Do you sometimes feel that you need a career change?
Or maybe you are part way through the career change planning and research process.
These days there’s no such thing as a job for life, and indeed it’s rare for someone to stay in the same career for life.
Catalysts for career change are all around us
As a species, humans are remarkably good at adapting to changing circumstances.
Which is just as well, given how much the working environment is changing:
- Increasing pressure for those in work – and burn-out for some
- Early retirement for people over a certain age in senior (expensive) positions
- Voluntary redundancy for people of all ages as companies slim down
- Resettlement for those in the forces and armed services
And then there is the unknown impact of social, political and technological changes:
- BREXIT and the European market changes
- Automation and Robots changing the work dynamics for managers and professionals
- Computer assisted decision-making and Artificial Intelligence
These are indeed uncertain times, so it makes sense to prepare for change early.
A pro-active approach to career change
With these changes there’s an opportunity to be pro-active and have a plan B, or at least the groundwork prepared.
And this can start with a simple approach, of looking at the past, the present and the future.
- Looking back – reviewing career history, achievements, likes, dislikes
- Current capabilities – including personality traits, skills and drivers
- Looking forward – to explore areas where there may be new, exciting, challenging and rewarding opportunities
And maybe the outcome is to actually confirm the desire to continue on the current career path, with greater clarity, renewed enthusiasm, and purpose.
Many clients have found it very beneficial to be able to talk through their situation, to have fresh ideas put to them, to be challenged about their assumptions and more. I have a knack for finding “the Golden Thread” as one client called it. This allows clients to be much more focused in their networking activity, to move towards new opportunities.
Three steps to help you prepare for a career change
I’ve worked with many senior executives over the past 5 years, helping them to sharpen their positioning and their Linkedin Profiles, and prepare themselves to make the most of the resources and contacts on LinkedIn.
I’ve developed and proven a pragmatic approach to support experienced people preparing for a job or career transition, or consolidation for those part way through.
The three steps which help people when they are planning a career change are:
1. Personality Profiling
There are many profiling tools around, such as 16PF, Myers Briggs, DISC and more. The tool I’ve chosen is particularly applicable for entrepreneurs and people in business leadership roles. At its heart is the notion of discovering how we are each wired to create value.
It is also about understanding Trust – at a level that goes way beyond basics of honesty, integrity, confidentiality etc.
- What are the specific areas that others trust us in – which make us the go-to person, trusted for advice and delivery?
- And even more fundamental – what are the areas we trust ourselves in, where we enjoy taking on responsibility?
Coupled with this is the recognition that we need to find and work with others with complementary strengths in order that our value can be applied. The profiling tool is applicable across a spectrum of people and situations including:
- employees working with others in a team to deliver value to clients
- solopreneurs, independent consultants and business owners, delivering value to clients in their own name
- business leaders, directors and management team members delivering value as a team
2. Career Level Profiling
While it’s fairly obvious and common sense to identify what level people are in their careers there’s a lot more to it when it comes to planning next moves. This is especially so when moving from an employed position to self-employed. This assessment will help to:
- Identify warning signs and remedial action to take to avert a crisis
- Disparities between perceptions and reality, aspirations and implications
- Actions to take to consolidate a particular level or to move up, or down the spectrum
3. LinkedIn Profile Rewrite
Even if your LinkedIn Profile is fairly comprehensive there’s a strong possibility it is not helping you as much as it could. What I see very frequently are:
- LinkedIn Profiles that are like a CV – primarily about the person rather than the value they deliver to clients
- LinkedIn profiles that are historic – and lack future oriented positioning, indicating the direction of travel
- And of course LinkedIn Profiles that are sketchy, incomplete, inaccurate and in other ways falling short.
I’ve rewritten hundreds of LinkedIn Profiles for people in many different roles; from very senior executives, business celebrities, independent management consultants, business leaders, sales leaders, management teams, department heads, senior professionals and more. Each is unique, based on their objectives, history, and things like tone of voice.
A Packaged Career Change Service
For people contemplating or going through a career change the combination of the three services above is really valuable to:
- Revisit and refocus on their innate strengths and personal characteristics – the things they can do naturally, resulting in far more output for far less effort and stress
- Review responsibility levels and leverage – and consider the best actions to consolidate or move ahead or back.
- Revise the LinkedIn Profile so it makes a positive contribution to positioning, networking, conversations, introductions and referrals.
The outcomes and benefits that people have achieved by going through this process include:
- Clarity – about what their strengths are, and the direction they want to head in for their networking and career research
- Confidence – that they have a specific purpose to their networking and a clear value that others will benefit from
- Conversations – to reach out and to have focused discussions with friends, existing contacts and new contacts
NB. And as a bonus there is NO VAT to pay as I’m not registered!If this sounds interesting, if you have any questions, and to discuss whether there’s a good fit, click here to schedule a telephone call with me, Mark Stonham.
How to start a Consulting Business
There are many great articles on the Internet that provide tips and suggestions to help people starting an independent consulting business.
This one published on The Entrepreneur website for example is really helpful.
And in many of the sections LinkedIn can be a real asset in researching a market, building a network, reaching out to key people, and finding potential clients.