Making moves

What to consider if you’re thinking about a career change.
Photo by iStock

Thanks to the current health crisis, more people seem to be evaluating their careers and doing a lot of introspection right now.

“Crisis is a great impetus for self-reflection and evaluation,” said Kimberly Gleason, an executive coach with Blue Bridge Leadership. “We’ve had some time to think about what’s most important to us and whether or not our career and lifestyles align well.”

Kimberly Gleason Courtesy Kimberly Gleason

Gleason said now is a great time to “dream, create and plan for the future you desire.”

If you are considering a career transition, Gleason said it’s important to take into account your “skills, strengths, experience, education, values, priorities, and life and career goals to make a wise decision.”

“For example, where do you want to be in the next three years? What are the obstacles that stand in the way to success? I think too often we focus on our goals and not enough on the obstacles that could get in the way. Once we have a plan to overcome those obstacles, then we can feel more confident in moving forward.”

Maybe you like your company but are ready for a different role. Gleason said it’s usually on employees to initiate those conversations. “People looking to make a transition within their companies need to speak up and advocate for themselves. Prior to doing so, it’s a good idea to take an inventory of your skills, strengths and accomplishments, as well as your reasons for wanting to move into another position. And then schedule a time to meet with your manager to discuss how that transition would benefit the company. Basically, it’s important to communicate it from the needs and perspective of the company.”

While you might be ready for a change, several employers are on hiring freezes currently due to the pandemic. So, Gleason said be aware of that fact.

“It appears that while some companies are indeed hiring, many are on a hiring freeze,” she said. “They, like the rest of us, are faced with a lot of uncertainty about the future. And therefore, they are in crisis mode and are simply trying to get through the day and week, let alone think about next month or year.

“For that reason, many companies are in a wait-and-see mode. Having said that, I think that any time is a good time to consider a career move. What we see as challenges can also mean opportunities. So, it’s a good idea to consider our options, even if that means staying put for now, and making a decision not just based on the here and now, but where we really want to be in the future. There are always opportunities if we’re willing to look.”
And if you need help, Gleason and others in the career coaching field are available to help.

“We offer career coaching, resume and LinkedIn assistance, and interview coaching to help people move forward,” she said. “The advantage we offer is that we customize all of our services to meet the needs of the individual. No cookie-cutter services.”

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