On Forbes: The Emotional Life Cycle of a Major Career Transition

 

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Jake worked for five years as a transactional attorney and then turned to real estate, managing his family’s portfolio of rental properties. From there, he launched a third career as an artist, painting large-scale murals for corporate offices and collectors.

As an executive coach, I have a front row seat to major professional transitions of brave souls such as Jake. Clients often ask for a roadmap to make such a change of their own, whether they yearn for more meaning at work or have other motivations. While I can ask the right questions to uncover their passions and talents and how these intersect with the marketplace, paths taken vary widely and can be entirely unexpected.

Please click on the image of the caterpillar below for the link to the rest of this article, originally published on Forbes.com.

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar On Milkweed

Anne Marie Segal is a career and leadership development coach, author, resume strategist and member of Forbes Coaches Council. She is founder of Segal Coaching, author of Master the Interview: A Guide for Working Professionals (available on Amazon.com) and a frequent public speaker in New York, Connecticut and beyond.

Image credit: Adobe Images.

Top 5 Career Articles for 2016; What Impacted You the Most?

As we usher out the last few days 2016 and make space in our lives for the New Year, here are five of the top blog articles published on ANNE MARIE SEGAL: THE BLOG this year. Please leave a comment below if you would like to let us know your favorite article of the year and how it has impacted your professional life.

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8 Core Qualities of Successful General Counsel and How to Achieve Them

I Don’t Want a Coach. I Just Want a Job.

Achieving Gratitude in a Macho Work Environment

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Successful Career Transition Stage 1: Start With a Creative Mindset

Get It Together: Organizing Your Job Search Leads

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Thanks to all my readers and followers!
I wish you all a prosperous and fulfilling 2017!

You may also like:

Why You Need a Strategy Before Writing Your Resume” on Forbes.com

Breaking Out of a Suffocating Job Search” on LinkedIn Pulse

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Anne Marie Segal is a career & leadership coach, author of Master the Interview and resume strategist/writer. She launched her coaching practice after 15 years as a practicing attorney. For more information about working with Anne Marie, please visit her website.

Images: Shutterstock/Adobe Images.

On Your Resume: Strategy Before Writing, Read More on Forbes.com

forbes-coaches-council-logo “Why You Need a Strategy Before Writing Your Resume”

Many business leaders and others struggle to write a compelling resume, even those who make multimillion-dollar decisions on a daily or weekly basis.

It is not an easy task to sum up one’s professional life in a couple of pages, whether you have scores of accomplishments or relatively few.

Read more in my first article on Forbes.com!

Anne Marie Segal, career and leadership development coach, author, resume strategist and member of Forbes Coaches Council. For further articles and press, please click here.

Get It Together: Organizing Your Job Search Leads

Are you struggling to keep up with your job search? You probably know that you need to be organized and keep better track of your leads, but how do you achieve that?

How to organize your job search.

Getting organized in your job search means knowing with whom you are connecting, why and other important data points, so that you can recall them when needed. It is easy to keep 3 job targets in your head. Thirty is not so easy. You may think that you will remember information about the company, your value proposition for the role and other factors, but without this information at your fingertips, you are likely to miss something.

Essentially, you need to know and remember the “who, what, where, when, why and how’s” of your job search. If you keep track of this information, not only will it help you feel as though you are making progress on your job search, but it will allow you to keep up with the important contacts that you have made rather than losing out on opportunities because you failed to follow up.

 

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Organize your job search. Image from Adobe Images.

While it may seem like extra work to keep track of where you are applying, if it seems like too much effort to keep track of what you are doing, you are probably “doing too much” on the search front (i.e., sending out applications blindly without slowing down to think about whether the jobs to which you are applying are actually good fits for your talents, interests and skills). It is much more productive to slow down and be thoughtful about your applications than try to blanket the market with your resume.

Imagine you receive a call from the HR department of one of your target employers. She says, “Hi, it’s Sherrie at Set Your Sights High,” and you say, “Ummm….”

If you were being completely honest, you may answer:

“Hi Sherrie, can you hold on…? I think I remember you but not your company. Actually, can I call you back when I figure out where you are calling from and why I sent you an application?”

I am sure you’ll agree that’s not your best look. 

I often suggest to my clients that they arrange their job search and interview information in a chart form, such as Microsoft Excel, with the headings of each column as follows. Here are examples of how to arrange it, with the bolded information sorted by columns and the data in rows.

Spreadsheet #1 – Target Roles (examples)

  • Contact at Target – Jorge Rodriguez
  • Target Company Name – Blankman & Co.
  • Nature of Relationship – our kids play soccer together
  • What I Offer this Target – my blend of technology and people skills plus large and small company expertise; they are growing quickly; looking for new COO; want someone decisive; my leadership roles and recruiting are a plus; they like that I have some sales background and can relate to sales team
  • Date/Stage of Last Contact – email on 6/1
  • Next Steps – follow up with phone call if haven’t heard by 6/15
  • Notes – also knows my good friend Ralph and probably Sara, need to bring this up somehow

Spreadsheet #2 – Connectors (examples)

  • Name – Lana Kinderman
  • Company Name – Kinderman & Associates
  • Nature of Relationship – known since graduate school
  • Reason for Connection – will refer me to an UN jobs or others where she has contacts; said I may need to first apply, then she will forward resume to right people
  • Date/Point of Last Contact – lunch on 5/10
  • Next Steps – invite her to September networking event; finalize resume to send her
  • Notes – remind Lana I speak fluent Spanish next time I see her

For the second spreadsheet, “Connectors” are people who are well poised to connect you to possible targets, and the “Reason for Connection” relates to the type of roles with which or individuals with whom they can connect you. For example, the Reason for Connection may be that the individual knows a number of private company CEOs or has other contacts in a certain field and is willing and able to help you connect with them (i.e., has a strong network and wants to support your job search by helping you make connections). Recruiters can also go on the Connectors chart, or a separate chart, since they also have the potential to connect you with a number of roles.

If you are applying to very different sets of roles (e.g., non-profit administration roles and corporate social responsibility (CSR) positions), I would suggest using additional sets of spreadsheets, or different workbooks within Excel if you find that easier, for each leg of your job search, naming them appropriately. The more structured you can make your approach, without complicating it, the better. (And if you find Excel intimidating, tables in Word also work. The point is to use this information to serve your job search, not to be tied to a certain format.)

Some of my clients prefer to include contact information for individuals in this same chart, although I generally keep that separate, so that the spreadsheet is still printable and readable on an 8 ½ x 11 page without heavy formatting.

Click here for a sample spreadsheet.

Alternatively, you can record your job leads and next steps online, rather than through a spreadsheet. This is entirely in the best interest of the job seeker rather than an issue of best practice. I like to see everything on a few pages, neatly organized, and do not want to have to sign in and remember passwords to access my information. Others may appreciate the support of a system. Jibberjobber.com works well for many candidates, for example, and it is free (at the time of this post) for a basic account.

Once you have an interview with a target company, I suggest creating more detailed pages outlining your research and talking points, which I will discuss in more detail in a future post.

Anne Marie Segal is a career and leadership coach, writer and resume writer for attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs. The above is an excerpt from her forthcoming book on job interviews. For more information about Anne Marie’s coaching practice, please visit www.segalcoaching.com.

© 2016 Anne Marie Segal. All rights reserved.

Must Read: Kathy Caprino, Forbes, on Getting More Meaning from Your Career

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Derive More Meaning from an Unfulfilling Career (Adobe Images)

Looking for more meaning in your career?

Kathy Caprino Has Some Answers

Kathy Caprino, a coach and contributor to Women@Forbes, is one of my favorite career writers, as I have said in the past

Recently, Kathy wrote another great article called “4 Ways to Get More Meaning and Value From Your Career Starting Today,” which is also posted on LinkedIn.

Among other things, I love Kathy’s practical approach on career transitions and suggestion (that I often make myself) that you do not need to wait until you have the “ideal career” to start making your career more ideal today. As she says:

“Most professionals believe that they have to chuck their entire careers and start over, in order to find more meaning in their work. They often fantasize about doing something creative or altruistic (like start a non-profit, join the Peace Corps, work on a communal farm, write a book, start a bed and breakfast, or move to another country entirely) to bring more meaning into their work.  But they are often mistaken. You don’t have to uproot your entire life and career to create more meaning and value. You can do it literally starting today, wherever you are.”

-Kathy Caprino

To read more, include Kathy’s excellent roadmap on how to “dimensionalize” your own personal version of meaning in your career – since meaning is different to each of us based on each of our individual experiences – please click here. With her thoughts in mind, if you are contemplating a career transition, you may also wish to (re)read my prior posts on Career Exploration and Vetting that discuss how to take yourself through the process.

Anne Marie Segal is a career coach and résumé writer for attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs. She helps clients with career exploration and other stages of the job search process, as well as presentation skills through interview preparation, resume writing and LinkedIn. For more information, please visit her website at www.segalcoaching.com.

© 2016 Anne Marie Segal. All rights reserved.

Successful Career Transition Stage 1: Start With a Creative Mindset

 

shutterstock_201564593 (cropped woman jeans red light bulbs)Marilyn hates her job. She has many ideas about where she would like to land next and needs help sorting them out.

Rob is stuck in a rut. He has spent so long at the same role that he can hardly imagine doing anything else. He wants to identify new possibilities and opportunities.

Jamie likes what she is doing and would like to stay in the same field, but she wants to find a way to advance within her company or, if necessary, outside of it. She is also open to changing to a new job altogether, if it does not require starting over.

Each of these career-transition questions inhabit Stage 1 of the Career Transition Process.

The Marilyns, Robs and Jamies of the world crave structure around their exploratory work. Otherwise, they live in their own heads, and they fail to make much real progress that will help them out of their current situations and into a better place. I know, because I was there myself once. I also know because I see it every day in my coaching practice.

  • Stage 1: Explore: Are you open to and ready for change at this time? What options are available? How and where can you explore further? Who can help?

A successful career transition begins with creative brainstorming, targeted research and empirical exploration.

Creative Mindset and Brainstorming

Having a creative mindset allows you to generate ideas and be open to a range of possibilities. Brainstorming isn’t about vetting, that comes later.

Stage 1 is the “what if” stage.

  • What if you changed industries, practice areas or careers?
  • What if you stayed in your current role? How could you improve it?
  • What if you decided to go for CEO, another C-level role or partnership?
  • What if you gave up one of those roles to pursue something new?
  • What if you took a risk and …?

Research

While keeping an open mind, research facilitates brainstorming. I often suggest that clients search job descriptions (not to apply, as background material), and read through what they describe as the basic components of the job. Along with job descriptions, they can often pull up resumes of individuals who are already working in similar jobs from a simple internet search. These resumes can give key insights into what actually goes into a particular job, which may be much different than the job seeker had imagined before such research was conducted.

In addition, job seekers in the First Stage of their job search can research:

(1) industries, fields and companies,

(2) what skills they would need to acquire to achieve certain roles, and what that skill acquisition would entail,

(3) compensation in the desired field, and

(4) information about analogous roles that would help them widen their net of possible roles that could be a fit for their talents, skills and interests.

Remember: If you have gone through job descriptions in the past with a feeling of dread, kick that feeling to the curb. These words on a page have no hold over you. You are simply brainstorming to help yourself get on the right path.

Exploration

In addition to analytical research, the third means to open your mind to the possibilities in your job search is to meet and spend time with individuals in your target fields.

“Hi Pam, it’s Marilyn. Confidentially, I am considering a career move that would put me in a role similar to yours. Would you have some time to meet me for coffee near your office sometime next week? I would like to ask you a few questions so I can better understand what your day-to-day workload is like before I make the leap.”

Take time to network and conduct what are called informational interviews (as opposed to job interviews – you are asking for information, not a job) as you continue to generate ideas and ask people what they know, and who else they may know, to help you explore possibilities.

It is worth noting that you should choose your networking contacts carefully at this fragile Stage 1 of your job search. The proverbial Debbie Downer (who sees everything negatively) will not be helpful for you as you are trying to keep an open mind. Keep Debbie for the vetting process, which is Stage 2 and will be covered in my next post.


Anne Marie Segal is a career coach and résumé writer for attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs. She helps clients with career exploration and other stages of the job search process. For more information, please visit her website at www.segalcoaching.com.

© 2016 Anne Marie Segal. All rights reserved.

Image above: Shutterstock.