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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sea Change or Career Change - Stepping off the Hamster Wheel

You have lived the life: Adrenalin-charged meetings, exhilarating presentations and major business deals signed on the dotted line – but also senseless re-briefings, over-cautious clients and business partners, bitter managers and frustrated colleagues. And let's not even talk about the overtime.

It was great while it lasted (most of the time, anyway), but now the spark is gone. You know it is time for YOU to finally hop off the hamster wheel and start something new!

Deciding to make a major change in your career in seldom easy. In these economically instable times most people are consciously putting their life's dreams on the back burner in exchange for the steady income they receive at the end of each pay period.

Some people, however, still reach that point in their career where they simply know they need to do something different. Although this realization can be extremely liberating, it seldom comes without some sense of apprehension, confusion and uncertainty.

If you are in the midst of this crucial decision-making process, here are some of the essential questions you should ask yourself as you begin to map out what YOU want your new career to look like:

  1. Passion: What are you passionate about? Ask yourself what specific career move would enable you to apply your talents, skills, and abilities in a way that would not only positively challenge you, but also allow you to add maximum value to whatever professional situation you are in.
  2. Sea change or career change: How deep does your dissatisfaction run? Do you really need to change your entire career - or just your job? Ask yourself whether you can possibly re-invent yourself within your current company or if you need a whole new backdrop for the next stage in your career.
  3. What is your measuring stick for success: Forgot about what others expect of you! What do YOU need to feel your work is both meaningful and rewarding? Ask yourself what symbolizes success for you - and what it will take in your new career to make you feel as though you have achieved those goals.
  4. How much time do you have to succeed: What is a reasonable amount of time to allow yourself to reach that milestone that let's you know you've made it? Develop a timeline, so you know how long you have to prove yourself. To yourself.
  5. Bankroll: How are you going to continue paying the bills? Ask yourself if you will need an additional source of income during your transition period. If so, where will is come from? Don't forget: Plan B.
  6. Kith & Kin: Will your friends and family rally around and cheer you on as you work towards your new goals? Or will they be doubtful, maybe even try to dissuade you from doing anything (they feel is) too radical? Ask yourself how much support you can realistically expect from the people around you - and how that may influence your perserverance.
  7. Contacts? Contacts! Who do you know who has been in a similar position? Who do you know who has knowledge about the field you would like to enter? Who do you know who can refer you to a prospective employer - or future client? Ask yourself what resources you have on your personal and professional contact list.
  8. Stepping out on faith: Whether at the end of your decision-making process you decide to apply for a new job or begin an entirely new career, there are no guarantees. Ask yourself how firm you are in your conviction to stay the course - then go for it!
Whether you decide to take on this major transition in your life with the help of family or friends, or with the support of an experienced career coach, there is nothing more exhilarating than that first deep breath you take once you have made your decision, acted upon it - and begin to see how the new life you have created for yourself proceeds to unfold.

Trina E. Roach

Trina is founder of Creating Tomorrow: The Leadership Consultancy, which specializes in executive + career coaching, as well as leadership and communication skills training. Based in Germay, Trina was conducted successful sessions from Tallinn (Estonia) to Sofia (Bulgaria) and from Moscow (Russia) to Amsterdam (Netherlands). With clients throughout Europe, as well as in the Greater Philadelphia area, Trina conducts her coaching and training sessions in either English or German.

www.creating-tomorrow.com info@creating-tomorrow.com

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