Rethink Your Career Transition

The traditional “think, plan, do” linear sequence works well for job changers but sucks for career changers. Career changers need an iterative process that lets you refine what you want as you do as you go through it. Read on to learn about the three step iterative process for career changers.

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Are you going nowhere in your career? If you’ve decided it’s time to change your career completely, here’s a new way of changing!

Before you jump ship, think about what’s been happening in your career. Have you been making little or no progress for some time? You may be in the throes of what George Leonard, author of Mastery, calls the “plateau”. Leonard argues that we master something with a series of one intense upward growth spurt followed by a long period of nearly flat growth – a plateau. In this age of “what have you done for me lately”, you may have just tired of being on the plateau. Before you chuck your old career, decide whether it no longer works for you or whether you’ve just tired of being on the plateau. If you’ve decided to change careers completely, read on!

So you’ve decided to jump, eh? Well, you’ve got two choices of how to do it. First is the traditional “think, plan, do” linear sequence we’ve all been taught by career counselors and well-meaning family members. If you’re just changing jobs within a career field, this strategy should work fine for you. But it sucks for career changers and here’s why! We get much of our identity from what we do; just ask anyone about himself or herself. What does she or he tell you first? I’m a ___________ (fill in the blank here – doctor, lawyer, Indian chief.) We get that identity by what we’ve done in our careers. In my experience hiring hundreds of folks for law firms, interviewers are skeptical of “career changers”. Hiring is a costly and time-consuming process, and interviewers don’t want to do it any more than necessary nor take unnecessary risks. You’ve got to convince them that hiring you makes sense, and to tell a convincing story requires that you’ve convinced yourself the change makes sense. It’s hard to convince yourself you can do if you haven’t done it.

So how do you present a prospective employer with a risk worth taking? Use the second option for career changing – an iterative process. Ok, you say, I’ll bite. What’s an iterative process?

Merriam Webster’s dictionary describes it as a repetitive process that yields results successively closer to the desired result, which is clarified as a result of the process. So take heart, all those who want something different but don’t know exactly what it is – the iterative process comes to your rescue.

So what does an iterative career shifting process look like? Herminia Ibarra describes a three-step strategy in her book, Working Identity, Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career. First, create experiments. Stephen Covey once said we can’t talk our way out of a situation we behaved our way into. Since our identities are defined by what we do, we need to pick some possible, alternative career identities and find activities that allow us to try these identities on for size. If they fit well, we can delve more deeply into them. If they fit poorly, we can put them back on the rack and try another.

Second, shift connections. Your working identity is also defined by your web of relationships in work and family life. Your current co-workers, bosses, family members, suppliers and customers all have vested interests in having you remain unchanged. Talk with any of them about a new career, and they’ll steer you toward a slightly modified version of what you’re doing now – not a career shift.

So, you’ll need to meet new people in your experimental fields. Go on informational interviews. Write to authors in your new field and engage them in conversation. Investigate trade or professional associations in your new field, or talk with college professors who teach that subject. Use your imagination to find new people for your network. Since who you are is defined by the company you keep, you need to meet new people to guide and help you shape your career experiments successfully.

Third, revise your life story so it’s compelling and coherent. Revising your life story involves revising your resume and story you’ll tell during informational and job interviews. You need this revised story for two reasons. 1. To convince yourself during a time of turmoil and confusion that your career change makes sense; and 2. To convince a prospective employer that hiring you is worth the risk.

A good story is like a good movie. Good movies cause you to “suspend your disbelief”. You care about the character, believe in him or her and relate to the struggle he or she is going through. You watch with bated breath as the protagonist struggles against obstacles that cause fundamental changes in character. You believe in the character as he or she reaches the point of no return and resolves his or her struggle, either successfully or unsuccessfully. You care and you believe in them.

How do you suspend your interviewer’s disbelief? By making your story compelling and convincing. Demonstrate to your interviewer that your transformation is complete and sensible. Explain the internal reasons for your career change, for example, I changed to do something I’m really good at or that I really enjoy. Show how you’ve learned from what you’ve tried and how you used that learning to deepen your understanding of yourself. It’s best to avoid external reasons (i.e. I was fired or laid off) to avoid the impression that you simply accept fate rather than actively shape it.

Cite as many reasons for your change as you can, and point out any explanations that have deeply rooted causes. Family or financial circumstances may have prevented you from realizing a goal from long ago. Persevering and overcoming obstacles are attractive qualities to employers.

Show continuity and causality – a natural series of unfolding events that make sense. Connect your past work life to your present situation and project it out into the future. Tell your story so that the obstacles you’ve overcome and what you’ve learned about your character inspire your prospective employer to believe in your motives, character and ability to reach your goals. Tell it so they can see you doing the same things for them!

No matter how you cut it, change is messy, and career change is no exception. Margaret Wheatley and Myron Kellner-Rogers, in A Simpler Way, share that life uses messes to get to well-ordered solutions. But messes don’t feel very good while you’re in the midst of them!

That’s where professional help comes in. A broad shoulder to lean on when you need it. A productive mind to help you brainstorm experiments and shifting connections. A capable life story editor to help make your story compelling and convincing. If you know you need a change, but don’t feel comfortable going it alone, contact a career coach!

Skills Transformation For The Now And Where You’re Heading

In a rapidly evolving world, the importance of skill transformation cannot be overstated. The skills that were once highly valuable might not hold the same weight today, and preparing for the future requires a proactive approach. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, staying relevant in the job market requires continuous learning and adaptation, which is why Leadership Skills Development Training is extremely crucial. This article dives into the essential aspects of skills transformation and how it can shape your present and future.

The rapid pace of technological advancements and changes in the global economy has led to a seismic shift in the job market. As a result, the skills that were once considered indispensable may now be rendered obsolete. To remain relevant and seize opportunities in this shifting landscape, individuals must embark on a journey of skill transformation.

The Dynamics of Change
Change is a constant in the modern world. The skills that were highly sought after a decade ago might no longer be in demand. This underscores the importance of understanding the dynamics of change and the necessity of staying ahead of the curve.

Recognizing Redundancy: Outdated Skills
Certain skills that were once considered cornerstones of professional success have lost their luster. For instance, basic coding skills that were valuable a few years ago are now expected of professionals across various industries. Recognizing which skills have become redundant is the first step towards effective skill transformation making Leadership And Management Skills Development a crucial growth factor.

Embracing Versatility: Adaptable Skills
Adaptability is the key to survival in the current job market. Skills that allow individuals to pivot and take on different roles are highly valued. Being open to learning new software, mastering emerging technologies, and acquiring interdisciplinary knowledge can make a significant difference.

The Role of Soft Skills
While technical skills are crucial, soft skills that are mostly included in a Corporate Leadership Development Program also play an instrumental role. Communication, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and problem-solving are essential abilities that complement technical prowess. Striking the right balance between hard and soft skills is essential for holistic skill transformation.

Lifelong Learning: A Necessity
In the era of continuous disruption, learning must be a lifelong pursuit. The skills that ensure success today might be insufficient tomorrow. Therefore, individuals must be committed to upskilling and reskilling as part of their ongoing journey.

Upskilling vs. Reskilling
Understanding the difference between upskilling and reskilling is vital. Upskilling involves enhancing existing skills while reskilling entails learning entirely new skills. Both approaches are essential for different stages of one’s career through continuous Leadership Skills Development Training.

Industries in Flux: Skill Demand Shifts
Different industries experience varying degrees of change. Keeping an eye on the skills in demand within your industry is crucial. This insight can guide your skill transformation efforts toward areas that promise growth and opportunities.

Technology as a Catalyst
Technology is a catalyst for change in the modern world. It not only creates new jobs but also transforms existing ones. Being tech-savvy and staying updated on the latest technological trends is integral to staying relevant.

Cultural Intelligence in a Globalized World
In a globalized world, cultural intelligence is a valuable skill. Working with diverse teams and understanding cross-cultural nuances can give you a competitive edge. This skill is particularly relevant as remote work erases geographical boundaries.

Navigating Remote Work Realities
The pandemic has normalized remote work, requiring individuals to navigate virtual workspaces. This demands skills like effective communication in virtual environments, time management, and maintaining a work-life balance. These are vital skills that are extensively taught in a Corporate Leadership Development Program.

The Art of Collaboration
Collaboration is no longer limited to physical office space. Virtual collaboration tools require a different set of skills, including clear online communication, project management in virtual settings, and conflict resolution from a distance.

Entrepreneurial Mindset: A Skill in Itself
Having an entrepreneurial mindset is valuable, regardless of your career path. It involves innovation, risk-taking, and a proactive approach to problem-solving. These traits can set you apart and enhance your skill transformation journey.

Building a Personalized Skill Transformation Strategy
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to skill transformation. Building a personalized strategy involves self-assessment, setting clear goals, identifying gaps, and creating a roadmap for continuous improvement.

Endnote
In a world where change is the only constant, skill transformation is a non-negotiable aspect of career growth. Embracing adaptability, staying tech-savvy, honing soft skills, and pursuing lifelong learning are the pillars of success. By recognizing the evolving demands of the job market and proactively acquiring the skills of today and tomorrow through continuous Leadership And Management Skills Development, you can navigate your professional journey with confidence.

Conquer the Business World from Your Couch: Your Guide to Online MBA Courses

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) has long been the gold standard for aspiring business leaders. But what if you can’t afford the time or money for a traditional on-campus program? Well, fret not, because online MBA courses have emerged as a powerful game-changer, democratizing access to top-notch business education like never before.

Why an Online MBA?
Gone are the days when online education was seen as inferior. Today’s online MBA programs boast:

Flexibility: Learn at your own pace, from anywhere in the world, while juggling work and personal commitments.
Affordability: Online programs can be significantly cheaper than traditional MBAs, often without compromising on quality.
Accessibility: Top universities and business schools are now offering online MBAs, expanding your educational horizons.
Specialized Focus: Choose from a wider range of specializations, like healthcare management, entrepreneurship, or data analytics, to tailor your degree to your career goals.
But are Online MBAs Right for You?
Before diving headfirst, ask yourself these questions:
Are you self-disciplined? Online learning requires strong time management skills and the ability to stay motivated without in-person interaction.
Do you have a supportive network? Surround yourself with mentors, study groups, or online communities to combat isolation and enhance your learning experience.
Tech-savvy or tech-phobic? Online programs require basic technical skills and comfort with online learning platforms.
Conquering the Online MBA Jungle
With a plethora of online MBA programs available, navigating the options can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to find the perfect fit:

Accreditation: Ensure the program is accredited by a recognized body to guarantee its quality and value.
Faculty: Look for programs with experienced and industry-connected faculty who can provide real-world insights.
Curriculum: Analyze the curriculum to ensure it aligns with your career goals and interests, offering relevant specializations and courses.
Technology: Assess the learning platform’s user-friendliness, features, and technical support to ensure a smooth learning experience.
Cost and Financial Aid: Compare tuition fees, scholarship opportunities, and available financial aid options to make an informed decision.
Charting Your Course to Success
Online MBAs open doors to exciting career prospects. Here are some tips to maximize your online learning journey:

Network actively: Participate in online forums, discussions, and alumni events to build valuable connections.
Engage with faculty: Don’t be a passive learner. Ask questions, seek clarifications, and actively participate in online discussions and webinars.
Sharpen your soft skills: Online programs may lack the face-to-face interaction of traditional MBAs. Hone your communication, collaboration, and teamwork skills through virtual group projects and presentations.
Embrace technology: Utilize online learning tools, communication platforms, and collaboration software to your advantage.
The Final Leap
Earning an online MBA is an investment in your future. It’s a journey of self-discovery, professional growth, and unlocking your leadership potential. So, if you’re ready to conquer the business world from the comfort of your couch, take the leap, embrace the online MBA wave, and watch your career soar to new heights!

Remember, the online MBA is not just a degree; it’s a passport to a world of possibilities. So, pack your virtual bags, fuel your ambition, and get ready to embark on an enriching journey that will redefine your professional horizons.