1. Have a beginner’s mind
A beginner’s mind is a place where you find excitement and thrill in learning and trying something new.
As a Zen Buddhism master said, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the experts mind there are few.”
2. Be open to D-A-T-A
Spend time thinking about your desires, abilities, most suitable environment that matches your temperament and your assets. Keep this list with you and reflect back to it as you continue to explore and make more discoveries.
3. Make time for you
Carve out time each week where you have no distractions and other people’s call on your time. Prioritise this time and focus on you.
4. Remember you are in a big club
There are many of us in our midlife that are tweaking our careers and making a transition. Find people who you can seek guidance and support from and people in the same place as you.
5. Make time to transition, to think, plan and reflect
Carve this out through morning walks, a holiday or find a colleague going through the same transition and check in and speak with them weekly.
6. Find a sounding board
Who do you go to for counsel? Who could you talk to regularly whose opinions you trust, a mentor, who can give you objective advice? I suggest it’s not a partner/friend or someone who may have an interest in the outcome.
7. Find an accountability partner
Think about someone also planning a career transition that you can be an accountability partner with, someone who you can talk to and be constructive with. Again, it’s recommended that you don’t use a family member or someone too close.
8. Find someone in the industry
Talk to people who are in the industry or role or have specialised knowledge in the career you are exploring.
9. Transition can be isolating
Find a group through online and other platforms like Meet-ups, industry associations, Facebook or LinkedIn.
10. Call in a professional
This could be a life coach or counselor to help you think through tougher questions.
What’s the difference? A career counselor has a broad focus and tends to work on identifying underlying themes, issues and beliefs. A career coach is more about assisting people to identify specific goals (e.g. improving performance, identifying skills or career goals, unlocking potential) and then reach those goals in a narrower timeframe.