Lisa Taylor: Small Business career change is not a job search
Finding more meaningful work is a common goal we hear from clients in all different industries and from all demographic groups. However, how you find, land and thrive in a role that meets all of your criteria requires the right strategy at the right time.
Career change and job search are not the same thing. Career change requires deep consideration about why a move is being sought and what criteria the next career needs in order satisfy your original reason for a switch. One of the last steps in this process is a job search (or for entrepreneurs, a business launch).
It is entirely possible to be actively in the midst of a career change and not yet at the job search stage. In this case, you know that you don’t want to continue in the industry, company or role in which you find yourself, and are taking the time to plan where and how you will make your next move.
A career transition strategy is comprehensive. It includes why you are making a change, what the change will look like, how you will transition, which resources you have at your disposal, what additional help you need from your network, and a defined timeline for the change. It includes the impact on your family and how you will know you are making progress along the way.
If you have recently been downsized or graduated from school you may find that searching for a job is your immediate priority, recognizing that the job may not be where your long term future lies. In this case, finding something that provides income, stability or experience and then focusing on your longer term career strategy makes a lot of sense.
A job search plan starts with knowing specifically what position you are seeking — in which type of workplace — and having marketing material (your resume, bio, LinkedIn profile, etc.) tailored to the hiring manager of that position. It means networking with intent, and leveraging your connections and industry opportunities to interact with hiring managers. A good job search is always more than sending well-written resumes out in response to jobs posted on job boards.
It is important to know if you are pursuing a career change or are in the midst of a job search. The approach, tools and tactics are different for these two activities. If you are focused on your resume, postings and interviews, chances are you are pursuing job search activities. If your goal is to transition into a career that leaves you feeling successful and satisfied you may want to consider shifting your focus on the longer term prize.
Lisa Taylor is the President of Toronto-based Challenge Factory, the only company in Canada where you can test-drive your next career. Challenge Factory provides individuals and companies with innovative talent and career programs targeting new graduates, mid-career professionals and Boomers seeking encore gigs. With clients across the country, Lisa is often called to speak and write about topics related to career transition, employment trends and workplace demographics.