There’s a great deal of uncertainty in the marketplace. That can be a problem or an opportunity depending upon your preparation and how you approach it. Ask yourself:
Why are you considering a change? There are different answers and strategies for distinctive reasons: Unused skills or talents? A bad boss? Underpaid for contributions? Bored? Unchallenged? Frustrated with an untenable situation? Ask yourself two questions before setting on a course of change:
- Is the issue short-term or long-term?
- Is the issue fixable or is it unchanging?
A short-term issue that is fixable is significantly different from and long-term issues that cannot be changed. The situation and objectives determine the strategies and outcome. It’s always more productive if your moving toward a solution than away from a problem.
Be a round peg in a round hole – You need to fit what the hiring manager wants in a candidate. Be careful not to exaggerate your skills or experiences. Make sure the marketplace is looking for the experiences that you have, and your skill sets are up-to-date with the latest technology. Nothing makes a job search easier than if you have the skills and experiences that match and parallel the position description of a job that you want. This is especially true if you’ve successfully completed a task or result that a hiring manager needs within the next 6 to 18 months.
Document your transferable solutions – Quantify what you have achieved. A hiring manager needs to see the potential results you might produce. Show the skills and experiences that provide solutions to problems, issues, or opportunities such as: Increased revenue, production of new business, reduced costs, increased productivity, expanded profit, accelerated growth, greater efficiency or effectiveness, and so on. These should be hard skills and soft skills.
Who can help me make this transition? Resource connections are all around you. Just be creative in using them. Friends and family, of course. But ask each one for two more connections to people who are in your field. Add in past bosses, subordinates, colleagues and others in your work world. Ask them for an informational interview to find out what’s going on in the marketplace, who is expanding, shrinking or developing a new business line. Also don’t forget alumni offices, professional associations and societies.
Are you ready? Do you need a course or certification to bring your skill sets up to speed? Find a role model, someone already doing the job, to see what background they have. There are many on-line programs, training and courses that are available to you.
Can I afford a change? Should you take a job at a lower level of income in order to break into a new field or company? Sometimes. A job search can take between two and 6 months. Make sure you have the financial resources to make the move.
With the marketplace in turmoil, consider a change very carefully. You can’t afford a mistake.
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