Getting from Here to There:
The Art of Job Transition

In this column I write about the ups and downs, ins and outs of job change and career transition. The emphasis is on the process; when you understand what’s involved and the best order in which to proceed, you have a structure to follow. That said, friends, family, fear and the market may pull you in many directions simultaneously. Keeping one eye on the logical process underlying your efforts will help you to stay grounded, focused and in control. Keep in mind that life isn't linear - things will get messy!

"The Process of Career Transition" begins the series by briefly outlining the logical steps involved in a career change. Over the next few months, I'll take the steps of the process one-at-a-time, discussing them in greater depth and suggesting ways to address them. Look for these themes in upcoming months:

  The Importance of Self-Assessment
  Exploring Career Options & Market Realities
  Choosing a Path & Making A Decision
  Goal Setting & Action Planning
  Job Search Methods & Best Practices
  Ongoing Career Management

Discover the Over-Qualified
What if we could change the rules that typically govern employment practices? I'm thinking specifically about some iron clad unwritten rules about options for employees toward the end of their careers. One of the unwritten rules is that a person can go up but she can't go down in rank.

Selling the Age Advantage
I regret to report that age discrimination remains rampant in the American workplace. That makes job hunting an especially painful experience for laid-off workers age 50+ trying to get back in the game after an unwanted pink slip.

The Process of Career Transition
Making a career transition can be a complex process with many variables. There is a logical flow to the step-by-step process described here but we all know that life is not linear. You will likely cover all aspects of the process when transitioning but you may not go in perfect sequential order.

Self Assessment
Self-Assessment is an inward journey. While you may work with a counselor or coach and take a number of assessment tests, the goal of the process is to guide you inward to your deep inner knowing.

Exploring Career Options and Market Realities
Once you have completed your self-assessment, the next phase of transition is exploring possibilities for your future. This is a very important step, and one you should keep separate from your job search.

Making the Most of Professional Organizations
One of the best ways to build a personal network is by joining professional organizations. There are many ways to benefit from participation. Here are some effective ways of networking within an organization.