5 Major Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Career Transition

Businessman looking over the side of a cliff


A guy that played in a band once said to me, “I’ve got good news and bad news. What do you want to hear first?” Before I could answer, he said, “Go with the bad news. Then you have something to look forward to.”


In the midst of the current pandemic and with a look toward the future post-pandemic “new normal,” as cliché as that may sound, it’s likely that nothing is going to go completely back to normal. That’s the bad news.


There is good news, though! With so many businesses in the process of pivoting and change, it’s a great time to set a new trajectory in your career. Whether you have found yourself laid off or are seeing everyone around you losing hope, now is the time to design an enjoyable, productive, and fulfilling future.


To do that effectively, you must avoid the 5 common pitfalls that could derail a successful transition.


Pitfall #1: Mistaking the opportunity for a problem


If you’ve lost your job or see the writing on the wall, it’s appropriate to be upset. Fear, nervousness, disappointment and frustration are all natural first reactions. However, it’s important to quickly shift from being stuck as a victim of these circumstances and take on a mindset of being the source and cause of a NEW future.


I would like to challenge you to take on a view that you’re the designer of your life. It will take some sort of action to get back on track, so you might as well take on the best possible NEW career direction, leveraging your greatest transferable skills, interests for service society or a market and all the passion you can muster to fulfill your fullest potential.


In short, the problem is an opportunity. Be intentional about taking it on.


Pitfall #2: Taking a “wait and see” approach


While having some patience and gathering market insights and data is a good idea, I want you to start being proactive and strategic right away. Let today be the day you start looking at your various options and start building your networking list.


Get your first draft of your resume in order with at least the most exciting and favorite of your personal accomplishments and make sure to gather whatever information you can to make the results you’d speak about in your resume numeric, concrete, and clear.


If you would like help putting together a resume that will position you for a great new job, check out my Resume Building Resources. They’ll get you on the right path quickly!


Pitfall #3: Make this career change the same way you made past career changes


Times are very different, even if you made your last career change a year ago. As you navigate your job search, you’ll probably notice yourself doing what you would have usually done.


While some of what you’ve done in the past might work, make sure you’re also taking on learning and engaging in new methods to approach your career change. Find new people to talk to and new ways of presenting yourself. Look into new markets or industries you would never have considered.


In short, get super creative and be willing to step out of your comfort zone. This is a new time, and you can do it.


It could be very exciting if you allow yourself to explore and realize no matter what, there will be victories and setbacks along the way.


Which leads me to…


Pitfall #4: Letting setbacks throw you out of the game


There’s an old saying in sales that goes like this: “Some will, some won’t, so what?”


The process of finding the right connections, finding job openings, interviewing, and being the ONE out of hundreds to secure the job is not one that provides a lot of immediate gratification. It doesn’t give you the sense of quick accomplishment that doing the dishes or mowing the lawn does.


Don’t spend all your time doing the dishes and mowing the lawn! Stay in the game. Be intentional about putting out the word and helping other people so that you get connected to the right opportunities and find the hidden jobs in the new markets.


Pitfall #5: Making it all about you and your needs


People are inspired to help the people who help them, who are helpful, resourceful and upbeat.


When you’re networking, always ask, “How can I help you in what you’re trying to accomplish?” Make that your mantra. Memorize it. Practice it. That will be the key phrase that will have the process of networking and discovering the right contacts and job openings meaningful, insightful and fun.


If you take care of a lot of people – or at least try to – very likely, someone’s going to take an interest in taking care of you and your needs will get met.


When in doubt, repeat #4 – don’t quit! Keep playing.


If there’s anything we can do to help you, let us know. We’re here for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *