How to Navigate a Career Change

laurence-favier-featuredBy Laurence Favier

Alone I go quickly; together we go far.

After several years at the same role in your company, you may wish to move and find a new job. This may be a choice to advance your career, improve your wages or simply to find a more interesting career. Sometimes you just know it is time to move on. No matter the reason, there are several keys to navigating a successful career change.

First, don’t let fear of job loss kill your career.

The founder of The Passion Institute, Sandja Brugmann, says “When we think of fear, more often than not, we view it as an emotion we’d rather avoid… It is a feeling that can be so paralyzing and scary that it automatically triggers our instincts to survive. Unfortunately, this can surface behaviors that are not in alignment with moving us towards our dreams and business success.”

Second, take advantage of any opportunities to diversify your skills.

When you work in a big company, it is usually quite easy to move from department to department. In fact, Human Resources teams often have systems and procedures that help identify people within the company who want to change. HR teams are also constantly evaluating the skillset of employees, in order to place workers in the best possible role to optimize and improve company results. For this reason, it could be beneficial for you to be known and recognized by your managers for your specific skillset. Don’t hesitate to talk about this during your yearly interview with your manager.

For those in smaller organizations, the most important asset to have is a great network. As you progress along your career, you can meet people both from within your company and from other companies (such as suppliers or clients). You can also weave links and develop relationships with your peers in other companies.

All of these people will know you, appreciate you for your good job, for your kindness, for your skills, your regularity and your tenacity, and will trust you. You can speak to them about your career desires and, of course, to listen to what they, themselves, are looking for. Occasionally, people from your network hear about a job that you could be interested in, and they will tell you. In return, you can do the same for your network members.

It is vitally important to continue to make connections; to constantly maintain and grow your network.

“I try to meet someone new every day. Whether it’s a prospective client, a potential hire, a professional contact, or someone new in our neighborhood, I try to make a new connection and potential friend. It grows my personal and professional network while expanding my knowledge and perspective.” So said Andrew Fischer, the CEO and founder of Choozle, a digital marketing platform that simplifies data and online advertising and in 2015 tripled its team and grew revenues 650 percent.

Once you have a strong network, use it to explore career possibilities. When seeking change, you can ask your network, your friends, your family, your neighbors, the retailers in your area if they know about a job. Even old colleagues from your previous jobs could be helpful. It is important to broadcast your desire to as many people as possible.

I found my first job with the help of my IT teacher. Teachers and mentors are also a great way to get connections with people and companies.

In my experience, when you begin to look for change, movement comes and opportunities can reveal themselves. For example an old friend you haven’t seen in years may phone you and talk about a job he knows is the perfect fit for you!

Lastly, don’t be afraid to use the power of social media. In this digital age, it is easy to use social media sites such as LinkedIn, Viadeo and Facebook to your advantage.

Remember, the more well-known you are, the more possibilities and choices will come your way. Don’t hesitate to talk about yourself and your desires, even if you are not used to doing so, and know that people are often pleased to help you if they know you would do the same for them.

So just step into it and enjoy the journey toward change!

About the Author: Laurence Favier is a Joy of Business facilitator and highly experienced corporate executive. After more than 30 years in senior IT roles, particularly in project management and operations, Favier made a conscious decision to adopt a more fulfilling and nurturing approach to work and impending retirement. Favier is an Access Consciousness™ certified facilitator, a Being You facilitator and a Joy of Business facilitator. Her knowledge of the corporate world is an asset to her clients. She offers relevant and effective training for businesses and business leaders, as well as valuable insights for the well being of employees. She provides training, conferences, workshops and one-on-one sessions. /author] 

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