August 1

What Does It Take To Make A Successful Career Transition?

Find A Career That Fits


How to make a Successful Career Transition

What Does It Take To Make A Successful Career Transition



by Eileen Chadnick, Career Counsellor & Leadership Coach

Career transition can be exhilarating, daunting, frustrating, and rewarding – often all at the same time!

As a coach, it’s extremely heartening to see a client succeed with their career transition goals – and even more so when the client has had to deal with more than their share of challenges.

When people ask what makes for a success career transition effort, I will think of Frank. Frank came to Careers By Design with some big career challenges. He had just left a career of 30 years in international development work and set out to find his first Canadian job in Toronto.

Frank confessed to knowing little-to-nothing about the Canadian career landscape and didn’t know how to go about finding employment that fit his interests and qualifications.

While his career experience had been meaningful and rich, it didn’t translate into obvious roles in Toronto. He felt lost and overwhelmed.

Our partnership was one where we introduced Frank to a career navigation approach with lots of guidance and support along the way. Frank’s responsibility was to lean in and do the actual work. Lots of it!

A Learning Journey

This process was about more than landing a job. Frank learned a lot about himself including his strengths (transferable skills and character strengths), values, needs, and aspirations.

He also learned to challenge some of his assumptions and try on new possibilities. He had some wins and then many bumps. He learned how to deal with the set-backs and with each one, he accessed his resourcefulness and resilience and found ways to learn from them and move forward.

Eventually he landed a fantastic job that fit his skills and preferences beautifully.

The role even exceeded his best hopes. It’s not always easy to make a career change – especially in the later stages of your career. But, as Frank demonstrated, it’s possible if you commit to the process and do the work.

Here's what it takes to succeed...

Know yourself – Clients often want to jump to the ‘find the job’ phase but it’s hard to do this if you haven’t taken the time to learn about yourself. Knowing your array of strengths, special talents, values, and aspirations is imperative to honing in on the right path and telling your story effectively.

The ‘know yourself’ phase gives you the awareness that serves as a ‘compass’ to making good career decisions and convey your career narrative with more efficacy.

Hard work and commitment – While coaching provides guidance, a sounding board, and encouragement, the client must be willing to do the work. This might include digging in to learn about their strengths; doing research on career ideas; working on career branding materials; digging into the job search; stretching yourself (in courage and effort) in networking – and much more.

Courage – Making changes can be scary and especially when the road ahead is unknown. We often tell clients that making changes isn’t about eliminating the fear. Instead, it’s about learning to tap into your courage. Even if only one moment at a time. It’s okay to feel a little fear if you remember to access your courage and take the action steps that will move you forward.

Open minded & adaptable – Clients often come to coaching with some starting ideas about their career next steps. This is terrific. It’s just as important to be able to pivot and show adaptability as you learn about the changing realities within the Canadian job market. This adaptability can expand your possibilities.

Hope & gratitude – Career navigation can be tough sometimes. It takes grit, persistence and a whole bunch of hope and optimism. It’s crucial that you never give up. Finding ways for authentic appreciation and hope can fuel you forward. We take this part as seriously as the job finding tactics! 

Frank had his share of tough moments along the way, but he always rebounded and found ways to stay connected to positivity, hope, and gratitude. In the end, his persistence and heartiness paid off and he was rewarded with a fabulous new start in Toronto. It was a pleasure to work with Frank. He inspired me and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

Are you thinking of a career change? Get inspired & read Frank's story in his own words on my bio page. 

Call us today at 1-888-977-6284 or learn more about our unique approach.

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