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Managing Your Career Change

Aug 17, 2007
What really does not change in the world is the need for change. It is this bug in you or the environment around you which is constantly after you for a change. If one changes her career 3-4 times in her life time, that much she needs to carefully manage her career change. Mind you, career change is synonymous to changing boats in the middle of a storm.

Managing Your Career Change

You have to evaluate your need for a change pragmatically. This way, you can stop yourself from falling prey to impulsive actions. Being pragmatic or practical means thinking in the way that both you and your detractor think about you. This gives you the advantage of multidirectional thinking.

1. Develop Career Goals Early In Life: Broadly speaking, this is deciding where you want to be at each key stage in your life (making goals measurable). Your first step more or less decides most of your career path. You must also commit yourself to your goals.

2. Prepare The Ground: You have to acquire new skills and education. Knowing exactly what the employer is looking for should guide you here. Make the right connections. What organizations you belong to tells a new employer a lot about who you are and what your future potential is. Keep your network and resume updated.

3. Assess Where You Stand: At this stage you will understand where you stand with respect to your career goals. How do you know that you are lagging behind, if you are? Most career goals are a combination of having dreams and being realistic. Lack of either or both of these often shows up as frustrations in both work and at home. It is this that paves way for readjusting your pace with respect to your career change.

4. Readjusting The Pace Of Your Career: This is the most important step. It is this middle phase of your career change that decides whether you can change jobs easily and whether you succeed at the new one. As a career change is a well-defined goal, identify the next 2-3 job prospects at this stage. For this, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

a. Can you grow in your present job or industry as a whole? If you are in the middle of your career, you should continue in your chosen profession. If you are in a small organization you probably have reached the top very early but that may be the highest that you can go.
b. Am I going to stick to this salary, if this is the top? If your salary is not at least comparable with your peer group, this is a red flag. These two facts are proof that there is opportunity beckoning outside your organization.
c. Is it easy to find another job for a higher salary now? This is the essence of career change for most people.
d. Will the change take you closer to your personal goals? Does it increase your stature or help buy a new home or a car. The same logic also holds true for reducing any debt you may have.

Managing your career change also involves making a smooth exit from your present job and entry into the new one. It ends with getting acclimatized to the new environment.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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