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December 2006
If You've Decided to Change Your Career

by Susan Reynolds

If You’ve Decided to Change Your Career…

Then are you ready to really do what it takes? I hate to potentially burst a bubble but this process is almost always more complicated than posting on an internet site or two. You probably stand a less than four percent chance that you will find your next employer on an internet listing. The process is much more likely to involve a systematic project attack to find and build relationships with appropriate decision-makers in key roles in the business community. The more you treat this like a project, the more seamless your transition will be.

You’d best start with a careful assessment of your abilities, characteristics, and attributes. Think about every work experience you’ve ever had. What did you actually do as a function, and what accomplishments did you have there? Then start matching up your capabilities to new industries, and then specific target organizations that might be viable. Then you can draft a resume or curricula vitae which can strongly sell your abilities. Does this sound backward? That the resume should have come first? Actually, your document will serve you better if it’s written from the perspective of your prospective audience, than simply being a regurgitation of your past.

Now the marketing part… Get an audience with a decision-maker in your prospective functional area, or even higher up the organizational ladder. These are the people to whom you can make a difference, and thus these are the people who will be most likely attracted to your abilities. Make sure you have a plan for your conversation. What points do you wish to make about yourself and what questions do you have for them?

So let’s say that you’ve achieved turning some conversations into real opportunities. Have a carefully planned strategy to propose that you’re the right answer to their organizational needs. Know why they should select you as opposed to other candidates they might be entertaining. Then you’re ready to negotiate a respectable package. Go forward into a new growth career path!

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at Newmarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search and career strategy firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers. She can be reached at or 661-755-3308.

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Moving Upor Moving Out: What's the Status of Your Career?

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