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what next? career transition

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Navigating Your Career Transition:

9 Pointers for success

These days, career transition is the new normal. Take these examples. You’re fired? You would have cried if you hadn’t been in the human resources office.  Not fired yet? You’re terrified that you’re going to lose your job soon.  Or maybe you’re just dead-bored with your job.  You can’t stand one of your co-workers or you don’t respect your boss. Perhaps you’ve seen a new opportunity. But you’re not quite sure if you can make the transition to get there.

You need to navigate your way through the transitions that change brings.  Here are 9 ideas to help you discover what next for your career.  

1.  Starting with the Man or Woman in the Mirror


Do you know Michael Jackson’s song? He sings:  “Take a look at yourself, and then make a change”...

The first place to start is with the thoughts in your own head.  You may be frightened of a bleak future, but will that get you into a new job?  Look for ways to be positive and you’ll find the positive opportunities in the unsettling career transitions that you are facing.

2.  Daring to change: break down the fear

Changing your mindset to positive sounds easy, doesn’t it?  But then you try it and it’s not only hard but also scary.  It’s easier if you break it down into small steps.  And the way to do that is to draw a route map, make a plan.

Think about how you got into your current career.  For years, you went to school and college.  Maybe you did a vocational qualification. Then you landed a job and you did it.

Nowadays, it’s different: you never stop working on qualifying for the job you’re going to have in the future.  The best time to start planning for working into your 70s is way back in your 50s.  But the second best time is right now.  So what is going into your plan?

3.  Practise listening before talking


Wherever you are in your career, listening yields untold benefits. Practise listening to what people say about their family.  Listen and remember and ask after them next time.  Then ask how it’s going work wise. People will start to listen to you and trust you more.

Gather their opinions and ideas to form a better picture of what to do next, whether your aim is to get a promotion or to move on.

4.  We all need someone to lean on

As you’ve listened to others and supported them, you’ve been building your network of friends and colleagues.  Networking is a huge plank in your career plan. These are the people who will help you carry the load of your job search, make suggestions, give you introductions that lead to that perfect job.  Like Bill Withers said, you’ll have somebody to lean on.


Look on google for a job search support group you can lean on.  You might find a local group or you can set up a group yourself.  Try

5.  Helping others with their career transitions

One way to banish the fears of change is to help others.  It takes your attention away from your own fears and teaches you lessons about how others learn to overcome their fears.  Support others and you’ll start feeling the difference it makes to you.  The glow of satisfaction gives you strength to make your own career transition.

6.  Keep up to date and focused to become a job magnet

The route to your new opportunity is signposted in information about where your industry, or new target industry, is going, especially in the problems they face.

Read industry magazines, sign up for google alerts. Circulate interesting stuff to the network you’ve been building. Where do they see problems?

Focus on the solutions to those problems.  Take a course or think up ways to learn how to solve that problem.  When you’re the person who not only sees the problems in your industry and company, but also knows how to solve them, people and jobs will be drawn towards you as if you were a magnet.

7.  Retraining: are the costs worth it?

You already have loads of transferable skills, but if you want to move to a different kind of job, you may think you need to retrain. Unless it’s your passion and so worth it for its own sake, is it worth the  cost of the necessary retraining?  Will there be a job when you’ve retrained?

Can you create the opportunity for a job in that area without going back to college? Look for free courses. Look for hands on ways of gaining experience in your target field.  Find certificates that you can work for part-time or on-line at home.

8.  Look to your passions for new ideas and opportunities?



Passionate people are attractive people. Would you love to work on something you really feel passionate about?


Think of your skills, hobbies and interests. Look for ways to move towards a job that is more in harmony with your underlying interests and passions.  Go and ask your network for ideas on the best way to plunge into your passion.

9.  Pro bono and volunteering for experience

Try out new experiences by volunteering. Pro-bono work within your current firm is a great place to start.  Or volunteer for a good cause and you’ll potentially be lining yourself up for a job in the charity sector. You’ll have experience to cite on your CV.

Facing the fear and plunging into the flow


Ok.  It’s time.  Time to face your fears.  The world is changing.  Your job is changing – maybe it’s disappearing.  You are in career transition.


You look the coming change in the face and follow the direction of its gaze.  You go with its flow, seeing what it’s tearing down and noticing what it’s building up.  You navigate through new ideas and plunge back into the flow of transition with them.  You see the new opportunities that open up and you can steer yourself towards them. 


It’s hard, the waters are choppy. But your determination will steer you away from the stagnant pools that don’t reflect your opportunities, to a change for the better.

About the Author

Rosemary Bointon is a certified content writer.  On her blog,, she helps older people work out what to

do now to live longer, in better health with more fun and

adventures.  You can find her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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