, to find those tasks and projects in each job that used your strengths and you found fulfilling. Include experiences where you felt the most satisfied; the tasks, activities, projects where you really felt like you were engaged.Write a sentence or two about each one so when you read in later you will immediately know what you are referring to.When you have completed your most recent position, work your way back through your entire career. Include all full-time, part-time, internship, and all other positions you have held.Also include experiences in community college, university, graduate school, technical college, and all other post-high school education. In logging your work experience, also include volunteer activities with church, non-profit, sports, recreational, social or service organizations.

Talk to the people who know you…

  1. Another area you want to include in your assessment is the perspective of others. Often others see things about us that we don’t see ourselves.On your list of people to talk to, you want to be sure to include:
    1. your spouse or significant other
    2. those you volunteer with
    3. your children, nephews, nieces
    4. those you engage in recreation with
    5. DiscussCareerChange-JobSearchingCoachparents
    6. sports buddies/girlfriends
    7. close friends
    8. pastors/mentors
    9. work colleagues
    10. others who know you well
  2. When you talk to these people you want to ask them what they see as your areas of greatest strength, your skills and abilities, and jobs they think you would be good at. Ask them if they were to describe you in one sentence, what they would say. Ask them to write out that sentence and send it to you. Also ask them what projects around their house they would ask you to assist them with because of your abilities.The more input you get from a broad range of people in different walks of life, the wider your understanding of how people see you.What you will find in all likelihood is that some of your characteristics remain the same wherever you happen to be and many people will spot them, while other characteristics appear only in a specific context. This tells you that your personality is very diverse, with many different facets, and that you could be happy and find fulfillment in numerous types of jobs.

After you have completed several of these assessment activities you will have compiled quite an extensive encyclopedia describing who you are. Each of these provides a slightly different snapshot of you in the context where it occurred. This encyclopedia of events, activities, and experiences is required for the next stage of your personal assessment.

Patterns that affect a successful career change…

The next stage in your career change evaluation and planning is to begin to look for trends that form patterns that thread through your experiences. As you have been working on your assessment activities form, you may have begun to notice these already.

CareerChangeAssessmentThe threads you are looking for portray skills and abilities. Begin reading back through your encyclopedia of your experiences and try to identify what the skills and abilities were that you were using in each instance. Start a four-column table like the one you see below and list every new skill/ability you discover in the next to the last column from the right.In the last column on the right, include a phrase that describes the organization and/or context, whether business or personal, where you used that skill or ability. See the example below for what your table should look like. It is critically important that you list as many of these as you can because you will use what you create later in the process.

Beginning a new career is a serious project, it can affect your whole life, take the time to do it right, make the assessments.

If you would like to explore working with a career coach, contact us for a no-obligation consultation and we can discuss your situation and what you would like to achieve.

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