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The Three P’s of Career Transition

The Three P’s of Career TransitionAnyone considering a mid-life career transition needs to be prepared to conduct a thorough self-analysis and be ready to deploy the three P’s: Proactive Self-Discovery Process, Personal Branding, and Persistence.

To deploy a Proactive Self-Discovery Process, complete the following:

  • Conduct a thorough values and skills analysis to determine what you are qualified to do and what you want to do. Spending the time required to do this will save you hours of wasted time in the long run.
  • Research various careers and industries to identify your transferable skills, which skills are current and relevant, and those skills that you may need to learn or enhance. One can do this by conducting informational meetings and networking with hiring managers and recruiters in your targeted profession/industry to gather advice and feedback.
  • Complete a salary comparison to determine your chances to enter a new industry. I often see mid-level professionals who want to transition from Corporate America into Not-for-Profit work without conducting a detailed analysis of the disparity in salaries between the two industries.

Develop and create a compelling Personal Branding Campaign:

  • Identify your current skills and the value you bring to a new organization.
  • Fine tune your resume and marketing documents to showcase and highlight those skills critical to make the career transition.
  • Ensure your branding/marketing campaign maximizes current technology such as LinkedIn, Twitter, a personal blog/website, digital resume or electronic bio.

Recognize that making a mid-life career transition will take time, proactive job search activities. and Persistence:

  • Beware setting unrealistic expectations that employers and hiring managers will immediately understand how your skills can transfer to a different industry.
  • Don’t rush; ensure you have the financial resources, time/attention and support to devote to the job search.
  • Set realistic weekly goals; consistently review your goals and course correct as needed.
  • Recognize that the length of your search will depend on the degree of industry change you want to make, the type and number of openings in the targeted industry, the level of specialization/technical skills required, and the amount of effort you devote to the search.

Paula Pope is a Senior Consultant with The Frontier Group, an outplacement and career coaching firm with offices in Atlanta and Charlotte.