Don’t let your environment stop you from getting your dream career.

Many times when we’re looking for a new job, we’re doing so because we need a fresh start in our career.  Whether it’s a sudden change such as being laid off, or a gradual shift such as realizing you’ve been in an unchallenging or unfulfilling job for too long –  you’ve made the decision to make a career change and start fresh.

One of the key factors that will impact your career change will be your attitude. Yes, you’ll need the right kind of skills and experience, but also just as important will be your ability to remain positive and upbeat in the job interview, as well as throughout your entire job search.

I know that attitude was a key factor in my own personal four (4) successful career changes.   Specifically, it was a mix of resilience, confidence and passion.  I found that more doors opened for me, and I had more career choices and opportunities than ever before when I had the attitude that I’m excited about the skills and talents that I provide, and that I will be making significant contributions to the next organization where I’ll be working.

I know how hard it is right now to remain positive in your job search.  It would be super easy to let yourself get down and think that you can’t get a new job because it’s a tough economy, or that nobody is hiring during the Christmas season, or the notion that because you’ve had been laid off then you’re unemployable.

But the reality is that none of those are true roadblocks to transitioning into a new career.  Companies are hiring professionals and executives every day – so why shouldn’t one of those jobs go to YOU?!  Plus, many companies hire mid-level managers and professionals during 4th quarter so that they can hit the ground running in January.  Twice in my own career I was hired during the month of December.

Also, there’s no shame in having been laid off.  In fact, never having been laid off is now the exception (not the rule!) and there are many, many professionals who have been laid off and gone on to get hired and enjoy fabulous careers!

People, including those who could hire you or introduce you to others who could hire you, are naturally drawn to professionals who have confidence and a positive attitude.  I’m not saying that you need to be Little Miss Sunshine every second of the day.  Everyone gets frustrated in their job search (it’s like a crazy roller coaster ride!) and it’s okay to get cranky – but save Mr. Grumpypants for when you can lock yourself in a room by yourself at home.

Many of my clients get stressed out at some point during their job search (everyone does!), yet they’re able to get job offers because they have the confidence and optimism in knowing that something better is waiting for them ahead.  They know that they want more in their career and truly believe that a better job is out there that will allow them the ability to do more meaningful and purposeful work.

Having the right attitude includes having the confidence that you can do the job and be an asset to any organization.  Even if you’re reinventing yourself into a new job role or industry.  Once I was working for a high tech company and hiring for a communications position.  It came down to two extremely qualified job candidates.  Both had significant talent and the same type of great experience, so I made my decision based on their response to one question, “Can you do the job?”  The man shrugged and said, “Yeah, I think I can.”  The woman said, “Absolutely!”   (Guess which one I hired? J)

I’m not talking about arrogance, but instead a quite confidence down deep inside that you’re a valuable employee who can do the job, and that any organization would be lucky to have you (of course I never recommend actually saying this out loud J)  This kind of quiet confidence will help you remain positive and upbeat throughout your career change.

Your next career is out there waiting for you – you just need to go out there and get it! J

Five Great Resources to Help You Make an Easier Career Change

Change is scary.  Change can be intimidating.  The fear of change, fear of failure, even the fear of the unknown.  EVERYONE has trepidation about change.  EVERYONE.  But when the time comes that you cannot stay in the same situation any longer –  it’s time to make your move.

If you’re ready to take action and make a career change, here are five (5) resources to help you make the change and transition into your dream career.

  1. Work your network – Talk to people who have successfully made a change in their career and learn their personal story of challenges, lessons learned, and the result of their efforts.  These success stories can inspire you and pave the way to help you make a quick and easy career change.
  2. Professional Organizations – These are organizations like the American Marketing Association, or the Professional Management Institute, or Society of Women Engineers.  If you’re thinking about changing job roles, or changing industries, these associations can help you learn more about these industries and careers to help you figure out whether or not that’s really where you want to go.Google “professional organizations” and the name of your city to see a list of industry associations and business organizations and start attending their luncheons and networking events.Also, these organizations offer excellent volunteer opportunities where you can learn a new skill – such as leadership, marketing, sales, event planning, project management and all kinds of others skills.  Plus, it’s a great way to network and meet other professionals and executives in that industry who could potentially hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you.
  1. Company Websites – Not all companies will promote their job openings on external job boards, but they will promote them on their own company website!Make a list of companies where you’d like to work, then spend time perusing their website. Read their “career” web page to learn about hot jobs and the skills that are in high demand.  Also, read their blog, their press page and investor relations section to learn about their company culture, and to get an idea whether or not you really want to work there.
  2. Professional Networking Sites – Add your professional profile to LinkedIn.com (you can look for me and join my network!)  I’m not a big fan of MySpace.com or Facebook.com for professional networking. Those sites were created for social networking.Start sending updates to your contacts saying that you’re looking for your next opportunity and ask them for leads.  Also ask them for a virtual introduction to others in their network who work in the company or industry where you want to work.
  3. A Personal Career Coach – Look for a career coach who offers experience, confidence, and results.  This is someone who can partner with you and give you the career strategies, motivation, and a proven roadmap so you can get into your new career quicker and easier.

Your Assignment:  If You’re Ready for Change – then Take Action!

Start mapping out your career change.  Take out a pen and piece of paper and write down in big letters, two of the five key strategies mentioned above that you’re going to do!

Next, pull out your calendar and schedule them in.  The question for most of us isn’t, “When are we going to do them.”  Instead, the real question is, “What are we going to GIVE UP in our schedule to MAKE THIS HAPPEN?”

Change takes commitment and action.  When you’re ready to take action and start stepping into your dream career, remember that you don’t have to do it all by yourself.  There are an abundance of resources and support available to help – you just have to make a commitment to start using them! 🙂