Changing careers can be a vulnerable time. If you didn’t leave a job on your own terms, you might have lingering self doubt. What did I do wrong? Am I good enough? Who will want me? In this state of mind, feeling confident may be a hard mountain to climb, even harder is to promote yourself to others. But to find your next employment, that’s exactly what you’ll need to learn to do. That’s why I’m sharing 3 techniques to get you moving and motivated to shape your employment story, even when you’re not feeling on top of the world.
MOURN YOUR JOB LOSS, BUT DON’T GET STUCK THERE. CAREER CHANGE IS CALLING.
One of the ways you don’t get stuck is to realize YOU’RE IN GOOD COMPANY. Most people have had a disappointing end of job experience at least once, if not multiple times in their lives, and will be able to empathize. Let go of the gory details with your confidantes. When you’re around friends and colleagues who seem to have ideal jobs, scratch the surface, and you’ll often find that they don’t. In fact, some may even be looking for work, too. In any case, they have their own challenges. We all do. That’s the stuff of life. Your career change is calling on you to reignite your passion and move forward.
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU DID ACCOMPLISH ON THE JOB
If all the stars had aligned, and your boss had been more visionary, or the funding hadn’t dried up, or your team had performed better (or …you fill in the blank), you might be somewhere else. Since that gets you nowhere, except for disappointed, focus on what you WERE ABLE TO ACHIEVE during the time you were at your job. Create an end point, and ask yourself the following questions:
What challenges on the job did I overcome?
What results did I achieve?
What skills did I use to bring a project across a finish line (even if not the ultimate finish line).
What lessons did I learn?
RECALL A TIME YOU WERE SUCCESSFUL, OUTSIDE OF WORK
This is my favorite exercise to get you moving while you’re changing careers. Think of a time when you accomplished something that was meaningful to you that had absolutely nothing to do with paid employment. Consider a volunteer experience with an organization, or helping caretake a family member during an illness, perhaps you ran a marathon, remodeled a bathroom, or in my case, baked a successful batch of French macarons. And do what I call an ACHIEVEMENT DEBRIEF.
Take your time answering these questions. Do a deep dive into the step-by-step process of how you achieved success. Don’t take any part of the process, or the skills and tenacity that it required for granted.
What traits did it take to get it done?
Where did you have to dig deep?
What made you particularly suited for the task?
The answers to these last exercises will reveal your value, your passions and your unique strengths. These will be the foundation of your employment story. What achievement will you choose to debrief?
If you’d like help learning to build your employment story and self-promote while you’re changing careers, contact me for 1-1 coaching.