Ready for Change, But Don’t Know How Much, How Far, How Quickly? Find Your Comfort Zone

Happy New Year, Friends, Clients and Visitors!

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. I’m a coach, so am ALWAYS resolving – to improve, to lighten, to grow, to enjoy.  And yet January 1 still inevitably brings reflection. The holiday season brings some days off and a change in routine for most of us, and changes in routine give our minds a chance to stretch, to play, to assess. And maybe, just maybe, you have started questioning, “What if I…?”

And so…what now?  Is it time for a career change? Do you want more of some things, less of others? What are you going to do about it? Will you dip your toe in the water and test carefully before making a move, or are you ready to dive in, full out, and swim to your personal “Treasure Island?” I encourage you to find your level of comfort and take a step forward, no matter how big or small. What fits for you?

Option 1: Dip your toe in the water.  This is the extreme safety zone.  You might want to look at some changes if you can be sure it won’t result in discomfort, but still feel like you’re taking a small step forward. Here are some toe-dipping actions you can take with little to no risk:

  1. Update your resume.
  2. Update your references. Make sure each person on your list is still willing to sing your praises, and ensure that contact information is current. The old “references available upon request” line at the bottom of your resume has become passé, and many employers will ask you to send the list up front. If you’re really, really feeling cautious you do not need to tell these individuals that you are looking, but just updating your files.
  3. A.) Surf recruiting sites to see what is out there. This is low risk, but I do caution that it can be discouraging if you don’t see anything appealing right away. B.) If you’re in a specialized profession that has targeted recruiting services, that is a great place to just look around and see what might be available for you.
  4. Book a free sample session with me to see if coaching might help you move ahead faster and more strategically. It is all confidential and no hard sell, so no risk!

Word of Caution:  Except for #4, the Dip Your Toe phase can be a place for “yeah, but’s” to creep in.

Option 2: Both feet in the water. You’re a bit more committed to pursuing positive changes and less fearful about going public about it with a few trusted friends or colleagues.

  1. Update your LinkedIn profile so that recruiters can find you. Research how to list your specialized skills or titles you have held so that recruiters will find you, without saying that you’re looking.
  2. Get a professional headshot made for your LinkedIn and other relevant social media profiles and any other places you need a good headshot. Do not, not, not use a selfie, no matter how great you think it looks.
  3. Tell a few trusted friends or colleagues that you might be open to new opportunities.
  4. Send a select few resumes to postings that are a logical match for you. In other words, you are specifically qualified. (You may not yet be ready to apply for the “career-you’ve-always-dreamed-of-but-have-no-experience-or-qualifications-for.” This is all-out jumping in.) Gauge the response you get. See if you get calls. Pay attention to your own reactions.
  5. Begin researching that career that you’ve always thought about pursuing, but haven’t because everyone would think you’re crazy. Look for someone who is in that career and ask what they like and don’t like about it.

Option 3: Jump in and swim full speed toward Treasure Island.

  1. First, get really clear about what is on your own Treasure Island and why you want to end up there. Is it time, money, title, free time, autonomy, the work you do, geographic location? Be really, really specific.  Note: This is a process I take most of my clients through. It is deep work and is considerably more complex than it sounds. It is often where I can help you the most.
  2. Take full advantage of your networks. Ask for help. Tell friends what you want to do and ask if they have any connections. Get active on LinkedIn and other relevant social media sites. Sign on with a recruiter. Respond to job leads that interest you.
  3. Begin launching your own business, if that is your ultimate goal. Yes, that is jumping in! Make every effort to do it in strategic, productive steps.
  4. For a very few, this may be the time to quit what you’re doing (and I rarely advocate that unless things are so bad it is threatening your health or worse) and refocus your time and energy on new opportunities.
  5. While there may not be a map, keep that island in sight! It can be so tempting to stop for shiny new objects (expensive courses, marketing bells and whistles, gurus promising the moon) that will do little more than distract you and eat up time. Remember #1!

Are you ready to dip, step or jump forward? I wish you great reward! And if you would like to chat with me and see how I might help you, I invite you to contact me for a no-obligation breakthrough session.   Send a message to gwen@coachgwen.com with “breakthrough” in the subject line.  I would so enjoy talking with you about your own Treasure Island!

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