Take Charge of Your Career Transition with Coaching

Did you know November is National Career Development Month? With 2024 around the corner, this is the perfect time to explore options and make strategic decisions about your career. If you’re considering a new career path, take charge of your career transition journey by:

  • Understanding career transition barriers and how to overcome them.
  • Discovering how coaching empowers the career transition journey.
  • Uncovering how career transition coaching attained results for an organizational leader.

Some of the common barriers people encounter when making a career transition include:

  • Limiting beliefs in one’s own capabilities, opportunities or worthiness. Many doubt themselves and their abilities when they’re considering a career change. They may worry that they don’t have the right skills and experience, or that they’re too old to change careers.
  • Fear of the unknown. Making a career change can be daunting, especially when it involves leaving a stable job and moving into unfamiliar territory. They may worry about their ability to succeed in their new career and learning new skills.
  • “Golden handcuffs.” This involves feeling trapped in a current role and seeing too much risk, especially financial, in branching into something different. The fear of losing security or certainty of earnings often leads people to settle or rationalize staying where they are.

You can overcome challenges by taking these four steps, including formulating an action plan, to create a roadmap for a successful career transition. Here’s a closer look at how you can approach a career transition to get the best outcome.

I coach clients on their career transition by starting with inner work. This helps them gain robust self-awareness of what drives and motivates their performance. They also get clear on what leads them to shine or struggle. Through this insight they learn how to challenge limiting beliefs, overcome fear, and propel themselves from being stuck to feeling empowered and resilient.

From here, we co-create a personalized coaching plan that helps clients develop their unique voice to tell their professional story with clarity and confidence. This includes:

  • Developing a value proposition: Also called a ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ (USP), it highlights what makes them stand out. This involves analyzing achievements, skills, and experiences that are unique and valuable to potential employers.
  • Crafting a personal brand story: This ensures consistency in online profiles, resumes, and cover letters, narrating who they are and what they stand for. It’s an effective way to differentiate themselves from others and aligns with their career goals and personal values.
  • Preparing for interviews and providing feedback: Refines their performance by using the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to illustrate accomplishments effectively. Recording these sessions on Zoom helps clients see and hear how they interview through the eyes and ears of a recruiter.
  • Recommending specific industry or skill-related courses or certifications to pursue: This will help them stay up-to-date and competitive in their field.
  • Refining and focusing their job search strategy: Most importantly, we align their outreach to companies whose culture and roles align most strongly with the client’s values, interests and performance strengths.

With a clear job search strategy, clarity in their story and greater confidence in how to present themselves, our work turns to executing their career transition plan.

This shifts our focus to:

  • Networking strategies: Clients broaden their network and identify valuable connections by attending industry-specific events, seminars, roundtables or Q&A sessions. Preparation for this includes establishing specific goals for each event, sharpening their “elevator pitch,” and ensuring strong, personalized follow-up via LinkedIn or email.
  • Informational interviews: Building on their success from professional networking and outreach, we create a framework for crafting effective interview requests with a primary focus on learning from each experience. We work on active listening skills prepare a focused and powerful set of questions to ask.
  • Hidden job markets: It’s difficult to stand out in a crowded job market where one-click job postings result in hundreds or thousands of resume submissions that are screened by bots. A more effective strategy is for clients to leverage their network to gain referrals or introductions within companies. Having a personal recommendation often leads to consideration for unadvertised roles. The focus here is to customize their pitch or offer solutions tailored to the needs or challenges of their network connection.

Combining inner and outer work helps clients broaden their perspective around what they truly want and the range of actions available to them. They gain confidence and build resilience. Partnering with a career coach also helps to overcome resistance or procrastination, work through setbacks, and learn from every experience regardless of its outcome. In other words, coaching provides a built-in accountability partner.

National Career Development Month also emphasizes the significance of career development and planning. Here’s a career coaching success story that illustrates how coaching helped a professional take charge of their career transition journey:

One of our clients, a 40-year-old we’ll call Darren, was an experienced foreign exchange (FX) sales leader who believed he plateaued in his current organization. Darren felt that his profile had diminished because it was challenging to convey the value he brought to the business.

Lacking feedback from his boss, Darren formed beliefs about himself and his performance that increased his frustration and the distance between where he saw himself and the “core” business. This led him to feel misunderstood, underappreciated and unvalued. He wanted to move to a new company where he would feel exactly the opposite.

Before moving right into the job search, however, it was vital that Darren get clear on his own value proposition. He had to see and understand the value he provided, even if at times it wasn’t clear to others at his current company.

After all, if he couldn’t see it, nobody else would.

Darren had to tell his story from a place of confidence and fearlessness. This meant leaving behind the negative sentiments he felt about his current position. If he carried that into an interview, it would likely derail his performance.

Coaching then focused on exploring his accomplishments and what made them truly unique from those of his colleagues. Leading Edge’s work with Darren helped him realize several things he had forgotten:

  • He enjoyed using data to uncover problems that weren’t easily detected but ultimately easy to solve.
  • He could use that data to quantify the revenue captured through the projects he led.
  • He saw that robust mastery of data was essential to future-proofing a business and keeping the sales force relevant.
  • He was a stakeholder in the business. He just had to find the best way to contribute.
  • He gained a great deal of satisfaction from recognizing how distinct his approach was from that of his colleagues.

This shift in mindset was profound. Darren’s story was so much more positive and affirming. And he was ready to start telling it.

Within a few months Darren landed a new role at another institution. He had a broader mandate and was readily welcomed by his new team.

Interestingly, when Darren gave notice at his old firm, he left on a high note and without any sense of resentment or bitterness. His manager congratulated him, and his colleagues were genuinely happy for him.

Darren recognized that the energy and sentiments he put out determined what he would get back in return. Shifting from a sense of losing to believing his contributions were valued and valuable changed the dynamics of how he interacted with others and vice versa. Darren felt this knowledge and his new ability to challenge and reframe his thoughts were the biggest and most powerful takeaways from the work we did together.

If you want to learn how Leading Edge’s 4D Career Transition Coaching program can support you in taking charge of your career transition journey, schedule a complimentary discovery session today.